Recently WPRI hack and Herald – Independent Columnist Sunny Schubert wrote a column congratulating Gannett Newspaper for checking the Verify the Recall database, looking for employees, then punishing them.
I then responded and pointed out the similarities between VTR and McCarthyism. Sunny,of course, responded in a very distorted way. Instead of focusing on the content of the criticism, she grabbed one line, did not understand it and then wrote about it.
Here is that line:
According to Sunny, some Constitutional rights are allowed while others are not.
Finally, I see where the writer of a letter to the editor took me to task last week for endorsing the idea that judges and journalists should be held to a higher standard of accountability, and should not have signed the recall petition.
“According to Sunny, some Constitutional rights are allowed while others are not,” the letter stated.
I’d like to thank the writer for enabling me to explain why it is NOT a violation of judges’ and journalists’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
The right to freedom of speech is not absolute. Courts have repeatedly held that some expressions are not protected, the classic example being you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater.
In the case of journalists, they do not work for the government (thank God!). A majority of private sector news organizations have ethics codes that prohibit overt political activity because it might make the news organization appear prejudiced.
Employers are allowed to set standards by which employees are expected to abide. If the employee does not like the standards, they have the right not to let the door hit them on the butt on their way out.
Other private sector employers have similar policies that curtail employees’ absolute exercise of free speech. For instance, it is your First Amendment right to stand atop your desk and shout “The president of this company is a big doo-doo head.” The government won’t punish you for that. The president of the company may, however.
In the case of judges: Most of them voluntarily abide by codes of judicial ethics that preclude partisan political activity, because they do not want to appear prejudiced.
I wonder what the writer feels about the case of U.S. Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, who is facing a less-than-honorable discharge because of disparaging remarks he made about President Obama. Does he not think the Marine Corps has a right to enforce standards of behavior?
Well Ms. Schubert I was not speaking of the first amendment. I understand that you support the first amendment, I also support it wholeheartedly. Notice I did not ask for you to be imprisoned for your ridiculous column just pointed out the blatant hypocrisy. I understand that the first amendment allows you a chance to write fictitious stories about the freedom fighter armed with a neck tie, with nothing to lose but your reputation.
No Sunny, the right I was speaking of, is the absolute right we have in Wisconsin to recall our elected officials when they are not doing the will of the people. This constitutional right extends to all Wisconsinites, including judges, and the recalls are being used exactly as they were meant to be used! I guess if you do not know your rights it is hard to defend them.
Now to answer your question. What do I think of U.S. Marine Sgt. Gary Stein? I think that the Sgt. Stein story is irrelevant to our discussion, but a valiant attempt to change the subject.
However Ms. Schubert if you are looking for a national news story that is more fitting, I suggest this one. Crazy republican congressman Allan West is trying to out McCarthy you!
Categories: | Better Government | Civil Rights | Media | politics | Scott Walker | The Media | Wisconsin | Wisconsin Governor