The Abuse of Freedom of Speech

September 29, 2008

Freedom of Speech is our first amendment and is one of the greatest qualities of our country. As long as it’s true, we can express ourselves any way we want. At any point in time, you can get thousands of different news sources and therefore form your own opinions and further your individuality. We know that this freedom is a great thing, but can it be taken too far?

This weeks blog isn’t about the media, but instead a specific medium, Juicy Campus. I stumbled upon this website a year ago and after looking through, I vowed to never go there again. However, my friend came up this weekend to visit and she started looking through it to find any dirt on her sorority at her school. I read a few posts, and I must say that I haven’t been that disgusted in a long time.

If you aren’t familiar with the website, here is what you can expect when visiting: Shit Talking. That is basically it. It’s designed as a forum for college students to post topics and reply to other topics. This could have potential, if people actually posted legitimate posts about their school like, who they think is going to win homecoming court, or what the best class to take is, but Juicy Campus has taken trash talk to another level.

Every post is another bashing session on a certain fraternity or sorority…or even worse, an individual. Don’t people know that this can seriously hurt someone’s feelings, or potentially ruin an opportunity they may have, like I don’t know…getting a job, being promoted, making friendships…Chances are, 90% of these things aren’t even true.

Now, I appreciate freedom of speech just as much as anyone else. I love being able to blog about anything I could want to, but this site is abusing this right we have. When can you draw the line between free speech and slander? Should there be laws on the extent what you can and can not say?

To be honest, I don’t know what the right thing to do is. It’s a free country, and forums like Juicy Campus may be fun for free time, but in my opinion, it is an abuse to our given right. People need to grow up and respect each other and our freedom of expression.

View the website here


Media Hawks

September 22, 2008

Earlier today as I was browsing through various news websites, I found an article from Fox News published on September 1, titled “Palin’s 17-Year-Old Daughter is pregnant.”

Surprise, the media has dug up some dirt.

Muckraking is an age-old game between the media and public figures, except now in the 21st Century it seems the media are passing important concerns by, and scooping up the most superficial mud.

As soon as anything leaks to the press that is juicy enough to sell some papers, they publish it as quickly as you can say “gossip.” This time, it’s the recent news of Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol’s pregnancy. The 17-year-old, the article reports, is due in December, and says she plans on marrying the father.

Bristol Palin and boyfriend, Levi Johnson

Bristol Palin and boyfriend, Levi Johnston

The Palin’s may have wanted this to be private, because as you can imagine, it may hurt Sarah Palin’s image as Vice President for the Republican Party, who we all know is a huge advocate for pro-life decisions and wed-lock pregnancies, but the media knows no boundaries for personal feelings.

In light of the media hawks swooping down on this recent news, one begs to ask the question: did this revealing or prediction that the media would eventually uncover this, influence Bristol’s decision to keep the baby and marry her boyfriend at age 17?

More than likely, the answer is “yes.” No doubt Sarah Palin would rather have the media find out that her daughter was keeping the baby and marrying the boyfriend so she could emphasize their support of traditional family values.

The article quotes Focus on the Family President James Dobson in saying, “We have always encouraged the parents to love and support their children and always advised the girls to see their pregnancies through…That is what the Palins are doing, and they should be commended once again for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances”

If the media found out that Bristol had an abortion, the Republican Party’s support from super-conservatives would decrease. That’s a lot of pressure on one family, and especially on one girl who hasn’t even graduated high school.

I understand that the media has a job to do, and they do it well, but it would be nice if occasionally, they could put themselves into someone else’s shoes.

Read the entire pregnancy article here

Sigh…Children, Children

September 15, 2008

It seems that “Nanny nanny boo boo” has runaway from the playgrounds of elementary school and joined the circus of the presidential election. Insults to Obama and McCains’ characters are being slung harder than I have ever seen in previous races. I’d make a safe bet to say that 95 % of the video campaign ads playing right now are at least 70% insult. Let’s take a look with the first video this year that started this tattle tale streak.

Case in point. The entire first 26 seconds (86%) consist of mocking the opponent, vicious accusations, attacking attacking continuous attacking…and then at 27 seconds John McCain’s angelic face appears on the screen as he tells you he approves this message. Not once does he mention his plan for presidency. Why exactly is this a problem?

These men are only the future leaders of the FREE WORLD. Making each other look incompetent shouldn’t be top priority. How about briefly explaining your foreign, economic, environmental and domestic policies, or telling us how you are going to fix the situation we are in. Those things should be priority.

These elementary insults through attack ads not only make the attacker look petty and desperate for support but they are belittling the importance of politics in America leading to voter apathy. If candidates want support and a strong rallying team, they need to concentrate on impressing us with their qualities and quit pointing fingers.