June 8, 2010

IF FREE SPEECH IS TO HAVE ANY VALUE...:

Helen Thomas went over the top, but why is she gagged in the land of the free? ()

As Michael Tomasky points out, it was her reference to Germany and Poland that did for her. It was, quite simply, a disgraceful, thoughtless and indefensible statement. She went way over the top.

So, despite her having issued an apology on her website, it was probably no real surprise that Hearst newspapers announced her immediate "retirement". She has had a long run, after all.

But it's the next bit of the story that concerns me. She was also dumped by her speaking agency, which issued a statement: "In light of recent events, Nine Speakers is no longer able to represent Ms Thomas, nor can we condone her comments on the Middle East."


...then what you say must have consequences. Just as Ms Thomas is free to speak her mind we are all free to withdraw our business from her based on that speech. To argue that what you say can have no effect on how others interact with you is to say that speech has no value.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2010 5:49 AM
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