Emptied of expectation. Relax. (tinyjo) wrote,
Emptied of expectation. Relax.

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Speaking out.

Two censorship stories in the last couple of days made me think about freedom of speech again.

Firstly, we have Micheal Moore and Farenheit 911. I have no doubt that this will be a very inflammatory documentary but I'm surprised that Disney are prepared to take the bad publicity they're getting for pulling it. I wouldn't be surprised if they are being threatened by Jeb Bush though - that sounds about right for the way American politics works. I was pleased to see that it will get a UK release - we'll tell you all what it's like.

The other one was the story that the Law Lords overturned the appeal court judgement and ruled that the publication of photos of Naomi Campell leaving a narcotics anonymous meeting was not OK. This is one of those cases which I didn't really understand because for some reason it hinged not on the publication of the story per se, but the publication of the photo. They read an incredibily nasty and small minded statement from Piers Morgan out in response which had there been any faint possibility that I might ever buy a copy of the Mirror would have erased it.

I felt rather ambivalent about that decision though. On the one hand, I feel that it's morally wrong of the Mirror to have published the story, potentially putting her rehabilitation at risk by discouraging her attendance at NA just in order to make more money. I don't think you can really make any kind of public interest arguement here - it was pure and simple about moving papers. The thing is, much as I'd like to, I don't quite feel that I can justify therefore making it illegal to publish. I personally think that it would do society good if we were unable to indulge our voyerism through papers like the Mirror or crappy magazines like Heat but in the end, legislating to make people be good doesn't work. You just have to put up with the fact that having freedom of the press means that you have to put up with the Sun, the Mirror and their ilk.
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