Tuesday, September 25, 2007

College Republicans On Wrong Side of Free Speech Issue

A student newspaper editor at Colorado State University used the f-bomb in an anti-Bush screed and now the College Republicans are collecting signatures calling for the editor's ouster.

Really, really, really bad move.

If you look really hard on this blog, you may find a curse word or two (If you do let me know as I want to edit that post or at least apologize). While cursing has a place in the language and culture, it is not something I would put in print and certainly not in connection to any poltical leader, no matter how much of a idiot I might find them to be or how repulsive I find their politics. I don't think this editor, David McSwane, showed any real journalistic insight by using his newspaper to indulge in what is clearly not a real editorial but a screed of sorts, but he is the editor and he gets to make that decision.

Might he have to answer to the paper's editorial board and advertisers, sure. Was his action childish and self-indulgent-absolutely. Should he be fired for it--Absolutely NOT!!

Free speech is about facing up to language that we find abhorrent, inflamatory and downright rude. But if we are truly to live up to the notion of free speech, Republicans cannot be hypocritical about it.

Here is a test for the CSU College Republicans, if one of you had printed "Tase This--F--- Hillary Clinton," would you expect to be protected?

Freedom of speech and the press is not about ensuring good taste or civility.

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