Look, I don't want to open a can of worms. But here's my question today: should UCLA fire Jonathan Zasloff for advocating government suppression of speech he doesn't like?
I mean, UCLA is a state school. Does that mean they should fire professors who advocate government suppression of speech, in violation of the First Amendment? Or maybe have them prosecuted? Or flogged? I don't know these things. I'm just asking questions.
Professor Zasloff's question was this:
“I hate to open this can of worms,” he wrote, “but is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?”
Now, maybe that question and its answer are a little more complicated, and legal, than the other questions people Zasloff was hanging out with were asking — like whether Fox is a bumbling propaganda outlet. That one is easier to answer for me.
But shouldn't it be clear that the government shouldn't shut down media outlets that criticize it, even if they do so moronically and unfairly? Some would disagree. But not me.
Look, I'm just asking the question of whether a university should fire a professor for stupid, stupid speech. I mean, I'm just a criminal and civil litigator with college and law degrees and a capability of reading. I'm not an attorney specializing in when colleges can fire professors for asking questions. So it's entirely reasonable of me to ask you, the reading public, these questions to start a dialogue. So if you think there's something wrong, or even offensive, about that question, it's totally unreasonable of you to criticize me for it.
Just ask Jonathan Zasloff. He agrees with me completely. I think he learned it from Glenn Beck.
But even if you do strongly disagree, that's OK. I shouldn't worry that anyone will spread my question further and use it to suggest that I want to use the mechanism of government to suppress speech I don't like and political groups I oppose. After all, just as listserv members can reasonably expect that their incendiary comments to a diverse group of politically opinionated journalists and bloggers and activists will remain confidential and kept in context, I never have to worry about you all repeating this or taking it the wrong way. We're just having a private conversation here, right?
I mean, I'm just asking questions.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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