News Censorship for criticising Bush

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Thanks Russ.

If there was a top ten of 'presidents who discouraged free speech', 1/ where would the current president come, and 2/ what has been the public reaction of the time? I ask because Aldous Huxley once wrote an interesting paper called 'Brave New World Revisited' in which he suggested that once we start giving up hard-won freedoms we may lose the capacity to regain them. I am shocked that you now have 'free-speech zones' (what next - free speech booths, like peep-shows?), without apparent protest. Is this the result of gradual erosion?
 

NateTG

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JohnDubYa said:
Hasn't the government set up public radio to air views from the citizenry? If the Dixie Chicks asked (say) National Public Radio to air their songs to support a particular view, and NPR refused, who is doing the censorship then?
National Public Radio (NPR) is not a radio station, and does not control any radio stations. NPR produces programming (content) that radio stations buy. As such, NPR is not capable of airing anything. I'm not entirely clear about what you mean by 'public radio station' otherwise.

Regardless, inequitable treatment from a government monopoly represents a problem, according to a similar argument, for example, it's OK for the telephone company to refuse to put a line into your house because they provide public telephones, even if they provide that service to some people.

And, although I believe in the notion of corporate censorship, and I think that it may be a problem, my argument here isn't about censorship but about disenfranchisement.

Notably, getting back to the original topic of the thread, the practice of creating protest zones is almost certainly political censorship because people are cordoned into these protest zones based on the message that they're promulgating, and not because of their behavior.

PS Is the "Hasn't the government set up public radio stations..," an intentional reference to Scrooge's argument about poorhouses in A Christmas Carol?
 
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Okay, so let's go back to my question: If a tv news reporter uses the N-bomb (now that we know what it is) in a public interview, should the network have the right to fire him?

It seems as if freedom of speech only extends to those situations that agree with a person's political beliefs.
 

NateTG

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JohnDubYa said:
Okay, so let's go back to my question: If a tv news reporter uses the N-bomb (now that we know what it is) in a public interview, should the network have the right to fire him?
My position is that any employer can fire any employee for any reason, but that those reasons, and the nature of the termination is subject to any restrictions described in the contract of employment.
Depending on context, dropping N-bombs probably qualifies as unprofessional or inappropriate conduct in some situations.
 
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And the same reasoning applies to radio station owners and their playlists. That's all I was saying.
 

Njorl

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russ_watters said:
So.....you don't know where it came from, therefore right-wingers are grasping at straws? Hmm....
No, I was unable to find a single other instance of this racial slur used like Rather is accused of using it, therefore the right wingers are probably grasping at straws.*

I have seen "The Buckwheats" refer to:

1. Diarhea - probably referring to the similarity of such to buckwheat pancake batter.

2. Being frighted to the point of 1. above.

3. A slow death by beating involving the breaking of most of the large bones in the body.

4. A type of pillow.

"A case of the buckwheats" sounds to me like number 2. (No pun intended)

*I have since found one, but it seems to be mimicking the Rather comment.

Njorl
 

Robert Zaleski

Heeeere's Buckwheat. Bill "Buckwheat" Thomas died in Oct 80.
 

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No, I was unable to find a single other instance of this racial slur used like Rather is accused of using it, therefore the right wingers are probably grasping at straws.*
No one here is saying that Rather should be fired. It was just an interesting story, that's all. What I found most interesting is Dan Rather's handling of the story, which to me is pretty underhanded.

As for more on Dan, here is a link to some of his politically biased comments:

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/7/16/214343.shtml
 
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By the way, if the term "buckwheats" means "scared," I think we know where it comes from, and it has nothing to do with pancakes. It is still a racial slur.
 
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No, I was unable to find a single other instance of this racial slur used like Rather is accused of using it, therefore the right wingers are probably grasping at straws.*
Haven't I already posted a link showing that it is indeed a racial slur? (And a pretty obvious one, considering the character Buckwheat on tv.)
 
Can we stick to Bush & censorship please? The other topic is interesting, but for another thread.

I am still curious about the lack of public reaction against the free speech zones. Other parts of the world have traditionally admired and envied the freedom of expression championed by the US.
 

NateTG

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Freedom of expression yes. Freedom of publication maybe?

the number 42 said:
I am still curious about the lack of public reaction against the free speech zones. Other parts of the world have traditionally admired and envied the freedom of expression championed by the US.
The belief of 'freedom of expression' because the US spouts massive propaganda about it, and produced most of the mass media content in the world. In many ways, I see the mainstream US culture as puritanical and repressive, which is quite ironic considering how focused we are on physical beauty.

From my experience, monied interests control almost all media dissemination methods. So, while you may be able to personally express any opinion you like, you need to get advertisers in order to publish, or broadcast it. Since there are something like 5 companies that control all of the broadcasr TV channels, something that is contrary to their interest isn't particularly likely to make it to broadcast TV. It's a bit easier to get on the radio, but even that is steadily being monopolized.
 

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the number 42 said:
Can we stick to Bush & censorship please? The other topic is interesting, but for another thread.

I am still curious about the lack of public reaction against the free speech zones. Other parts of the world have traditionally admired and envied the freedom of expression championed by the US.
Actually, I understand the reasoning behind it, even if I disagree with it. Its a pragmatic solution designed to reduce some of the problems protests can create with the least amount of effort.

There should be some limits. Examples:

Protestors blocking abortion clinics and harassing the people going in and out is a little extreme. While I certainly don't support abortion, it is legal and the decision to opt for abortion isn't normally an easy decision. I think harassing the folks going in and out is a little stronger violation of their rights than having telemarketers call you at any hour. Forcing protests to be a safe distance away was a good solution.

During a war protest here in Colorado Springs last year, the protest wound up spilling into the street, forcing traffic to be shut off until the protestors could be removed. The protestors exercise of their right to free speech extended to violating the rights of other inhabitants of the city.

Regardless, the idea of 'free speech zones' is kind of ominous. The better, if less efficient solution, would be to deal with the few problems as they crop up.
 

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BobG said:
Actually, I understand the reasoning behind it, even if I disagree with it. Its a pragmatic solution designed to reduce some of the problems protests can create with the least amount of effort.
The notion of a free speech zone represents prior restraint if people are assigned to the free speech zone based on the message that they endorse, which, as far as I know, happens quite frequently.

BobG said:
Protestors blocking abortion clinics and harassing the people going in and out is a little extreme. While I certainly don't support abortion, it is legal and the decision to opt for abortion isn't normally an easy decision. I think harassing the folks going in and out is a little stronger violation of their rights than having telemarketers call you at any hour. Forcing protests to be a safe distance away was a good solution.
Harrasment and assault are crimes. If the police wanted to do something about it, they should arrest people for those crimes, and prosecute them. One of the massive policy snafus in this country is that people want to make additional laws when enforcing existing ones would be quite adequate.

BobG said:
During a war protest here in Colorado Springs last year, the protest wound up spilling into the street, forcing traffic to be shut off until the protestors could be removed. The protestors exercise of their right to free speech extended to violating the rights of other inhabitants of the city.
Exactly what rights were the protestors violating?

BobG said:
Regardless, the idea of 'free speech zones' is kind of ominous. The better, if less efficient solution, would be to deal with the few problems as they crop up.
My understanding is that police tactics have been rather devious. It has been suggested, with some good evidence, that the police goal is to create a dangerous situation so that they can take drastic action. Consequently, the protesters are cordoned into small areas and the police are systematically noisy and intimidating, in an attempt to provoke a reaction so they can break out the tear gas and capsicum and break up the protest.
 

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NateTG said:
The notion of a free speech zone represents prior restraint if people are assigned to the free speech zone based on the message that they endorse, which, as far as I know, happens quite frequently.



Harrasment and assault are crimes. If the police wanted to do something about it, they should arrest people for those crimes, and prosecute them. One of the massive policy snafus in this country is that people want to make additional laws when enforcing existing ones would be quite adequate.



Exactly what rights were the protestors violating?



My understanding is that police tactics have been rather devious. It has been suggested, with some good evidence, that the police goal is to create a dangerous situation so that they can take drastic action. Consequently, the protesters are cordoned into small areas and the police are systematically noisy and intimidating, in an attempt to provoke a reaction so they can break out the tear gas and capsicum and break up the protest.
I agree with most of your post.

The protestors were violating the rights of other city inhabitants by blocking a public thoroughfare. Contrary to what some may think, a public street doesn't mean it can be used by the public for anything they please. You can't construct barricades (human or other), etc. which block traffic. This is a long tradition which even carries over to rivers - i.e. in the Eastern US (which has a longer tradition) land owners don't own navigable rivers which pass through their land and they can't do anything to block river traffic.

The professionalism of police departments varies from locale to locale, so I'm sure you could find some instances of which you speak. I'm not sure it would be as easy to support the idea that police in general are out to provoke a riot.
 
BobG said:
I agree with most of your post.

The protestors were violating the rights of other city inhabitants by blocking a public thoroughfare. Contrary to what some may think, a public street doesn't mean it can be used by the public for anything they please. You can't construct barricades (human or other), etc. which block traffic. This is a long tradition which even carries over to rivers - i.e. in the Eastern US (which has a longer tradition) land owners don't own navigable rivers which pass through their land and they can't do anything to block river traffic.
We're talking about dissenters at an already-occuring event. They are not blocking anything any more than the pro-bush attenders of his appearances are.

This is not something that normally is done. Only bush has employed it to this degree. I think that most presidents never employed it at all. Empirical evidence shows that it is not necessary.
 
Dissident Dan said:
This is not something that normally is done. Only bush has employed it to this degree. I think that most presidents never employed it at all.
Interesting. So how has the Bush administration managed to implement this with so little protest. And I don't mean mass demonstrations, I mean just general protest in the media etc. Don't tell me the media restrict your every word :eek:


Dissident Dan said:
Empirical evidence shows that it is not necessary.
Hmmm... Someone's bound to call you on this one, Dan, so it may as well be me.
 

kat

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Dissident Dan said:
We're talking about dissenters at an already-occuring event. They are not blocking anything any more than the pro-bush attenders of his appearances are.

This is not something that normally is done. Only bush has employed it to this degree. I think that most presidents never employed it at all. Empirical evidence shows that it is not necessary.
What did I miss? I thought you had posted about the "Free speach zone" outside of the Democratic convention? Employed by the DNC?
 
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... which as caused you to change your vote to Ralph Nader. :)
 

NateTG

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BobG said:
The protestors were violating the rights of other city inhabitants by blocking a public thoroughfare. Contrary to what some may think, a public street doesn't mean it can be used by the public for anything they please. You can't construct barricades (human or other), etc. which block traffic.
Isn't it a bit strange to suggest that blocking a public thoroughfare is a violation of rights when there are regular planned and sactioned events - motorcates, parades, and road construction - that block them? The arguments made to justify removing protesters from streets are typically couched in notions of safety and the greater common good rather than some nebulous right to use public thuroughfares and, in general, these arguments make sense.

However, since the establisment controls the issuance of demonstration permits as well as the ability to remove protesters from the streets, it has powers that, in combination, can be used to squelch public assembly by issuing protest permits to inapprorpate locations followed by police action based on these notions of public safety and the greater common good.
 
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Heh. The Establishment. Right on!!!

However, since the establisment controls the issuance of demonstration permits as well as the ability to remove protesters from the streets, it has powers that, in combination, can be used to squelch public assembly by issuing protest permits to inapprorpate locations followed by police action based on these notions of public safety and the greater common good.
Well, some entity has to have control unless you favor anarchy.

Suppose a few of my friends decided to block the street, thus preventing you from leaving for work. Who ya' gonna' call? I hope it isn't THE ESTABLISHMENT.
 

NateTG

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JohnDubYa said:
Suppose a few of my friends decided to block the street, thus preventing you from leaving for work. Who ya' gonna' call?
I would probably go around. Of course, your question is mostly rhetoric, since I did conceede that removing blockages is usually appropriate. Moreover, there is obviously a difference between people who are deliberately blocking traffic, and people who are trying to produce political discourse.

The problem is that giving a single licence to disperse spillover, and control over protest locations (e.g. 'free speech zones') is tantamount giving that organization from preventing protest outright.
 
the number 42 said:
Interesting. So how has the Bush administration managed to implement this with so little protest. And I don't mean mass demonstrations, I mean just general protest in the media etc. Don't tell me the media restrict your every word :eek:
Many groups, such as the ACLU, have spoken out. I have read a few online articles regarding it, some from regular newspapers, but by and large the media hasn't done its job. Why? Because the corporate media does not see profits in that.

Hmmm... Someone's bound to call you on this one, Dan, so it may as well be me.
Well, do it, then. What I meant by my statement is that for the vast majority of our history, these "free speech zones" were not set up at presidential appearances, and all hell did NOT break lose. Therefore, these zones have been empirically shown to be unnecessary.

---------------------------------

BTW, I am not voting for Nader.
 
Dissident Dan said:
Only bush has employed it to this degree. I think that most presidents never employed it at all. Empirical evidence shows that it is not necessary.
Dissident Dan said:
...for the vast majority of our history, these "free speech zones" were not set up at presidential appearances, and all hell did NOT break lose. Therefore, these zones have been empirically shown to be unnecessary.
Fair enough. I usually think of 'empirical' as meaning 'research based', usually quantitative, but that's just me. In any case I accept your point - what can be better evidence than repeated experience? It just make the current 'free speech zone' seem all the more unnecessary.
 

Njorl

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the number 42 said:
Can we stick to Bush & censorship please? The other topic is interesting, but for another thread.

I am still curious about the lack of public reaction against the free speech zones. Other parts of the world have traditionally admired and envied the freedom of expression championed by the US.
Evidently, the free-speech zones at the DNC are pretty much empty. There are many protestors at the Fleet Center, but they are behaving themselves. They seem to be using weirdness rather than confrontation to get attention.

Njorl
 

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