Thursday, April 12, 2007

Free Speech or Free Markets?

Fox & Friends had two opposing viewpoints on this morning to discuss the Don Imus controversy. The guest taking Don Imus’ side, a radio host from the Midwest (it was before 8 am so I can’t remember his name), argued that Imus’ free speech was being violated.

So, was this an attack on free speech? It would have been if Imus was a private citizen being prosecuted for his remarks, but he said those remarks in his role as an employee of a corporation and as an employee of that corporation, he is accountable if his actions damage the business. If public outcry and boycotts cause executives to reevaluate the value of keeping him on as an employee – that is not a denial of free speech, it is the free markets at work.

The ‘right to free speech’ is the right to speak your mind without government persecution – it is not the right to make offensive, inappropriate remarks without consequences.

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