Free Speech Has Real Consequences

by Mary Fallin

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the various uses and abuses of “free speech.” Two events in particular have sparked a great amount of controversy.The first was the running of a MoveOn.org ad in the pages of The New York Times. The ad questioned the patriotism and honesty of Gen. David Petraeus, our top commander in Iraq. Disturbingly, The New York Times admitted that it gave MoveOn a deeply discounted rate to run the attack ad, which sparked outrage from members of both political parties.

The second event was Monday’s forum at Columbia University hosting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran. Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier who has repeatedly called for the destruction of the state of Israel. He presides over a government that acts in defiance of the United Nations, is guilty of abhorrent human rights violations and is a known state sponsor of terrorism. For more than an hour, he was allowed to spew his hateful and ignorant line of thinking to Columbia University students and anyone with basic cable.

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