Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Good riddance to an enemy of speech

Is there something about working in an American university that kills the part of the brain that understands free speech?

Last month NPR's Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos stepped down and his successor posted his final column, which was about media ethics.  Schumacher-Matos was quick to tell us he was once the James Madison Visiting Professor on First Amendment Issues at Columbia University before he told us that we shouldn't have complete freedom of the press.

I do not know if American courts would find much of what Charlie Hebdo does to be hate speech unprotected by the Constitution, but I know—hope?—that most Americans would. It is one thing to lampoon popes, imams, rabbis and other temporal religious leaders of this world; it is quite another to make fun, in often nasty ways, of their prophets and gods. The NPR editors were right not to reprint any of the images. 
None of this is to justify the bombing. That was far worse still. But France itself is now undergoing a soul searching about how it treats its Muslim minority.

He's endorsing blasphemy laws? This is supposed to be the one who watched the watchers? Good grief.

Schumacher-Matos, you say "First Amendment fundamentalists" like it's a bad thing. I'd rather live in a nation where I'm free to be offended then one where the government punishes people for saying unpopular thing.

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