Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

Today's Springfield Sunday Republican is a perfect example of the things print MSM does right even in this instant, always on Internet age: Tailoring articles to the moment--with the moment of course being the celebration of our freedom, the birth of our great nation.

Page one above the fold (written by a Managing Editor) featured a patriotic, advance teaser for the Barnes Air National Guard air show coming up in August and on the sports front break page a typical "give 'em Hell" column from outdoor editor Frank Sousa colorfully illustrating an incident from his Harry Truman like past where he kicks a protester in the ass for wearing an American flag on their butt.

Since I once got into it with Mr. Sousa 25 years ago on the Kennedy-Thurmond mailorder martial arts weapons bill and he still buys ink by the barrel, all I'll say is my journalism professor would probably not recommend a physical reaction to folks exercising their First Amendment rights, but I can't say I disagree with his sentiments.

I remember a still popular local TV news anchor once telling me he almost covered the flag burning incident at Amherst College five weeks after 9/11, but something came up at the last minute. A few Hampshire College kids and their professor crashed that patriotic rally and threw a flag on the ground and stomped on it while chanting "this flag doesn't represent us" as another protester (all dressed in black) ignited a American flag--with that searing photo appearing on the front page of the Boston Globe.

He said he would have put down his microphone and punched one of them. Again, can't say I disagree with his sentiments--just, maybe, the methods.

And not to be left out--as Amherst seldom is--another article later about the District Attorney turning over to the Attorney General the "investigation" into blogging by Amherst School Committee member Catherine Sanderson and how it could--they hope--violate the Open Meeting Law (dare I dub this "bloggergate"?)

But with the ACLU declaring OML--even if it did apply--trumped by the First Amendment, that most basic of American rights we celebrate today, I don't think Ms. Sanderson's husband will have to learn how to bake a cake with a hack saw hidden within.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Larry, do you have any idea what would happen to you were you a real UMass student and wrote what you just did?

There is no freedom on this campus. And I might need a cake with a hacksaw blade inside....