Monday, November 17, 2008

Why I Love Free Speech

I was reminded recently why I love free speech. Frequently, it's uncomfortable. I always seem to be in a state of agitation, yelling at the television set at some pundit, or deeply moved by a comment I hear on a radio program. My relationship with media is an emotional roller coaster. 

I was moved yet again when I got a strange note in my email inbox about a New York Times Special Edition. Imagine my surprise when I read the headline that the Iraq War was over. Huh? 

And then I looked a little more closely at who sent the email: it was from the Yes Men. (To truly experience their satirical gloriousness, I highly recommend the interview my hero Bill Moyers did with them last year, hyperlinked for your convenience.)

The New York Times spoof wasn't just done by the Yes Men. In fact, there's a degree of mystery about who all was involved, because, dang! Doesn't it really look like the New York Times?

We all flex our free speech muscles in some ways, mostly small ways. I recently attended a protest. And we all take for granted that we can say in public how much we hate this politician or that law and not get arrested. It's so every day that we don't even notice it! 

But these guys are heavyweight lifter, pushing the limits of our great 1st Amendment. I'd like to see a Constitution with a six pack. 

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