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PA Printer Strikes Up Perfection —Cagle

August 2010
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Nichols plans on printing and shipping his banners of encouragement overseas as long as U.S. troops are serving their country, so this promises to be a commitment that will last into the foreseeable future.

SPEAKING OF FREEDOM: We are continually reminded that freedom comes at a cost. Some people give their lives in its defense, while others trample over it in squelching ideas they find offensive. As I write this, longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas has resigned from her reporting gig with Hearst newspapers over a remark where she suggested that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go home to Germany, Poland and America, etc. Her inflammatory remarks essentially ended a career that began in the 1940s.

The irony here is that the freedom of speech entitled to all Americans was shamelessly perverted via a mob mentality in the name of protecting an entire race of people from racial discrimination, and stripped away from a person who for more than half a century has done her part in championing the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights—which includes freedom of speech and the press. We must continuously recognize that the First Amendment was crafted to protect unpopular speech, and that it is an absolute.

For whatever reason, there was a rush to have Thomas ousted by Hearst in the name of swift justice. And, in that rush to portray Thomas as an ethnic cleanser who wanted to revisit the Holocaust, 99 percent of the public probably didn't know that she is a Lebanese immigrant whose memory and life predates the Israeli state, and whose obvious point of view is that Palestine is occupied land.

But I'm not picking sides in THAT battle. The point here is that Thomas' rant, however clumsy, mean spirited and open to interpretation it may have been, is constitutionally protected.

And, after 60 years on the political beat, perhaps she should have been given the benefit of the doubt—or at least the chance to defend her views, as opposed to the public skewering that she received.

Long live free speech, and may Helen find comfort in her role as its champion. PI

—Erik Cagle



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