Thread: Free speech is still free
04-23-2003, 10:54 AM #1
Free speech is still free
This was in the local paper this morning from a unknown sender
Free speech is still free
Is the light of free speech in the United States going dark?
Listen to any number of anti-war celebrities, and you might start to think so. Tim Robbins, who with his partner, Susan Sarandon, was disinvited from an upcoming Baseball Hall of Fame event, apparently thinks he is the persecuted representative of millions of disenfranchised citizens.
"If we let people like this bully and intimidate through me millions of people who disagree with this president, we are headed into a dark area," he said.
The Dixie Chicks would probably agree, after their album sales and radio play plummeted following lead singer Natalie Maines' declaration that they were embarrassed to be from the same state as President Bush. The group might even lose a Lipton iced tea ad.
But the problem isn't with free speech. It is with their understanding, or lack of understanding of it: Free speech cuts more than one way.
If the war in Iraq illuminates that reality for these celebrities, it will have done even more than liberate an oppressed country and increase the security of this one.
Perhaps it is the rarified atmosphere of wealth and fame they inhabit.
Perhaps it is because most of the time, when they speak, people nod and applaud, whether what they have said is utterly inane or actually contains some substance.
But the reality is that freedom of speech has never meant freedom from any consequences of that speech. There is a long tradition in this country of protests and boycotts prompted by speech. Jimmy the Greek lost his television job for comments about minorities.
StopDrLaura.com, launched by gays and lesbians, successfully convinced Paramount Television to cancel a planned television talk show by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The group was "outraged that Paramount would give a national platform to someone intent on spreading that kind of intolerance."
There were no warnings from Robbins or others about free speech being endangered because Schlessinger was being "bullied and intimidated." Nor have they issued warnings about free speech being endangered by hate-speech laws.
Celebrities are still free to speak. They still command a much wider audience for their speech than the rest of us. Why else would we be hearing their complaints? But the rest of us are free to ignore them. We are free to pay to listen to somebody else.
The light of free speech is still burning brightly. It's about time celebrities realize it applies to everybody, not just them.
04-23-2003, 11:05 AM #2
Good to know someone recognizes that there are consequences for what you do or say as the case may be.Proud to be an official member of the I.A.C.O.J.
Paremediks R Us - You cut em - We gut em!
Firefighter 26's flame!
04-23-2003, 11:26 AM #3Originally posted by Anyway
Good to know someone recognizes that there are consequences for what you do or say as the case may be.
So I came home went to there site and posted it,hopefully a few left wingers will read it and have the same epiphany I had.
04-24-2003, 10:38 AM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2003
hmm maybe we should take the celebs and put them in a soldiers shoes or a poor mans shoes for a week and see what they think when there isnt enough food to eat or they are working 20 hours a day to keep our country safe...
maybe they would find out what the real world isFireSarge
"Any man willing to die in my place is my brother. Any man willing to turn and run is my enemy. Which will you be?"
04-24-2003, 10:56 AM #5
This is what I have said all along. You can say whatever you want, you just have to deal with the consequences. If I drive into south central LA and yell racial epithets through a PA, that's legal. I am exercising my right to free speech. But I still have to deal with the consequences, which include a severe beating from that angry crowd over there.
YOU CAN SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT. JUST BE PREPARED FOR THE CONSEQUENCES.“I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
― Hunter S. Thompson
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