Where Do You Draw the Line?


I wouldn’t draw it anywhere near this spot.

The St. Louis Dispatch has never heard of a slippery slope:

There’s no greater supporter of First Amendment rights than this newspaper, but there’s a line between political expression and hate speech that must not be crossed. The filth spewed by two-time felon Bob Romanik, a radio host and candidate for the Illinois state House, has no place on the public airwaves.

In recorded ads played this week on AM station KZQZ, sandwiched between ads for local St. Clair County “Freedom Coalition” politicians, Romanik referred repeatedly to County Board Chairman Mark Kern as a cross-dresser and “faggot.”

Listeners must not allow this abuse of the public airwaves to stand. The Federal Communications Commission needs to hear from anyone who believes Romanik’s hate speech deserves sanction. Romanik makes GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump seem like a model of good manners and decorum.

I’d like to point out that the first sentence is clearly incorrect, as evidenced by the rest.

In theory, I hate hate speech.  Actually, in practice I hate hate speech.  But you know what frosts my pumpkin more? A newspaper which prints a slur in a news article, and stands behind its First Amendment right to call on the government to fine someone for the same impolite political speech.

I have no idea if Mark Kern is a crossdresser or a homosexual.  As we all know, truth is defense against slander so calling someone a pedophile, or crossdresser or faggot might be a delicate legal walk.  Especially in heels.  Sorry, Mark.  Politics is not marbles.

I also don’t know if Bob Romanik (great radio name by the way) is a two-time felon, but the paper needed to add that bit, and a reference to Donald Trump in the first three paragraphs.

We either defend each other’s right to speak — even upsetting folks at times — or we lose the First Amendment for all.  I’m a better greater supporter of First Amendment rights than the St. Louis Dispatch every day of the week.  

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2 Responses to Where Do You Draw the Line?

  1. I doubt the editorial writer, expressing his opinion, appreciated the irony that his opinion is that someone else ought to be punished, by the government, for expressing his opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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