John at Some Poor Schmuck posted a piece called “Fair Weather Patriots” yesterday that I think you should go take a read of.
In the newspaper business the First Amendment “Freedom of the Press” is routinely trotted out when ever an newspaper publishes something that someone doesn’t like. Newspaper editors and columnists like to make pompous speeches referencing the First Amendment and its protection for speech and the press.
Lately they have been going on about the President Bush and how they are bravely standing up to him while he is trying to silence them. They wrap themselves in the First Amendment and declare “It Shall Not Stand” of there is even a hint of disapproval from their positions coming from the White House. They get together and give each other awards. One honoring the other for being so heroic while fending off the machinations of the government.
But I can’t remember the last time that Federal Officers raided a newspaper office and carted away an editor or reporter for expressing a contrary opinion.
Judging from their past pronouncements on arts and censorship, it seems that the new “Freedom of Expression” that previously allowed mockery of religious symbols does not extent to Islam.
Because the Muslims will kill you. They will kill your family. They will burn your house. They will do all this and stand there proclaiming that not only did they do it, but they would happily die doing it.
When the reporters and editors said they would die before giving up their First Amendment rights, that was bravado. Only empty phrases. They only meant that they reserved the right to mock your religion if they were sure that, while you might be upset, and you might say you would kill them, you wouldn’t really do it. They can stand up to angry words with no problem.
But when it came the time that there was an actual chance that they might really die or be hurt in defense of their First Amendment rights, that’s different, that’s serious. they showed that their principles were only to be upheld when it was easy and cheap.
What he said!