There’s no asterisk on free speech

Published 8:58 am Monday, August 11, 2008

Today, we present quotations related to the First Amendment:

“The Bill of Rights does not come with an asterisk reading ‘unenforceable during time of war.’” — Gene Healy, senior editor, Cato Institute, 2004

“The information that is lost as a result of censorship of the press by an authoritarian government not only deceives the public, it can also devastatingly mislead the government itself.” — Amartya Sen, economist, Harvard University, 2004

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“As a writer, it’s very difficult to reach people because it requires them to read.” — Joel Stein, columnist, Los Angeles Times, 2007

“First Amendment freedoms must be fought for and won over and over again. The first step in this battle is to understand the threats we face.” — Donna Demac, lawyer, 1997

“The media food chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” — Howard Kurtz, media critic, The Washington Post, 1998

“Traditional newsrooms are not learning environments; they are habituating environments.” — Davis Merritt, former editor, The Witchita (Kan.) Eagle, 2001

“The First Amendment stands for the notion that when it comes to free speech and a free press, government is always the problem, never the solution.” — David Bartlett, communications expert, 1995

“We are the freest nation in the world, except when we’re afraid.” — John Seigenthaler, First Amendment Center founder, 2006

“With freedom of speech, the accent is not on the speech itself but the right to say it. And the right of the freedom of the press is the right to read it or hear it.” — Lenny Bruce, comedian, 1965

“There are better ways to protect the eyes of children than to stifle the thoughts of adults.” — Editorial, USA Today, 1996