Thursday, October 26, 2006

Marquette Tribune Supports Philosophy Department Censorship

What ever happened to the notion that student journalists favor free speech?

It seems to depend on the ideological complection of the speech.

It seems they don’t favor free speech when a libertarian graduate student in the Philosophy Department posts a quote knocking the Federal Government on his office door.

Exhibit one: the Marquette Tribune, dealing with the issue in an editorial this past Tuesday, takes Marquette to task over communication about the issue, but sees nothing wrong with the actual act of censorship. According to the fledgling journalists:
The university could have easily defended South’s actions with its Student Handbook policy. Despite the romantic impressions of some, Marquette is a private institution — not a free-speech zone.

The removal of the quote didn’t clearly violate any freedoms granted by the Constitution, federal or state, nor by the university. Marquette’s Student Handbook demonstrations policy states when people differ on whether a demonstration infringes on the rights of others in the community, an authority — in this case South — communicates his judgment and can require the demonstration be “promptly terminated.”
So the argument appears to be “since Marquette has a legal right to censor speech, that makes any particular act of censorship legitimate.”

Particularly bizarre is the statement about “. . . when people differ on whether a demonstration infringes on the rights of others in the community. . . .”

Just what rights did Ditsler’s office door quote infringe upon?

Let’s look at it:
“As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government.”
Just how does this “infringe” upon anybody’s rights?

The Tribune appears to have bought into the politically correct notion that people on the left have a “right” not to be confronted with ideas they dislike.

The more senior journalists at the Journal-Sentinel sided with free speech on this issue.

But what happens to journalism when younger journalists, steeped in the intolerance of political correctness, come to dominate the profession?

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