Free speech for some but not all is no free speech at all!

Stately Blaska Manor is charging an admission fee: your subscription to the Wisconsin State Journal.

For over 30 years now, visitors to the Dan Quayle Reading Room here at the Manor can peruse the Wisconsin State Journal alongside that other WSJ, the Wall Street Journal.

ReporterleftThe Madison WSJ features some good journalism. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with its state government reporter, Matt DeFour. Love the sports page, Dilbert and Arlo ’n Janis, as well. Now there’s a bonus: Subscribe to the State Journal and support the First Amendment!

That’s the sales pitch the paper has been making in quarter-page ads, which feature a free reprint of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in convenient wallet size.

Today’s ad quotes Uncle Walter: “Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it IS democracy.”

As someone who has made my living off the First Amendment, I’ll drink to that! I just wish the newspaper would promote ALL of the First Amendment and not just its own small slice.

  • I wish the State Journal had editorialized against McCain-Feingold’s draconian limits on political speech but the law provided a nice, sweet carve-out for newspapers. In the first challenge to the law, McConnell v. F.E.C. 2003,  Justice Thomas warned, “Now the press operates at the whim of Congress.”
  • I wish the State Journal had celebrated Citizens United v. F.E.C. 2010, which reversed McConnell and struck a blow for free speech for all.
  • I wish the State Journal had spoken out against the John Doe secret speech police and their pre-dawn raids, armed with battering rams. But the victims were unpopular in Madison, they being white Republicans. (Your columnist, Chris Rickert, called them “whiners.”)
  • I wish the State Journal had denounced the terrorists who tried to shout down conservative speaker Ben Shapiro on the UW-Madison campus on November 16. (Ironically, the speech was titled “Dismantling Safe Spaces.”) (Badger Herald, here)
  • I wish the State Journal would have demanded passage of the Campus Free Speech Act but it passed the Assembly last week without its editorial endorsement, without the votes of Madison legislative delegation, and without a single Democrat, 61-36.

But there’s still time to speak out in favor of Good ol’ Free Speech! The Campus Free Speech Act is now before the State Senate, where it is known as SB 250.

Memo to Publisher John Humenik, editor John Smalley, edit page editor Scott Milfred: The First Amendment is meaningless if YOU have free speech but no one else can speak freely. Free speech for some but not all is no free speech at all!

Congratulations to James Wigderson and RightWisconsin for its new direction. And Thank you Charlie Sykes for all you have done for Wisconsin conservatism and all you will do in the future.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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2 Responses to Free speech for some but not all is no free speech at all!

  1. Pingback: Want true diversity on campus? Protect speech AND hire conservatives! | Stately Blaska Manor

  2. Batman Lives says:

    I found the militaristic pre-dawn raids and associated gag orders truly chilling.
    I was not living here at the time but followed from afar.
    What was the general response of Madisonians afterward?

    First They Came

    “First they came …” is a poem written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Wikipedia, off the Internet.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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