Friday, February 17, 2006

Here is a brilliant answer to the ARI letter I posted the other day

from Tunku Varadarajan in the Wall Street Journal (in the free part, so take a look):
To the free-speech absolutists in the blogosphere, I say that making this episode the test of our Western manhood is not the right way to go--for a number of reasons. To start with, some points should be obvious: Every right--and here, specifically, the right of free speech--is not a duty; nor does discretion or good taste or a desire to be constructive amount to a spit in the eye of the First Amendment. Freedom of speech and imagery is sacrosanct; but it is not compulsory.

The First Amendment means that you can, but do not have to, exercise the freest lawful speech. It means that you are responsible for your speech, not the authorities. The absence of legal restrictions also means that institutional dispensers of speech--such as newspapers and TV channels--need to exercise their freedom wisely.

What? Am I taking both sides?

No. I'm on this guy's side. Although I worry about phrases like "the freest lawful speech."

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