Freedom of Speech

Judging from the e-mail this weblog has generated the last few days, there are more than a few of you who are confused about what freedom of speech is, and what it entails. So I’m going to be all enlightening and shit, and help those of you who have never come across this before find the Truth.

This is a private forum. It is a privately owned and operated website, upon which resides this privately owned and operated weblog. Neither a legal nor a moral requirement exists, even in the United States, for giving equal time to opposing opinions to anyone in private venues. If it did, atheists would routinely be government-mandated speakers in churches and Nazis would be up at the front of synagogues, and the Klan would regularly claim center stage at NAACP meetings. And vice versa, of course.

The opinions in this weblog are mine, but if you disagree with them, I am not subject to giving you equal time. I may do so, if you have something interesting to say, if you can stay on topic, and if you express yourself clearly and can avoid flames. (And if you don’t badmouth my country or my President.) I have frequently let replies to which I disagree stand — I rarely even go in and post comments or rebuttals to them. I’ve had my say, I let you have yours. I sometimes even let flames stand, if I feel that the flamer is proving my point for me.

However, I don’t have to do this. I am under no obligation to, nor do I intend to, provide a forum for people whose ideas I find execrable or stupid, or for people who, when given an opportunity to get on track and on topic, fail to take it. I have no interest in pretending to be unbiased, nor in providing ‘fair and balanced coverage’ of the issues I take on. That’s Fox’s gig, they’re good at it, they can have it.

My goals in being here are to present writing as it is done by someone who makes a living at it, and to occasionally put down an opinion on something that has caught my attention. That’s my freedom of speech. To get your own, you’re going to have to get your own weblog. Freedom of the press belongs to the one who owns the press, and this press is mine.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

5 comments… add one
  • Robert and Ari Feb 26, 2003 @ 12:43

    To Jean:

    Try free. There are still free hosting sites and people who don’t bother to register domain names. It’s a little hard to set that up with a library computer, but once you’ve got access at all the freebies are still there — with their minor disadvantages, but they exist.

    Robert and Ari >^..^<

  • Robert A. Sloan Feb 26, 2003 @ 12:42

    Darn right, Holly.

    Your weblog, your opinions, that is truth in itself. You don’t need to show the opposing points of view. I don’t think my comments were offensive, but if you scrubbed my comment to the previous post that generated all the furor — then you did and it’s your right to do so.

    To me the beauty of the Web is that’s true — it’s the most powerful medium for free speech there is. In separate, independent, original little blogs.

    Way cool.

    You got inspiring this time.

    Robert and Ari >^..^<

  • Katherine Feb 23, 2003 @ 22:19

    >>Freedom of the press belongs to the one who owns the press, and this press is mine. << Hey! That’s my line! You and I disagree on a lot of things, but I’m right with you on this one. The beauty of the Internet is that anyone can own a press, not that anyone can spray graffiti all over someone else’s space.

  • Joel Feb 23, 2003 @ 19:33

    ??? People actually didn’t understand this was a private forum? I thought it was quite clear.

  • Jean Feb 23, 2003 @ 15:54

    And why is this so hard for people to understand? For those of you who want a voice, get your own website–domain names are cheap, and so is hosting. Don’t expect Holly to provide it for you–it ain’t gonna’ happen.

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