Tag Archives: freedom speech

Freedom Of Press Means Lies Can Be Printed

It is regrettable that members of the United States Congress do not yet understand the meaning of freedom of the press. The Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, printed a ridiculous story that lacked any solid evidence and was obviously a lie in order to discredit the Israel armed forces. Two American congressmen, Robert Wexler and Elton Gallegy, urged Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Renfeldt to disown the story. He gently responded to the congressmen who undoubtedly were trying to pose as “friends of Israel, ” that in his nation, “the political authorities may not pass judgment on freedom of the press and freedom of expression” since these freedoms were a “linchpin of our country.”

Reinfeldt pointed out that his government opposes anti-semitism, but it is one thing to have such views and another to attempt imposing them on members of the media. Perhaps, Americans after eight years of Bush and his manipulation of the press still don’t grasp that presidents and prime ministers must not intrude on the rights of the media to be wrong.

Really Sing In China–Or Else!

During the recent Olympic Games the world smiled at Chinese antics when nine year-old Lin Mioke was praised for her singing performance but it later emerged she was merely miming to a recording made by Yang Pelyi, aged seven, who was yanked because officials believed she did not look attractive enough to be allowed to sing. It appears miming is very common in
China and it has reached the point where it is difficult to determine who actually is playing a musical instrument or singing. A new directive issued by the Chinese government bans miming at an actual performance in order to ensure those who paid an admission price get what they paid for.

Zheng Jun, a singer who is rather famous, told the Shanghai based newspaper, Noon News, that less than 20% of Chinese stars really sang at their own concerts. “I once met a well-known singer” he said,”who didn’t even recognize his song as it was playing because it had been so long since he’d truly performed it.”

Now, how about the Chinese government banning bloggers from having to tell what the government wants told and be allowed to tell what they want to say?

German Neo-Nazis Under Fire

The list of legal problems impacting the far-right German NPD grew longer when its party chairman is forced next week to respond to charges his group distrubuted racist propaganda during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. According to a report in the Berlin daily Tgenspiegel, Udo Voight, head of the NPD and two senior party members, will be charged with incitement and defamation stemming from propaganda that was distributed which was entitled: “White! Not just the jersey color!” The comments were apparently directed at Patrick Owomoyei, the son of a Nigerian man and a German woman. A second flyer described him as “Kunta Kinte” referring to the character in an American novel and TV production.

Last September, Hamburg party chair, Jorgen Rieger, was charged with Holocaust denial and other members are being charged with distributing racist propaganda. I deplore what these men are saying, but the issue of freedom of speech is also involved. The Western world reacted with fury when Muslims protested Danish newspaper caricatures of Mohammed, but apparently freedom of speech is not provided idiots and racists in the NPD. If we truly stand behind the principle of freedom of expression, the right to publish cartoons or insulting flyers have equal rights. I see no evidence of what they did as violating the famous Supreme Court denial of freedom to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater. They are fools, men filled with hate, and the best antidote to their anger is the court of public opinion.