CBS News | Support For 1st Amendment Slipping: Support for the First Amendment has eroded significantly since Sept. 11 and nearly half of Americans now think the constitutional amendment on free speech goes too far in the rights it guarantees, according to a new poll. [...] "Many Americans view these fundamental freedoms as possible obstacles in the war on terrorism," said Ken Paulson, executive director of the First Amendment Center, based in Arlington, Va., which commissioned the survey. Almost half also said the media has been too aggressive in asking the government questions about the war on terrorism.
Wonderful. Just wonderful.
The fun part is reading the details. Nobody is particularly interested in having their own first amendment rights curtailed, you understand. They just want it to happen to everyone else. Therefore, we should infringe on freedom of religion -- especially those Muslims, gotta censor those Muslims. 48% believe that newspapers shouldn't criticize the government. (But 70% believe that newspapers should publish freely. Um ... what? How is that possible? What sort of odd little thing is going on in people's minds to make them think that those two things go together? To be honest, that alone makes me want to know exactly what questions were asked and how they were asked, because those conclusions simply do not make sense stated in the same survey.)
And of course, people want to amend the Constitution to prohibit flag burning. (But they don't mind printing disposable versions in newspapers -- which actually is illegal -- or writing all over them. Right. WhatEVER.)
When President Bush addressed the nation last September 20, he cautioned us that "freedom and fear are at war." He noted that the terrorists targeted the United States because we embrace liberty. "The terrorists hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other," the president told us.
Apparently, we just don't embrace freedom of religion or speech all that often these days.Posted by iain at August 30, 2002 03:00 PM