Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Happy Birthday American Censorship  (Read 4243 times)

Section Eight

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 257
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2004, 11:02:02 AM »
I donít believe she was fired for political speech.  In fact, if she had presented her political opinion in a non-vulgar, non sexually-orientated, non-offensive manner I believe she would still be employed through Slimfast and she would have received no chastising comments.

Whoopi Goldberg was the spokesman for Slimfast; therefore, comments and actions made by her reflect upon the company whether she wants them to or not.  If she makes comments that reflect badly upon herself and in the long run Slimfast, then by all means she put her own job in jeopardy.  Slimfast wants their spokesmen to reflect positively upon them.


I don't think it is vague.  It's rather direct and exact.  She spoke a political opinion and she was fired.  That's pretty clear.

Why ask if she had said something bad about Slimfast?  That would not be political speech and it wouldn't have changed their actions.

What do I suggest?  Nothing.  I would not suggest any official action for or against Whoopi's speech.  Slimfast has a right to exercise their contractual options.  I would not interfere with that.

What I am saying is that it is not good for a society when political speech is punished.  That the current political atmosphere does not encourage fully free exchange of ideas.

That's all.

JeffJoe,

I believe your statement that, "Political speech was punished," is way to vauge to base a discussion around.  There are too many underlying elements about the Whoopi situation to just make a statement like that.

Yes, Whoopi was fired for making a statement.  However, what if she had gone on TV and lied about Slimfast?  What if she had went on TV and said that Slimfast products had been linked to severe medical problems, when they aren't?  Would you still be making the same negative statements about the situation?

An American has every right to freedom of speech.  They can even lie.  Businesses can't, but people can (except in special situations).  However, they will be socially reprimanded for this.  They constitution protects freedom of speech in one aspect:  the government cannot prosocute a person for speaking their minds.  Period.  That is all the constitution does.  However, there are other concequences for public speak that people must be aware of.  If you truly want to get your message across in America, then you have to accept the concequences that go along with that fact.  In fact, the message usually is more powerful if you are "punished" for it.

My question is, how would you deal with this scenario, JeffJoe?  You have made a lot of general comments, but you haven't given any solution.  Would you make the government punish the people who digrade people that speak their mind?  Would you prevent Slimfast from acting on their legal right to terminate an employee?  Let's hear about some solutions, not just about the problems.

Thanks and Gig 'Em,
Jason

Bman

  • Guest
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2004, 11:04:33 AM »
Fair Enough. But let's say it was political speech. I really want to know how many people sincerely believe that it's always wrong when someone is fired or otherwise penalized for political speech, even extreme speech (like racism, anti-Semitism, etc.)

buster

  • Guest
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2004, 11:07:12 AM »
Not me (meaning I don't believe it's always wrong...), but I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

Fair Enough. But let's say it was political speech. I really want to know how many people sincerely believe that is always wrong when someone is fired or otherwise penalized for political speech, even extreme speech (like racism, anti-Semitism, etc.)

MaroonOut2005

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1666
  • Attending: Notre Dame
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2004, 11:17:22 AM »
Exactly, Section Eight.  

JeffJoe, I disagree with your statement about its bad for society if political speech isn't punished.  That philsophy breeds a mass of people that want to say whatever they want but don't want to suffer the social concequences.  In a scenario like that, everyone's voice is drained, and no one's message gets across.  Or, even worse, the few in power will dominate the stage.  Many of the most influencial people arose out of social reprimand for their political speech.  This is why people respected them and listened to what they have to say.

I'm sorry if I'm defensive, but I think our culture breeds people that want the freedom to do whatever they want but don't want their to be any concequences.  You can't prevent the concequences of political speech without trampling on the rights of others.  Either you will prevent others from publicly disagreeing, or you will punish the companies that lose profit because of the statements.  Loss of profits equal loss of jobs.  More people will be hurt if Whoopi was not punished.

Like I said before, the constitution protects the government from government prosecution of political speech.  Social and financial concequences of political speech will simply act as a conduit for those to really need to get their message across to do so, without being drained out by the countless other people that just want to be heard.  Our  capitalist structure is the foundation for this fact.  The strong survive, and will make a difference.

Thanks and Gig 'Em,
Jason

I donít believe she was fired for political speech.  In fact, if she had presented her political opinion in a non-vulgar, non sexually-orientated, non-offensive manner I believe she would still be employed through Slimfast and she would have received no chastising comments.

Whoopi Goldberg was the spokesman for Slimfast; therefore, comments and actions made by her reflect upon the company whether she wants them to or not.  If she makes comments that reflect badly upon herself and in the long run Slimfast, then by all means she put her own job in jeopardy.  Slimfast wants their spokesmen to reflect positively upon them.



onehandedreader

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 115
  • Balzac, Jaws of Death
    • View Profile
    • how real can one keep it?
    • Email
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2004, 06:57:42 PM »
i have my own theory.  Whoopi's dismissal had nothing to do with what she said. 

the day before whoopi was fired, Sister Act II was played on TBS. Surely one of the SlimFast executives was doing the same thing i was that day, still in bed with a mean hangover, trying to get rid of it anyway possible before spending the evening waiting on the especially unpleasant patrons of the sh**ty italian restaurant where he works.  upon finding out that sister act II was the only thing on, he understandably lashed out at the first target that came to mind.  it went something like this:

'yawn..sister act II?  f**k you, whoopi...you're cut'

that's not how i feel though.  i just love whoopi goldberg.

   
www.antihumanity.com
how real can one keep it?

jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2004, 07:29:47 PM »
If you honestly think that punishing speech is a good thing, I'm afraid to disagree with you.   


Exactly, Section Eight. 

JeffJoe, I disagree with your statement about its bad for society if political speech isn't punished.  That philsophy breeds a mass of people that want to say whatever they want but don't want to suffer the social concequences.  In a scenario like that, everyone's voice is drained, and no one's message gets across.  Or, even worse, the few in power will dominate the stage.  Many of the most influencial people arose out of social reprimand for their political speech.  This is why people respected them and listened to what they have to say.


jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2004, 07:44:11 PM »
You can't believe she was fired for being vulgar.  Are you suggesting that Slimfast didn't know she swears all the time?

I donít believe she was fired for political speech.  In fact, if she had presented her political opinion in a non-vulgar, non sexually-orientated, non-offensive manner I believe she would still be employed through Slimfast and she would have received no chastising comments.


jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2004, 07:45:59 PM »
I don't know.  I did not say it was wrong of them to fire her.  They have that right under the law.  I said it is not a good political climate when political speech is punished, but don't tell Jason I said that.  He may want to punish me.

Fair Enough. But let's say it was political speech. I really want to know how many people sincerely believe that it's always wrong when someone is fired or otherwise penalized for political speech, even extreme speech (like racism, anti-Semitism, etc.)

MaroonOut2005

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1666
  • Attending: Notre Dame
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2004, 07:47:05 PM »
HAHA, you missed my point.  I'm not saying I would punish someone for political speech.  I'm not saying anyone should intentionally punish a person for political speech.  I'm just saying that, since we live in a society that embraces freedom, it would be impossible to stop social punishment of political speech because you couldn't do so without trampling on the freedoms of other entities.  Its ironic, but an inevitablity.  However, let's pretend we can live in a world where everyone can say want they want, without ANY sort of punishment (that includes society, finanical, etc).  If this were the case, how would you be able to tell who was truly passionate about their cause and who was just trying to hear themselves talk?  In our society, the people who truly need to get their message across will do so, regardless of the concequences.  That fact makes their voice all the more powerful.  

Thanks and Gig 'Em,
Jason

If you honestly think that that punishing speech is a good thing, I'm afraid to disagree with you.  



jgruber

  • Guest
Re: Happy Birthday American Censorship
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2004, 07:52:04 PM »
Actually, you said you thought it is good for society to punish political speech. 

It would not be impossible to stop punishment for political speech.  If I give a speech criticizing the government, my boss cannot fire me unless we have signed a contract that prohibits me in some way.  Whoopi was fired because she diminished her value as a commercial spokesperson.  Her speech directly affected the value of the service she was contracted to provide.  Short of that, Slimfast would be out of line firing her.

How can it be a free society if my boss can fire just because he disagrees with my politics?  It used to work that way.  People were often threatened with firing or fired if they did not support the boss's candidate.  Laws were passed to make that illegal.


HAHA, you missed my point.  I'm not saying I would punish someone for political speech.  I'm not saying anyone should intentionally punish a person for political speech.  I'm just saying that, since we live in a society that embraces freedom, it would be impossible to stop social punishment of political speech because you couldn't do so without trampling on the freedoms of other entities.  Its ironic, but an inevitablity.  However, let's pretend we can live in a world where everyone can say want they want, without ANY sort of punishment (that includes society, finanical, etc).  If this were the case, how would you be able to tell who was truly passionate about their cause and who was just trying to hear themselves talk?  In our society, the people who truly need to get their message across will do so, regardless of the concequences.  That fact makes their voice all the more powerful. 

Thanks and Gig 'Em,
Jason

If you honestly think that that punishing speech is a good thing, I'm afraid to disagree with you.