Even though she apologized, Dr. Laura has gone on a verbose campaign touting about infringements on her right to "express herself." We all know what she said, and I don't want to debate that here, but I think Dr. Laura needs to review the tenants of the First Ammendment. Here's why:
Here are five facts about Dr. Laura and the First Amendment:
â€¢ The First Amendment protects us from the government, and not from other Americans who disagree with what we have to say. â€œCongress shall make no lawâ€ â€” the first five words of the First Amendment â€” say it all: No government body can limit our rights to speak out. In this case, thereâ€™s no government action, just public outrage and pressure.
â€¢ Boycotts are also protected by the First Amendment. Dr. Laura complains about being â€œbulliedâ€ by those who might pressure her radio affiliates or advertisers, but boycotts are a time-honored use of the First Amendment to address perceived wrongs and have played a role in virtually every social movement in American history.
â€¢ Efforts to punish controversial speech comes from the right and the left. Itâ€™s true that liberal organizations are attacking Dr. Laura for use of the racial epithet, just as conservative organizations burned Dixie Chicks CDs when Natalie Maines told a London audience that she was embarrassed that President Bush came from Texas. Politicians and interest groups of all stripes consistently seek to limit the other sideâ€™s free speech.
â€¢ The marketplace of ideas and the marketplace are different things. We tend to take a romantic view of a nation in which weâ€™re all free to speak, which thereby enriches â€œthe marketplace of ideas.â€ In the marketplace, however, economic rules apply. Controversial comments can be rewarded with a growing audience or punished by unsettled advertisers. Speech is free; airtime is not.
â€¢ Dr. Lauraâ€™s First Amendment rights are alive and well. Although sheâ€™s leaving her radio show, she says sheâ€™ll continue to share her views through public speaking, TV interviews, in print, online, and in a new book due in January, all made possible by the First Amendment.
Source: The First Ammendment Center