Skip to comments.What's Great About America: Free Speech (Stossel Special on FoxNews this weekend!)
Posted on 07/01/2010 2:05:30 PM PDT by FreeKeys
My first Fox News Channel special, titled "What's Great About America", airs this Fourth of July Weekend (Saturday and Sunday) on Fox News at 9pm Eastern Time.
What is great about America? For one: We can say just about anything, thanks to the First Amendment. It reads: "Congress shall make no law... abridging freedom of speech."
That makes a difference. It lets us say even offensive things.
Rosie O'Donnell says things like "Don't fear the terrorists" and "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America."
America tolerates speech like that, but many countries, even democratic ones, restrict speech.
In Canada, it's against the law to say anything "likely to expose a person to hatred or contempt."
Ann Coulter found that out this year when she was invited to speak at the University of Ottawa, in Canada. The Provost wrote her a letter warning: "Promoting hatred... could in fact lead to criminal charges... I therefore ask you, while you are a guest on our campus, to weigh your words with respect and civility in mind."
That didn't scare Coulter, but an angry mob of Canadian students did stop her from speaking. They chanted: "NO MORE HATE SPEECH ON OUR CAMPUS!"
Coulter only got a taste of Canadian speech prosecution. Ezra Levant, the publisher of a little Canadian magazine called the Western Standard, got a bigger taste. He was the first Canadian to report on the Mohammed cartoons that led to riots around the world. An Imam took offense because the cartoons depicted the Prophet. In my special, Levant tells me:
"One day a registered letter arrived at my office from something called the Alberta Human Rights Commission. It's a government agency and they said I had received a complaint against me for hate speech... I was ordered to come down to an interrogation... And for 90 minutes the most bizarre thing happened, a government bureaucrat grilled me on my religious and political views. And if I gave the wrong answer I would be subject to fines or other punishments." (Fortunately, Levant videotaped the interrogation and put it up on Youtube.)
In the end, Levant "won" his case. But he tells me:
"I don't know if I'd call it winning. I still had my $100,000 in legal fees. And the Imam who complained against me didn't have to spend a penny. All the lawyers and the bureaucrats were paid for by taxpayers."
In Russia, the richest man in the country is in jail after daring to criticize Vladimir Putin. In Austria, a British writer was jailed for a year for writing a book that denied the holocaust. France fined Brigitte Bardot thousands of dollars, multiple times, for "inciting racial hatred" because of her comments about Muslims.
So I'm thankful that in America, we have the First Amendment and free speech. In America, citizens speak truth to power all the time (remember the "Town Hall" meetings last summer?)
Free speech, and other examples of what's GREAT about America, this Saturday or Sunday at 9pm Eastern time.
John Stossel presents WHAT'S GREAT ABOUT AMERICA? On FOXNEWS (NOT Fox Business) this Saturday & Sunday 9pm EDT / 6pm PDT. PASS IT ALONG !!!
is this going to be pro-kiddie porn?
Should be great then, especially if it focuses on Kagan and the Citizens United argument at the SCOTUS
PING — Thought you’d like this heads-up.
I wonder why “Congress shall make no law....abridging freedom of speech” is treated differently than “Congress shall make no law...prohibiting free exercise (of religion).”
They share the common word “free.” That means without any encumbrance or impediment in my book.