Freedom of Speech is exactly that, the freedom to speak. It is not a guarantee that you’ll be heard.
I can’t resist commenting on this particular current event, because I feel like there’s a point to be made that I haven’t seen come out:
Absolutely yes, Phil from Duck Dynasty has the right to say whatever he likes, especially to express a view that’s wholly in line with all the other views he’s expressed on his show. No one should be shocked at how this man feels. Whether we agree or not, we should respect his right to say it.
That right, however, does not extend to forcing A&E to provide him with a national pulpit upon which to exercise his right to free speech. (Now, they’re idiots if they didn’t think he would ever make a comment like this, or they don’t watch their own show, but that’s irrelevant to the argument.)
A&E is firmly within their rights to decide what is and is not appropriate for their channel, and react in kind. When I want to make a statement, I don’t expect it to be carried by a national cable network… that’s not part of my right to free speech. He exercised his right, and now A&E is exercising theirs. NEITHER is in the wrong, in my opinion (again, regardless of my beliefs about the actual content of his statement).
The really cool next step is that we all get to live by our own personal freedoms, which allow us to respond to this whole debacle by either watching, or not watching A&E… thus giving voice to our own opinions.
What do you think?