Saturday, February 28, 2009

Defense to blogosphere: drop dead

A Circuit Court judge back in Knoxville where I grew up is entertaining a defense motion to force the local paper to moderate comments or prevent anonymous comments. Really. Never mind the First Amendment. The judge is not just laughing and giving the motion the back of his hand.

Comments in the News-Sentinel are no doubt filled with bigotry, bile, and prejudgement of the case. But I'm sure the jury pool was already poisoned. The defendants are black and charged with a heinous crime of carjacking, multiple rape, and murder against a white couple.

That jury pool was completely capable of poisoning itself just by breathing. Read any comments thread anywhere in the country and you'll find the haters spilling over from talk radio.

Should the judge engage in unconstitutional prior restraint, here's my offer: Come here and comment.

My guarantee for the racists: I'll ridicule you for the small size of your brain, your heart, and your balls. I may even whack your comments, though I've only deleted one comment here ever. Just because the Constitution guarantees you free speech doesn't mean you're free from my abuse of your ignorance and hate.

Best of all, though, the judge can't touch me here in Massachusetts. It's the new reality. Get used to it. And if he could touch me, well, we don't get to keep these rights if we're not willing to stand up for them. I'm willing.

No comments: