Skip to comments.Free speech or twisting of history?
Posted on 11/10/2003 4:41:32 AM PST by RJCogburnEdited on 04/13/2004 2:11:01 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
Those associated with the miniseries claim that it is not a slam but a nuanced portrayal of the former first couple. Some of the less flattering aspects of its portrayal of the former first couple -- President Reagan is depicted as often inattentive and uninformed and Nancy Reagan as controlling and overly interested in astrology -- jibe with accounts by Reagan supporters.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
There's an important difference. When news of a TV show featuring Laura Schlessinger got out, people staged a boycott. She was going to state personal opinions on the air, and these people wanted to stop that before it started. It was prior restraint.
The Reagan "documentary" contained lies (as acknowledged by the script writer) and was dealing with historical events where truth can (and has) been firmly established -- yet the script served as a hatchet job, not a rendition of historical facts.
Prior restrainst on a comentator's opinions?
Lies in a script about historical events?
The Left does its standard "moral equivalence" schtick again.
But a network should also know that when it makes a movie that is seen as attacking a popular public figure, it should be ready for a backlash. Imagine how the black community would react if a network were about to air a made-for-TV miniseries about Martin Luther King Jr. that contained made-up dialogue that made King sound like a communist sympathizer -- particularly if this movie was made by people with right-wing politics.
This was in the Globe? (Are pigs flying somewhere in Boston this morning?)
Actually, it would only have been "prior restraint" if it had been done by force, or the threat of force. The fact is that some people don't like what Dr. Laura has to say and are willing to back up their dislike by not purchasing the products of her sponsors. In such a situation, the sponsors have a right to prefer their economic self-interests to any other consideration. Dr. Laura, like CBS, has never been censored from exercising her right to free speech.
I further recognize that boycotts are a form of free speech, and Americans have recourse to them as a form of expression. But I think my point still stands: using a boycott to block someone from stating an opinion (some time in the future) which might be bothersome is really creating a climate in which discourse is threatened. But, using a boycott to block someone from presenting lies as truth, and thereby distorting our national history is also creating a climate in which discourse (informed discourse, anyway) is also threatened.
I think the Left is wrong in both instances.