Department header
Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories Editorial

Free Speech for Some?

by Bill Bowler

BwS dropdown menu

Normally, I avoid politics like the plague as it makes me apoplectic, but I’ll comment on the editorial and the incident by mentioning two things:

First, in 1999, NATO launched a missile attack against the Belgrade Television building, killing a number of people working inside. It was not even sloughed off with the usual “collateral damage” or “sorry for the mistake” cover stories. The U.S. military justified the attack by defining the TV station as a “military target.” I do not recall any widespread outrage or indignation as a reaction to this incident.

The precedent had been established, and I remember thinking at the time, “Oh great! Now it’s open season on journalists.”

This other interesting tidbit is as reported by National Public Radio:

Controversial French comedian Dieudonné has been arrested in the wake of the deadly attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and held on charges of apologizing for terrorism. He was one of 54 people held across France; none has been linked to the attacks.

Dieudonne’s alleged crime: writing “Je suis Charlie Coulibaly” (I am Charlie Coulibaly) on his Facebook account. [...] Coulibaly is the last name of Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four people at a kosher market in Paris last week.

Freedom of speech is a beautiful ideal, but it seems that, in the case of Belgrade TV and Charlie Hebdo, the principle involved may be that freedom of speech is sacred as long as it’s speech one agrees with.

Bill Bowler
Coordinating Editor
Bewildering Stories

Copyright © 2015 by Bill Bowler
and Bewildering Stories

Proceed to “Blurry Lines”...

Home Page