Barack Obama is now making headlines for saying that “he probably wouldn't have invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University but would be willing as president to meet with the Iranian leader as a way to protect U.S. interests.” That is, he would rather not allow Ahmadinejad the right to speak and try to regain the respect of Americans because there is a chance what Ahmadinejad says might alter the mindsets of Americans, which could make it tough to pursue US interests that may involve the nuclear option or war. He goes on to say that the “hateful lies that he may utter about Israel, the Holocaust — the answer is for us to promote the truth and show the world the values and ideals that we hold dear,” and adds, “one of the values we believe in is the value of academic freedom. He has a right to speak.” However, according to Barack, he does not have the right to speak at Columbia University because while speaking, he will most likely spew hateful lies. (Let’s also not forget how AIPAC figures into what Barack has said.)
Last week a resolution was passed condemning MoveOn’s “Gen. Petraeus Betrayed Us” ad. Of course, we all know 22 Democrats voted for it. Barack calculated his vote and didn’t vote so he could use it to pimp his campaign. We all know this if we have been paying attention to news and especially OpEdNews.com because this ad has been the discussion of numerous articles (this one, for example). The resolution, like the statement made by Obama on Ahmadinejad, poses an obvious threat to freedom of speech that Americans can either choose to fight or ignore. Whether we fight or ignore it, we can decide what leaders we allow to be elected to fight or ignore it---so keep that in mind and understand we can preserve this freedom of speech if we show the will to do so.
In the backlash of this ad, World Can’t Wait has said the “Metro NY newspaper refused to run their ad headlined “Who is the Real Nuclear Threat?” in its September 21 issue. The reason given by the publisher was that the content was “too inflammatory” for them to publish on the back page.” The group posted this statement after the debacle over the MoveOn ad was in full bloom. What happened to them is even more of a violation of freedom of speech, and instances like this have come to be expected as a result of media consolidation and other aspects that spit in the face of freedom of speech. We really should worry that a group who organizes dissenters is being violated because that threatens our rights to protest.
It’s like Bill Maher said on his September 21st show:
“And the Senate actually voted to condemn an ad. That’s what your Senate did yesterday. They held a vote to pass a resolution to condemn an ad with a pun in it. (pause) And then they had Oreos and braided each other’s hair.”
Thank you, Bill, for characterizing the Senate's violation of the First Amendment perfectly.
At Colorado State University, an editorial was published recently that said, “Taser This...f*ck Bush.” (*Note: I hope OpEdNews can handle a spelling out of a word that we all know is that word even if I were to censor it. Since this is about freedom of speech here, I hope you understand. I promise to use journalistic discretion in the future after I get this off my chest.) A caption appeared below it and said, “This column represents the views of the Collegian's Editorial Board." The publication was a direct response to the taser incident where a student tried to ask questions of John Kerry and instead of being allowed to speak, was dragged off and tasered, a clear violation of freedom of speech.
Richard Newcomb, a writer for NewsBusters.org, says that, “Writing ‘f*ck Bush’ makes no point abut free speech that I can see- it rather shows the lack of erudition in the Colorado State University Journalism Department since the students apparently could not create an actual reasoned argument.” Newcomb’s statement is not reasonable because the point of publishing those words was to prove that the phrase cannot be said and allowed. Therefore, there is no need for a reasoned argument. Also, at this stage in our nation’s history with all the events that have taken place, there no longer is a reason to justify saying, “f*ck Bush.”
Richard, my hope is that the CSU Journalism Department does not retract the publication and stands up for the point that the students made, which is that people are apathetic about their freedom of speech rights.
All previous events spoken of are a culmination of news events that involve deadly blows to our First Amendment rights. Americans can say freedom of speech is for everybody but not when it hurts and offends others, but if that is how we Americans seek to handle speech in America, than how do we decide what’s hurtful or offensive? Who gets to be the judge? Will that judgment ever be fair? And to Republicans, how dare you seek to regulate speech like this but go on incessantly about how the Fairness Doctrine is an evil dreadful thing?
You know what, why don’t we stop having the Congress, the media, the FCC, the MPAA, etc. be our mommies and daddies and be big boys and girls, and if we don’t like what somebody says, than respond to it. All of us should be literate Americans who can write to the editor or simply post our feelings on the World Wide Web. We seem to forget that people have the right to freedom of speech but we have the right to call those people idiots if we so choose.
People are dying. Destruction is happening. Children are starving. Rape and abuse is running rampant. Debt is plaguing the world. And all the while you are worried about what he said, she said? Give me a f*cking break!
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