The terrorist attacks on French targets has reignited the debate over free speech in the US, along with the overtly subjective term, hate speech, which the everyone-gets-a-trophy crowd seeks to ban without considering the implications.
The First Amendment is not there to coddle niceties, but rather to vehemently protect the most reprehensible of speech, because all freedom of expression matters, because when you begin to stifle one type of speech you put the government in the position of deciding what they are offended by. The point of the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights specifically, is not to tell us what we have the right to do but to remind the government of what they cannot do.
How would we feel if fundamentalist Christians were the majority in the Congress and passed legislation that said public proselytizing by Jews, Muslims and Buddhists was forbidden because it offended the majority of Americans. Is that the country we want to live in? What if a liberal-oriented Congress said that statements about big government or wasteful entitlement programs or support for entrepreneurs was ‘hateful’ to poor people and therefore banned?
The hate-speech feel-gooders need to get their heads out of their asses and remember that the best way to protect all our freedoms is to staunchly protect the rights of every American, including the journalists, to hold any opinion they choose, so long as they don’t further their cause through violence against persons or property.
Here is an excellent article on the subject from Reason magazine from this past September. I urge you to read it. Don’t like that one? Read this one with comments from one of the great thinkers of our age, the late Christopher Hitchens.