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3/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Posted: 7/4/2001 3:42:10 AM EDT
Whither the 1st Amendment A Boston Herald editorial Sunday, July 1, 2001 Sometimes it's better not to know what the public is thinking. Take a recent survey on the First Amendment that shows many Americans believe there's way too much free speech. According to a poll by the University of Connecticut, for the First Amendment Center, a mere 58 percent disagree with the proposition that the First Amendment has ``gone too far,'' down from 70 percent two years ago. Apparently, one of the things that's soured many Americans on the Bill of Rights is media coverage of the 2000 presidential election. People are still upset that the networks declared George W. Bush the winner in Florida on Nov. 8, when the outcome wasn't resolved for several weeks. Network news organizations did not heap glory on themselves here. But is that any reason to dis the First Amendment? ``Americans respect the principles of free speech, but are often troubled but their practice,'' said Ken Paulson, the center's executive director. But the First Amendment was written precisely to protect speech that some find troubling. There's no need to guarantee expression that's not controversial. If 42 percent of Americans think the First Amendment has gone too far, they should try living in a society where dissent goes nowhere, because there are no protections on its expression. http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/edtb07012001.htm
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