'Freedom of Speech' Means Helen Thomas, Too
In wake of 'indefensible' remarks, UK commentator sees double standard
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2010 12:57 PM CDT
Helen Thomas sits next to Bill Plante of CBS in the East Room of the White House, March 30, 2010. Thomas abruptly retired Monday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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(Newser) – The remark that ended Helen Thomas' career "was, quite simply, a disgraceful, thoughtless and indefensible statement"—but she does have a constitutional right to share her indefensible opinions. That contrarian view comes from across the Atlantic, where Guardian media blogger Roy Greenslade is weighing the "wider implications" of Thomas' ouster.

The agency that booked Thomas' speeches dumped her, too, and that raises a red flag. "So, in the land of the free, where freedom of speech is guaranteed under the constitution, a person who expresses what are deemed to be controversial views is effectively gagged," writes Greenslade, who's keeping the Guardian's comment moderators extra busy today. "It is one of those rare occasions in which one can see clearly how people in America who are willing to express anti-establishment opinions are demonized, marginalized and finally excluded from public debate."