Advertisers and free speech


A reader has some thoughts that bear on the recent Glenn Beck situation.

To the Editor:

The right and freedom granted by the First Amendment as “Freedom of Speech” does not demean the right to advertise or not on that which, by freedom of choice, we do not wish to be subjected, especially if we disagree a particular point of view.

Freedom of speech is a hallowed right in this nation. So is freedom of expression. Both, however, lead to the freedom of choice as to who and what opinions we as Americans wish to adapt.

What may be a “right” under the Constitution is not necessarily “right” when expressing hate-filled sentiment. The right, therein, lies in the equal freedom of acceptance and choice of opinion, not in its state solely as a “right of expression.”

Just because you can, doesn’t mean that at times you should.

You are, with these freedoms, “responsible for your own actions.” If those actions, because of your right to opine are unpopular, you bear the consequences.

Living by your words is a given right to everyone in this great nation. But needless pandering to that opinion is not a right. It is a freedom granted not to.

As we have no right “not to be offended” in this country, we do have the right, however, to bear witness to the unpopularity of which we at times say.

Works both ways.


Joe Benson

Paso Robles, CA