Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:27 pm
Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:36 pm
Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:40 pm
Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:45 pm
About a month or so ago, Fox News Talking Head Bill O'Reilly made some offensive and disparaging remarks about the city of San Francisco. Many considered it downright hate speech.
Bill O'Reilly's situation is a bit different. Bill is the host of a radio and television program where he gets paid to put forth his views, popular or not. He's not a state college professor hired to teach young people. O'Reilly's point was that San Francisco voted to oppose military recruiting in the city's public schools including colleges.
O'Reilly believes that the vote was disrespectful to the men and women currently serving in the armed forces, and suggested that if he were the president and people in San Francisco felt that way, they were welcome to go it alone if terrorists showed up.
Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:05 am
Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:16 am
My point is about the need to punish the expression of offensive ideas.
Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:34 am
likethebike wrote:I read the e-mail the professor wrote and it was not personally threatening. There was no physical or personal threat to the student in the letter. The threat was to "expose" the conservative ideals put forth by the student. He should be allowed to do that. Your free time should be your own and your ideas no matter how radical should not be contained by your job.
Thu Dec 01, 2005 7:20 am
likethebike wrote:About a month or so ago, Fox News Talking Head Bill O'Reilly made some offensive and disparaging remarks about the city of San Francisco. Many considered it downright hate speech.
A few weeks later an English professor from a small New Jersey community college sent a student an e-mail disparaging the war effort and claiming soldiers should basically turn their backs on the war and their leaders. He also promised to undermine a conservative movement the student was establishing at the college.
I don't want to get any specifics about each case as they are not what I'm interested in here. What interests me is that the offended parties in both cases demanded action, the same action: the termination of the offenders. As it worked out only one of the two actually lost their position. As a big TV star Bill O'Reilly wasn't going anywhere. It's a good thing though for him because a star with less of an established audience probably would have been given walking papers.
My question is how did we get to a point that we now feel we have to punish people who make offensive statements with the loss of their jobs? And why are we engaging in punishment instead of debate?
Wouldn't have an appropriate way to handle the O'Reilly issue have been to challenge and or condemn his statements? Also, isn't the damage done to his credibility more than enough punishment.
Wouldn't a proper way to handle the professor be to ask him to make sure he sticks to English in the classroom? His personal life should be his own. Personally, I would talk to him about the need to encourage student political awareness on either side of the fence rather than discourage it. But he is always allowed to disagree with anyone on campus or off.
We often joust on the Left and the Right these days but I have noticed on both sides of the debate these days that there is no longer a tacit agreement that "I disagree with what you say but I defend your right to say it." These days it seems to be agree with me or else. How did we get to such a disrespect of our most fundamental right? Until its our own voice getting shut down, we often don't realize what a precious right that is.
Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:09 pm
Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:10 pm
Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:48 pm
I do see your greater point about taking away one's job, but still,
life is about consequences, and "free speech" as guarenteed by the
Constitution does not extend to labor laws, especially absent a union
contract. An employer has more free reign than not, especially if the
person brings unwanted publicity or controversy. Recall that
ABC sportscaster years ago who make allegedly "racist" comments
about Blacks and swimming. The guy was gone in seconds
with his reputation in ruins despite being apparently a good guy with a
likethebike wrote:... In either case, my argument is that there often seems to be a call for the head of a person who expresses an unpopular idea rather than a refutation of their argument. Why do you have to lose your job? Be kicked out of a hotel? etc. .......
The overall point I'm trying to make is that free speech seems to have no friends these days. The difference between and the right and left only seems to be the topics on which they prefer silence.
Sat Dec 03, 2005 3:12 am
Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:32 am
Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:57 am
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Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:32 am
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