The Politics of "Free Speech"
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22-10-2010, 07:13 PM
RE: The Politics of "Free Speech"
No, it doesn't, but it does mean that the government can't restrict your speech. NPR, while not a government entity, does take a lot of money from the government. When you take government money, either directly through funding or indirectly through tax exemptions, you take it with strings attached. One of those strings is you can't act contrary to the US Constitution. That's why, for example, private Universities can't, as one example, discriminate against minorities in contravention of the 14th Amendment. There is actually a school, Bob Jones University, that did this (they prohibited inter-racial dating) and the government pulled their tax exempt status.

I'm not suggesting that NPR's firing of Juan Williams meets the threshold of violating his 1st Amendment rights to free speech but I do think that it raises enough of a question that there is nothing wrong with NPR having to explain their actions. From what I've seen, they have provided several explanations about how the issue was about him breaking their editorial standards and that this was not the first time. Fair enough, but when you take the governments money you run the risk of not being able to have the last and final word on these types of issues.

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When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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23-10-2010, 07:10 AM
RE: The Politics of "Free Speech"
Is the firing of Juan Williams restricting his freedom of speech? I don't think it is. If a government employee would've said what Juan Williams said I would expect him to be relieved of his duties as well.
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23-10-2010, 07:39 AM
RE: The Politics of "Free Speech"
He has a right to say what he did, and his employer has a right to fire him for it, simple as that. I'm with sosa on this one.

Although I've gotta commend the guy on saying what I'm betting a ton of people think. Everyone has prejudices, and frankly, I'm sure a lot of people get nervous on planes around ANYONE who has darker skin. It's a sad fact of life.

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