Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Thomas Sowell on Freedom of Speech

Too many people -- some of them judges -- seem to think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences for what you have said. If you believe that, try insulting your boss when you go to work tomorrow. Better yet, try insulting your spouse before going to bed tonight.

While this column is protected by freedom of speech, that does not stop any editor from getting rid of it if he doesn't like what I say. But, even if every editor across the length and breadth of the country refused to carry this column, that would be no violation of my freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech does not imply a right to an audience. Otherwise the audience would have no right to its own freedom. Editors, movie producers, speakers' bureaus and other intermediaries have every right to decide what they will and will not present to their audiences.

Unfortunately, many of those who talk the loudest and longest about "freedom of speech" and "academic freedom" are in fact trying to justify the imposition of propaganda on a captive audience in our schools and colleges.

At one college, some gutsy students start chanting "OT" -- for "off topic" -- when one of their professors starts making political comments that have nothing to do with the subject of his course.

Source: Townhall

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