Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Sunday, October 21, 2007 :::

This blog entry about the letter 41 Democrats send to the CEO of Clear Channel communication kind of highlights a difficult but important line to draw in considerations of freedom of speech. On the one hand, people in authority have freedom of speech, just as anyone else does. On the other hand, people in authority should avoid any implication of a threat.

Harry Reid absolutely has a right (both legal and moral) to object to what Rush Limbaugh says, as does any other Senator, or any other citizen of these here fine United States. But I think it's best if they make their intentions clear. If they don't mean to imply a regulatory threat, they should explicitly disclaim any threat. This holds especially when a group of Senators send a letter together; if a Senator happens to sign a petition along with thousands of other signatories, he's signing his name as a citizen, but if he signs his name with 40 fellow Senators, he is signing his name as a member of a body that changes laws and oversees regulators.

This thought occurs to me most often when university presidents or faculty assemblies make statements deploring statements made by students. Quite often, these statements are indeed deplorable, and it is right of the president of the university to publicly deplore them, but the president should be careful not to imply that students will be punished for their statements, especially considering how often there not only is such a threat, but one that is followed through.

::: posted by Steven at 7:44 PM

Comments: Post a Comment

Comment Policy

Dollars and Jens
Steven's web-site

Kitchen Cabinet
Colby Cosh
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Corner
The Bleat from James Lileks
Tim Blair
Daily Ablution
Mickey Kaus
Dave Barry
How Appealing
Virginia Postrel
Reason's "Hit and Run"
Captain's Quarters
Roger L. Simon
Power Line
IWF's InkWell
Blogs for Bush
Chetly Zarko
Signifying Nothing
Cosmo Macero
Hub Blog
Ex Parte from Harvard Law's Federalists
Harvard CR blog
Priorities & Frivolities
Daley News
Emil Levitin
Politica Obscura
Wave Maker
Town Watch
Worcester County Repubs

Election '08
Don't Vote
Dave Barry
John McCain

Other Sites of Note
Townhall columnists Cambridge Republican City Committee
Cambridge Chronicle
Robert Winters
Boston Herald
Boston Globe
Boston Metro
Channel 5
Commonwealth Mag
Fox News
Massachusetts Republican Assembly
Robert Benchley Society

U.S. Constitution
9/11 commission report [7 Meg PDF]
Iraq Survey Group report
Fahrenheight 9/11 deceits


Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

Powered by Blogger