Not Just For Theists
The Pitt News has churned out another piece of prize-winning journalism. *sigh* The good news is that not every reader approved of the trashy column.
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…thought” rather than passively taking in every random bit of drivel that the Web and the press fling our way.
Can’t adults deal with whatever is in the paper?
Yes, they can. And in the post, an adult, Funky Dung (he’s older than he looks in the picture), called it trash.
And In the opinion letter, an adult (Pitt student presumably) took issue with “blatant promotion of promiscuity”.
Who’s not dealing with it?
The article could have legitimately been considered humor (though certainly not journalism)… if it had been funny–I personally find Ted Nugent’s “Wango Tango” a much more worthy ode to Colonel Angus.
Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that you must be able to say what you want from any and every forum available. If liberal publications want to reject conservative columns, they’re free to. If conservative publications want to reject liberal columns, they’re free to. Freedom of speech, press, and expression means that the government may not impede upon those rights. If no forum will give you a voice, you are free to create your own forum. You are also free to use public property (with reasonable permits, etc) to speak your piece. The Pitt News is not obligated to print the college edition of “Letters to Penthouse”. The standards need not be set so low you have to dig for them. A paper is free to publish a Nazi diatribe if they wish (assuming there aren’t hate speech laws impeding publication), but most editors with even a modicum of consideration for sensitive readers would likely think better of it. Some people don’t have a problem with smut and will gladly publish it (e.g. Larry Flynt). Why must a college paper, which wishes to project and maintain an image of respectability and seriousness?
I am not arguing in favor of her ideas. I am arguing that we should be slower to say that she should not express them. We are a nation that has decided to let Nazis rally in our streets rather than suffer any loss of our prescious freedom. Yet any mention of sex gets us unreasonably riled up. She can speak her piece, and if you disagree with it, that’s fine, but that’s no reason she shouldn’t speak it.
It strike me that Mathew Wilson needs to hunt down a bio major, because he needs to find some tonges to remove that stick from his ass.
Although I suppose he has a point. I mean, how DARE SHE express a thought that does not agree wtih all of Mathew Wilson’s beliefs.
It’s a matter of journalist integrity and image. Does the Pitt News want to be taken seriously as a news publication? I’ve been reading it for nine years and it seems that they do.
“One of America’s Great Student Newspapers – Since 1906”
What’s so great about smut? Leave that to City Paper or some other magazine-format paper. If their news stories were on par with tabloid sensationalism, I might be more understanding. The news, however amatuer, is a genuine attempt at journalism. Graphic descriptions of sexual activities don’t belong in a respectable paper. What’s next, a page 6 girl?
John, I don’t think Eric is arguing for legal measures against the Pitt News. He is rightfully calling the student newspaper a trashy joke of a rag, to put it lightly, and saying that what it publishes as inappropriate.
You can deliver weighty opinions on serious national issues. Or you could could make puns on the President’s surname and the female pubic region. You cannot do both–we do not consider the likes of Whoopi Goldberg or Margaret Cho to be on the same level as Bill Buckley or even a higher-level comic like Al Franken. This is not persecution, it’s just the way things work.
The Pitt News is free to publish this horsemanure–it has demonstrated this by publishing it numerous times–but actions have consequences. One of those consequences is that this newspaper is killing its name as a respectable institution, and many “adult” papers have done the same thing. Funky and I think this is wrong and decry it. We aren’t gagging anyone, just airing out our own views like other Americans.
I am free to ignore the Pitt News, and usually I gleefully indulge in this right day after day, sometimes not even thinking about the stupid rag for weeks on end. But I gladly end my slumber for this debate, because I asser that as a free people we can and must police ourselves.
Self-policing is something that we all do, to the point that we take it for granted. For instance, we can let the Nazis or Klansmen march in the public square because it is a PUBLIC square. But, we can also legislate morality by teaching kids about slavery and the Holocaust and why toleration of others is a good thing. The kiddies can then go shave their heads or dress up like Casper the Friendly Ghost, but freedom does not mean a value-free environment. We can teach otherwise, and must. If people cannot reason, or respect the rights of others, we will not have democracy, we’ll have…well, Mogadishu or Sadr City.
Funkydung, like myself, as reasoning adults and Pitt alumni oppose the Pitt News as a black mark on our alma mater’s name. This has nothing to do with the Constitution; Funky and I have not mentioned banning the Pitt News, just like neither of us would legally ban the Nazis or Klansmen (and no, I do not put them on the same moral level).
You are correct in saying that we can fall into a “soft tyranny” by ignoring rather than persecuting dissenting voices. I prefer to spend my limited time on more productive discussions. You, Mr. Thompson, and Theomorph elsewhere on the comments section of this blog are two such productive sparring partners. Hence why I’m here and not at http://www.pittnews.com. If the Pitt News staff want to indulge in sexual hijinks or potty humor like the City Paper, fine, insofar as it does not violate University policy. I’ll take my business elsewhere, and encourage more productive channels for students. That seems much more in agreement with your laudable desire to “aggressively seek out and advance the freedom of independent th
She is writing about something that is of practical relevence to many of her readers.Also, she is writing in a paper that is not distributed to families. So there is no need to worry about children reading it, so where is the concern? Can’t adults deal with whatever is in the paper?
You are treading on dangerous ground. We must always be wary of defining rights too narrowly. The Consititution only forbids the government from interfering in our expression, however, that does not mean that just because the government does not do this that we do have a free press.
For one thing, we have to be very wary because, as fewer and fewer companies their power to censor becomes a threat to the freedom of the press within the country (think of Disney blocking Farenheit 9/11. That is a particularly insiteful example because the govenment put pressure on them to do what the govenment cannot legally do itself).
However, that is not really a concern in this instance.The risk we run in this situation is the creation of the softer kind of tyranny that John Stuart Mill describes. If we as a society decide that there are things we will not let people say, then we are placing our society at risk. Because sometimes we’ll shut up the wrong person.
Let’s not define our freedoms passively. An absence of tyranny does not constitute liberty. We must aggressively seek out and advance the freedom of independent thought, regardless of whether that htought agrees with out personal morality.
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