The Price of Free Speech

It’s hard not to bear in mind that hundreds, probably more, were jailed in Teheran merely for protesting. In Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi is still jailed. In North Korea, two American journalists were tried and convicted for trying to obtain information about the reclusive country. The list of people in prison, house arrest or whatever detention who are tortured, harassed and or condemned for their political views, for what ought to be their right to exercise free speech, is very long indeed.
And then there are the excesses we engage in in the U.S. CNN has become too gossipy, Fox News too one sided, MSNBC is cultivating a liberal audience and talk radio is not only proliferating, it is also reaching for the sensational, the emotional, the superficial, the knee jerkings and all the opinionated rants time allows. Like many, I’ve decried them all. Suddenly after Iran, China et al, I remember anew that excesses are preferable to repression. If that’s the price of free speech, let’s all gladly pay it—but let’s all still work for a better way too.