Three cheers for consistency

AntiBushDemonstratorsA group best known for its defense of the free-speech rights of traditional religious believers has decided — acting in a totally consistent manner — to get involved in the defense of a protestor for a case that most would consider “on the left,” in terms of politics. The group to which I am referring is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The problem with discussing the MSM coverage of this case is that I cannot find any.

Thus, here is the opening of its press release on the matter.

Hampton University in Virginia has decided not to expel at least five of seven students for passing out anti-Bush flyers without university approval. …

“While we are relieved that the students were not expelled merely for passing out flyers, the fact that Hampton punished the students at all contradicts its alleged commitment to free speech,” remarked FIRE President David French.

Seven students at the private institution faced trouble with Hampton administrators after November 2, when they and others spent about half an hour in Hampton’s student center passing out flyers on issues including Hurricane Katrina, the Sudan and the Iraq war.

Maybe the news reports are out there, but I can’t find anything to read about this fascinating case. Am I missing something somewhere?

And, not to serve as this group’s press aide, but it seems that it just won another victory in a case that kind of blurs the lines between left and right. This time around, FIRE was fighting on behalf of the free-speech rights of a Muslim who spoke out against homosexuality. Once again, I am forced to turn to the press release for information.

A Muslim student employee at William Paterson University (WPU) in New Jersey has finally been cleared of baseless sexual harassment charges. With the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Jihad Daniel forced the public university to officially revoke the punishment it inflicted on him after he expressed his religious opinion of homosexuality in a private e-mail to a professor.

Alas, I cannot find coverage of this case in mainstream media, even through it contains hooks linked to a number of highly controversial issues.

Doesn’t anyone out there in a newsroom or two care about the free-speech rights of minority groups and anti-war protestors? Or is there some other dynamic at work here?

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • http://www.bluffton.edu/~bergerd Dan Berger

    Actually, in the WPU case the President was clearly correct. “Perversion” is not a term with neutral connotations, and if there is indeed a written policy prohibiting the use of derogatory language toward members of a list of “protected groups” Mr. Daniel was in violation.

    Whether there should be such a policy or not, Mr. Daniel was in violation.

  • brian

    You might want to check this site out: http://www.maynardije.org/columns/dickprince/051202_prince/) for more on the Hampton Case and some MSM coverage.

  • tmatt

    Brian:

    Thanks. There is a local column on the case.

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/columnists/dp-27586cm0nov27,0,543803.column?col


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