Monday, 21 February 2005

Free speech, private versus public

Ann Coulter:

Tenure was supposed to create an atmosphere of open debate and inquiry, but instead has created havens for talentless cowards who want to be insulated from life. Rather than fostering a climate of open inquiry, college campuses have become fascist colonies of anti-American hate speech, hypersensitivity, speech codes, banned words and prohibited scientific inquiry.

Even liberals don’t try to defend Churchill on grounds that he is Galileo pursuing an abstract search for the truth. They simply invoke “free speech,” like a deus ex machina to end all discussion. Like the words “diverse” and “tolerance,” “free speech” means nothing but: “Shut up, we win.” It’s free speech (for liberals), diversity (of liberals) and tolerance (toward liberals).

Ironically, it is precisely because Churchill is paid by the taxpayers that “free speech” is implicated at all. The Constitution has nothing to say about the private sector firing employees for their speech. That’s why you don’t see Bill Maher on ABC anymore. Other well-known people who have been punished by their employers for their “free speech” include Al Campanis, Jimmy Breslin, Rush Limbaugh, Jimmy the Greek and Andy Rooney.

I have seen confusion regarding one’s free speech rights regarding one’s employer on more than one occasion on various e-mail lists. In this country, you have the right to political free speech, but this does not necessarily translate to a right to said speech while on your employer’s dime. Your right to said speech also does not translate in to a right in having it heard or accepted by those who disagree.

posted on February 21, 2005 9:41 PM




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