The First Amendment
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I'm suprised that no one has had anything to say concerning Don Imus. Am I the only one who is disgusted at how the man was treated? As much as I found his particular remarks disgusting, he still has a right to freedom of speech same as that hate monger Al Sharpton.
First, yes, the guy is a jackass, and he is probably a racist, however, he does have the freedom to say what he wants--up to a point.
He was not really fired for what he said, he was fired because the profits of the company he worked for were threatened. He was suspended for his words, but he was sacked only when advertisers threatened to pull their spots--the only language understood by corporations.
I have freedom of speech in my everyday life, but my freedom of speech does not guarantee my employment. I’m not a celebrity, but if I am interviewed on a TV or radio show and I say something that in some way harms my employer, you bet I can be fired for it. Of course, being the litigious society that we are, I have the option of filing a lawsuit to protest my employer’s actions.
Indeed, I have the right to say whatever I want, but that doesn’t mean I should say whatever I want. Anything I say, or write for that matter, could have adverse affects on my life. If my girlfriend asks me if she looks fat, I have the right to say, “Yes, you do.” Of course, doing so will most likely result in me being single... ;-)
Even if he was fired for what he said, there is no First Amendment issue. The First Amendment does not apply to private employers. See Hudgens v. NLRB, 424 U.S. 507 (1976). Nor is a private individual guaranteed access to a platform from which to vent. See CBS v. DNC, 412 U.S. 94 (1973).
"Freedom of speech" has nothing to do with Imus' situation. The First Amendment limits government action in restricting speech. It has, and should have, nothing to say about what private corporate interests do in the workplace.
I've never heard that the First Amendment guarantees the right to be paid big bucks for airing your views on radio or tv.
If Imus has any rights in this case, they would be under the terms of his contract.
pretty much have to chime in and support what everyone else has said in response to this. don imus getting fired was not a restriction of his freedom of speech, it was a company firing an employee for doing their job poorly (or in a way that is likely to lose that company money).
a right to say what you want is not the same as a right to have someone put a microphone in front of you and air your views nationwide.
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