John Stossel: Offensive speech
The answer: yes, you can. But the free market may punish you. In America today, the market punishes racists aggressively.
It’s fine if the NBA — or any private group — wants to censor speech on its own property. People who attend games or work for the NBA agreed to abide by its rules. Likewise, Fox is free to fire me if they don’t like what I say. That’s the market in action, reflecting preferences of owners and customers.
But there is only one government, and it can take our money and our freedom. All a business can do is refuse to do business with me, causing me to work with someone else. Government can forbid me to do business with anyone at all.
But I wonder if today’s young lawyers would approve the First Amendment if it were up for ratification now.
“No value comes out of hate speech,” said a future lawyer. “We need to regulate flag burning … and blasphemy,” said another. One student wanted to ban political speech by corporations, and another was comfortable imprisoning people who make hunting videos.
So does free speech mean that we must endure hateful speech in the public square? No.
What convinced me that almost all speech should be legal was the book “Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought” by Jonathan Rauch. He explains how knowledge increases through arguments.
John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- New Derry school year launch honors everyday heroes - 0
- Stevens High School in Claremont to have start pushed back to Sept. 10 because of renovations - 0
- Plymouth State's $32 million health, track facility seen as student draw - 0
- Free school meals rejected as Manchester board bucks federal program - 48
- Proposed hike for Manchester's driver education course reversed - 1
- With SNHU merger on hold, search renewed for NHIA president - 0
- Interim president encouraging student growth at WMCC - 0
- Pinkerton superintendent tours school in hors- drawn carriage - 1
- Granite State Arts Academy in Derry ready to open its doors - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- NH Motor Speedway to again host two Sprint Cup Series weekends in 2015 - 0
- St. Anselm football players practice ini August heat - 0
- White, Glenn lift Fisher Cats over Harrisburg, 6-4 - 0
- KSC field hockey first in coaches poll - 0
- New England Patriots guard Mankins traded to Tampa for TE Wright - 0
- NH Fisher Cat Lee still striving for making it to the major leagues - 0
- Former city restaurateur gets jail sentence for sex assault - 0
- Former high school art teacher gets suspended sentence in drug case - 0
- New Manchester school district standards to give teachers more leeway - 0
Market Basket: 'So close, yet so far'
Backyard boulder kills Raymond homeowner