Okay, so I'm still capable of being shocked, even In These Times. This is the entirety of an Associated Press report I read yesterday:
"1st Amendment support rises:
Americans' support for First Amendment freedoms has returned to levels not seen since before Sept. 11, an annual survey shows. The survey released Monday found that 65 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement "the First Amendement goes too far in the rights it guarantees.""
Support for the First Amendment is RISING?!?!?! Is that supposed to be good news? Support for the First Amendment actually DROPPED at some point!??!? September 11 was that point? I presume 2001 was the year in that date, they don't actually say in the story. So those planes and buildings were destroyed by freedom of expression, then, is that it? 35% of Americans think freedom of speech and religion and assembly GO TOO FAR?!? GO TOO FAR?!?!? Maybe I shouldn't be that affected or surprised but, look, I know there's always a faction that wants to curtail our freedoms but I can't believe they phrase it that nakedly. Wasn't this all hashed out, somewhere around 1790? I'm guessing these are our most hardcore patriots saying this.
But...September 11...First Amendement...THE FUCK?!?!?! GOES TOO FAR?!?!?!?! What's the logic here? Could someone please explain the sequence of thought to me? Terrorists commit mass murder against us, therefore free speech must be limited. That concept apparently makes sense to one out of three Americans. What am I missing here? Here's the best I can come up with:
"The terrorists hate freedom...and maybe they have a point!"
Here's how it works. Since the terrorists hate freedom, we have to limit freedom so we don't make them mad. Otherwise they'll behead us. They'll diguise themselves as Wal-Mart greeters, and rig the turnstile to decapitate us. (Really, I read it in USA Today). So we have to make it look like we've already cut our own heads off. Then the terrorists will go away. See? Simple.
My other hypothesis: freedom of expression applies to people, not to TV and movies and other media. Your television is not a tax-paying citizen, therefore it doesn't have the rights accorded citizens of the United States. So your TV really can't voice its opinions.