Friday, October 5

Can you draw a line on freedom of speech?

Generally I am not one to be getting all political. But every now and then something comes along and my mouth, or perhaps fingertips, can not be stopped. The whole incident between Alan Jones and our fearless red head leader of the country, Julia Gillard is one of those times.

In case you by chance are not an avid fan of this shock jock or Australian politics and have missed all the excitement let me bring you up to speed.

Within a social setting loud mouth Jones essentially said that the recently deceased father of our Prime Minister died with shame based on some of her actions at times.

Now before we go to much further there are a few things I need to say. Firstly I cannot stand to listen to Alan Jones. My preferred radio station plays his apparent best of for an hour every week day. I am glad that during that hour I have things other than listening to the radio to do.

On a good day I find Alan Jones to be one eyed, condescending and deeply in love with Tony Abbott. I am too polite to share how I feel about him on a not so good day. That being said I am not sure he deserves to be taken off the air though.

There is no denying that what he said was hurtful, uncalled for and totally out of line. But he did not say it to Gillard's face, in fact he did not even say it on air. He said it in the company of what he thought were friends, who he was probably trying to impress with his stupid dry sense of humour.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but we do live in a free and democratic country don't we? Freedom of speech and being able to say what we think and how we feel is one of the many reasons people go out of their way to come here.

By demanding a radio station cancel a show based on what the host said in private is surely crushing that whole freedom of speech concept isn't it?

The brand sponsorship being pulled however is another matter altogether. If sponsors would rather not be associated with such scandalous, hurtful remarks then more power to them. It is their money,their brand,their decision on who represents them. It is by no means the same as telling him he can no longer speak.

Just to add a further twist to my thoughts, had the radio station decided to sack him I would have fully supported the move. Again their money, their choice and all that. My issue is with the concept of not liking what someone says and therefore wishing to cease the opportunity for them to be heard.

Does freedom of speech have a line that can be crossed?
Are the times when people should be stopped from expressing their point of view?

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