Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Misusing the word "censorship"

When retired Gen. John Batiste made a TV ad for in which he criticized President Bush's Iraq war policy, CBS News fired Batiste as a paid consultant.

The network's decision, in my opinion, was ill-advised and hypocritical, especially in light of the fact that it hasn't fired other consultants who are supportive of Bush's policies.

But this is not a case of "censorship," despite howls to that effect among so many of my fellow lefties (like this guy, for example, and also these fine folks at

There's no real censorship in this matter. The government hasn't forced CBS to get rid of Batiste or to discourage him from speaking his mind. Batiste is free to say what he wants, but CBS is not required to provide him a platform, if it chooses not to. After all, the network has its freedoms, too, and one of those is the freedom to hire whomever it wants to express opinions on its programs.

We liberals do ourselves no good when we scream "censorship" without sufficient regard to the meaning of the word.

Is it censorship when I decline to publish certain comments that are submitted to this blog? Should I be required to publish any and all comments? No and no! It's my freaking blog, and I'll publish what I damn well please, thank you. If you don't like it, get your own blog, or peddle your comments to some other blog that will accept them.

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