Corporate Censorship

What would you say if a large, bureaucratic organization forced an individual out his or her job for publishing material that some might find offensive? It seems that, for Mark Steyn, it depends on whether this organization is a private corporation or a government. Witness this from his column on the infamous Danish cartoons:

“Back in Jutland, the cartoonists had originally accepted the Muhammad assignment in order to test the boundaries of freedom of speech in Denmark. And they failed only insofar as the episode tested freedom’s boundaries not in Denmark, where nobody has been prosecuted; nor in the U.S., where CNN’s craven straddle artfully finessed the issue; nor in France, where the sole editor to publish the cartoons was subsequently fired by his boss, as is a private employer’s right;”

Oh okay, so a private company can censor, got it. What about a government? Not so much:

“No, the Western jurisdiction in which the Danish cartoons have most comprehensively demonstrated the constraints on free expression is our own decayed dominion: only in Canada have the commissars of the state launched an official investigation for the alleged “crime” of publishing the cartoons.”

Keep in mind that, as disagreeable as you may find the complaint against Levant, all Ezra had to do here was answer some questions, he has incurred no financial loss and, if anything, has greatly enhanced his public profile. This is Ezra’s wardrobe malfunction. This French guy (who Steyn cannot even be bothered to name) lost his job over this. But, no big deal, that’s an employer’s right – to censorship.

If the government censors someone, that’s a crime to Steyn, but if a private enterprise does this, that’s okay. Wonderful, nice to see another right-wing champion of free speech in action.

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