Friday, October 08, 2004

Freedom of Press -- Texas Style?

When the Lone Star Iconoclast -- the newspaper in George Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas -- surprisingly endorsed John Kerry for president, the publication had 920 subscribers.

It now has less than 500.

According to Publisher Leon Smith, you can't buy the newspaper at a stand in Crawford -- the result of a shopkeeper boycott. Advertisers have pulled out. Angry callers have made their feeling known non-stop. Iconoclast reporters have been turned away from events other media is allowed to cover.

The Iconoclast endorsed Bush in 2000. But it also has endorsed Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter over the years. Those endorsements were met with letters to the editor, but no widespread boycott.

Smith has said that the newspaper will stay in business, for now, although it is likely to rely more heavily on the benevolence of liberals and civil liberties advocates from outside the Crawford area.

Is this freedom of the press, Texas-style?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it is called freedom of choice, American style.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it is called freedom of choice, American style.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it is called freedom of choice, American style.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of Choice? Sure. But is it fair? Is it a show of democracy by the conservatives? Hardly.

I think it's testament to how partisan and mean-spirited this campaign has been. And honestly, much of that mean-spiritedness can be attributed to Bush and Cheney (and the people writing their commercials).

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entire political season is disgusting. But its on both sides. From Michael Moore to the Swift Votes, to the idiot who bamboozled CBS, to Soros, 527s, Hollywood, the religious right, down to the campaigns. It has been personal, annoying, off the subject and disgusting. And it has been coming from both sides, either directly or by tacitly permitting things to air.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair?! Democracy conservative style ?! What kind of liberal tripe is this bullshit? There is nothing in the freedom of the press that indicates or even implies that the public has a duty or a responsibility to buy a fucking newspaper. If the consumer wishes to not purchase a paper for any reason, it is their right to do so. They might not like their politics, how they cover the local football team, or a variety of other reasons. No matter what reason it is, that choice lies with the consumer.

As to your bullshit argument about Freedom of the Press, I am not even in the fucking mood to give you an introduction to civics lesson, which had you ever studies civics, would not that the subject at hand relates to government action, not the economic and reading choices of individual consumers. But, that would deflate your childish little article and most of your site.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side of the political spectrum this morning, huh?

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

although i agree with what you are saying overall, lets try to keep this clean. just seems ridiculous to write curses. loses the effect.

9:41 PM  
Blogger don dzikowski said...

I think the angry blogger above misses the real point of David's argument.
It's not the issue of whether people decide to subscribe to a newspaper. It is, as David describes, of the paper's reporters being censored from covering local activities, and shopkeepers boycotting the newspaper, possibly due to fear of retaliation.
These actions suggest the strong conservative and rightwing stranglehold on the people in the area.
That is what is really frightening.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, the people quit buying the paper because the editorial board took a position that is in direct opposition to the public sentiment within their market, which they have every right to do. However, the populace has every right to express their displeasure by choosing to not purchase the paper. To make this into a freedom of the press, or First Amendment issue is childish, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of government versus private action. I guess a basic understanding of said concepts would be too much to expect from somebody that claims to be a journalist.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one is suggesting the good people of Crawford don't have a right to boycott the newspaper. But even conservatives should be willing to admit that trying to run the paper into the ground over one pro-Kerry editorial is what is truly childish.

When the shoe is on the other foot, conservatives shout about the "liberal thought police" or the "liberal political correctness machine." Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, eh?

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see. If the good people of Crawford wish to boycott the paper because of ANY reason, it is their right to do so. Period. The newspaper has the freedom to publish their views, but no freedom from any results of their choices. They do not have a right to sell papers, or rather, there is no right that anybody will actually buy their papers. Apparently, freedom of speech and freedom of the press only happens when the speaker in question agrees with the Democrats. When a conservative exercises their rights, it is something to be concerned about.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the question a constitutional freedom, or just plain old fairness? Is it fair for high-strung conservatives to try to force the local newspaper out of business because of one editorial it doesn't agree with?

Is this the sign of a civilized world?

Let's put it a different way. If liberal activists pressure enough advertisers into canceling contracts with Sinclair-owned channels, and force Sinclear to lose money (and potentially, if a boycott is successful enough, to lose the stations themselves), will conservatives be quiet? Will they say that's the right of Americans to express their outrage?

I doubt it.

10:03 PM  

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