Leonard Pitts Jr. in his column “Pope needs a lesson in freedom” [Opinion, Jan. 18] criticized Pope Francis for his comments during the flight to Manila with respect to freedom of expression. Pitts quoted the Pope: “You cannot provoke” and “You cannot insult the faith of others.” Pitts then assumes, apparently without reading…More
Topic: Free speech
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
Frank Mitchell’s letter to the editor “We are learning the consequences of the excesses of free speech” [Northwest Voices, Jan. 12] suggests that the the victims at Charlie Hebdo were responsible for their own deaths because of “excesses of freedom of speech.” Beyond slander or yelling fire in a crowded theater, I was unaware…More
Despite what some commentators seem to believe, the Western world does not have a “Muslim problem.” And, the Charlie Hebdo attack was not an attack on free speech [“French paper puts Muhammad on cover, provoking a new storm,” Nation & World, Jan. 13]. Muslims are offended when the Prophet Mohammed is insulted. That doesn’t…More
The Seattle Times made a reasonable call in deciding not to print the cartoon in question [“French paper puts Muhammad on cover, provoking a new storm,” Nation & World, Jan. 13]. There is no point in offending anyone.
I would have made a different call and printed the cartoon, but that doesn’t make my choice any more reasonable than The Times’. Having to walk a fine line and make decisions like this are a burden of Editor Kathy Best’s position. I’m glad she expressed the thought that the story can be covered adequately without printing the cartoon, and that The Times avoided inserting the stock self-serving cliches about diversity. If, for whatever reason, the story could not have been adequately covered without the cartoon and The Times chose not to print it, then the newspaper would then lack integrity. Being offended is an unavoidable and unpleasant part of living, and ignoring the offender is part of being an adult.
I trust that in printing stories that involve other symbols that are equally offensive to certain groups — symbols such as confederate flags, swastikas and others, that The Times exercises the same consideration about adequately covering the story and the same measure of respect as it extends to those who would be offended by the cartoon in Charlie Hebdo.
James B. Paden, Blaine
Editor Kathy Best’s explanation why the Seattle Times did not print the new Charlie Hebdo cover cartoon relies upon the notion thatMore
We are again reminded that with the gift of freedom of speech comes the responsibility of self-censorship [“I am not Charlie Hebdo,” Opinion, Jan. 10]. The risks are real, and they are horrifying, but those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it. When we as members of a sane western society finally give…More
If the rich decide elections, it’s due to a lazy electorate
Syndicated columnist Gail Collins seems to feel that because the Supreme Court has allowed larger political donations, the rich now have more leverage in political elections [“Surprise! The rich won one,” Opinion, April 6].
Hey, are any of us forced to base our votes on TV ads, billboards and bumper stickers? Do the Koch Brothers (or any other billionaires) force us to vote for the candidates they support?
Or do all citizens have the opportunity, not to mention the responsibility, to inform themselves regarding all the candidates and issues?
If the rich determine the elections, based on their donations, it is due only to the laziness of the rest of the voting public.
Richard Askren, Seattle
Democracy sold to the highest bidder
There is just something so unseemly, wrong and even slimy about the Supreme Court’s rulings onMore
The story “Mozilla CEO resignation raises free-speech issues” [Business / Technology, April 5] brings up interesting issues. “Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich stepped down Thursday as chief executive, just days after his appointment. He left the nonprofit maker of the Firefox browser after furious attacks, largely on Twitter, over his $1,000 contribution to support of…More
The Supreme Court’s most recent ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC should be the last straw for “We The People” [“Ruling loosens reins on political donations,” Nation & World, April 2]. The five majority judges seem out of touch with how democracy should really work — one person, one vote. It is time to amend the…More
“Ruling loosens reins on political donations” [Nation & World, April 2] should have been titled “Ruling severs reins …” The U.S. Supreme Court has done the nation a great favor: finally removing any doubt that our democracy is dead. What a huge relief. No longer do the vast majority of Americans need to cling…More