Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Necessary Interview

If you hadn't heard, the Daily Illini has suspended those involved with the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in their newspaper. Hugh Hewitt interviewed the person mainly responsible, Acton Gordon.

The interview is worth reading in full, but here's a portion I consider interesting:
HH: Okay. Now I want to go back again to the reason behind upset. And it's not because you offended Muslims. It's because your staff is afraid that they will suffer reprisal violence as a result?

AG: Well, that's what they're saying. They're saying that I didn't take everybody into consideration. But I mean, that's just one argument. I think the other thing is they felt like they were kept out of the loop on this whole thing, but my editorial board fully knew what was happening in the newsroom that night. Everybody had an opportunity to look at it, everybody had an opportunity to object to me doing it, or raising red flags, or telling me their concerns. And nobody did that.

Their main concern was violent reprisal? I see the 1st Amendment is well guarded these days.

Y'know, maybe if they were in, I dunno, the Middle East, this might be a problem. But Central Illinois? I'd give the chances of violent reprisal at about 1%, and if it were to happen, it would be either from a singular nutjob or people who were brought in from another community. But such instances are rare in America. A small but growing number of publications have reprinted the cartoons, and I'm not aware of anybody dying yet.

If you hold speech such as this in check for fear of violent reprisal, then those who would silence freedom of speech have already won.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hal, you might get a kick out of this parody. -Ryan Herr.