Comments: ...And freedom for all.

Jill Edwards, private citizen, has the right to say any damnfool thing she likes.

Jill Edwards, Student Senator, speaking in her official capacity as a Senator, however, should take care that when she presumes to speak for the organization as a whole, she not completely misrepresent them or their beliefs.

That, I think, is the difference.

Posted by Jenna at February 17, 2006 11:40 AM

There is validity in what Jenna says. When acting a representative of a group, the group is allowed to dictate the rules and standards for those that are members. If Jill Edwards broke a rule, when making that statement, then she should face the repercussions. On the other hand, Jill as an individual with no affiliation to any group is allowed to say whatever she wants and can just look like an a$$hole all by herself, but being part of a group that has standards as to how their members act, she must either abide by them or leave the group.
The press part is just ridiculous. If it was a report that included the cartoons and there was no malice intended, then the whole thing is a crock.

Posted by Dr. Phat Tony at February 17, 2006 02:15 PM

When I posted about Acton Gordon I said - the paper had a right to fire him. This is true - I didn't like that they were doing this and I felt it set a very bad precedent. But it is their right to get rid of him if he doesn't toe the line of the board.

Now in the matter of the Student Senate - I don't know what the status of this body might be. I would PREFER that she be voted out of her office (however, considering the interest that people actually take in student politics - who would vote?) But as to the rights of the council to boot her off because of what she said - that would depend on their by-laws.

I hadn't been following her story because the original disgusted me so much and to tell you the truth I expect no less from anyone out on the left coast.

Posted by Teresa at February 17, 2006 05:15 PM

Seems to me that you're comparing apples to crayons with these two stories. (Caveat: I haven't researched either story very well, so I may be completely full of it.)

Mr. Gordon is being let go by the administration of the school/paper, but Ms. Edwards is being cencured by her peers. You made a point of stating that Edwards was "student elected", and I see in the release from the student senate the phraseology "BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON:", and that leads me to believe that the same process that got her elected is setting her straight. That's all "according to Hoyle" in my book.

The Girl expressed her opinion, and is being afforded an opportunity to change said opinion by way of the agreed upon resolution of the body of "student elected" people with which she is a member.

Gordon is being canned by "The Man" because he printed FACTS that were contrary to what the administration thought was proper. No apology afforded to him, and IMHO he wouldn't do it anyway ...due to the fact that he had enough balls to print them in the first place, and by doing so he let his readership decide.

"Student Senator" does not equate to "Student Newspaper Editor".

I believe that the folks who are ranting about the injustice of the treatment of Gordon are standing on principle, and shouldn't be chastised. As far as I'm concerned, he did what others in the "media" wouldn't do, and showed the truth... unobjectively. He should be praised for this, as it's so rare.

She gave her opinion, and misrepresented the people who put her there to represent them. The folks she is there to speak for are now calling for her apology and requiring her to learn more about the subject she opined upon...which is what an electorate is supposed to do when they are misrepresented. The people who are affording her an apology should be praised for doing so, as it's so rare.

I think you're looking at two sides of two different coins here. Then again...I've been drinking, so all bets are off. :^)

Posted by Johnny - Oh at February 17, 2006 10:16 PM

I think Jenna distilled my view nicely. Although I have struggled with turning it around - say she insulted the ACLU or the UN ... something which I (private citizen) do all the time. I still think that it stands when turned around, though, which was my purpose it twisting it that way.

Posted by Barb at February 17, 2006 10:56 PM

we all have rights that (are) given to us by the Constitution of the United States.

I disagree, somewhat.

The Bill of Rights protects the rights that the founders thought were God given, and/or inherent to the human condition.

I realize this sounds picky, but your wording implies that human rights are given to us by the government, and logically, they would then not exist when the government is gone or decides otherwise.

Words have power.

No disrespect intended, I might add.

Posted by jimmyb at February 18, 2006 09:35 AM

Day late and a dollar short am I. Johnny-oh said pretty much what I was going to before I opened the comments. (Much more smarter though)
And Jimmyb, I agree 100%

Posted by littlejoe at February 18, 2006 07:30 PM

Well, the Bill of Rights covers what the "government" can do about your speech. You have the freedom to say what you want without the government arresting you in the middle of the night and throwing you in jail. What happens in the work place or in schools is governed by their rules.

In Acton Gordon's case - (and Eugene Volokh pointed out on his blog) the board of directors of the paper (which is not part of the school it is a separate entity - has the right to fire him if they don't like what he's doing as editor... even if we think it's wrong.

I don't know where the student Senate falls in this mess. It may be something that is covered by the bylaws of the Senate (covering objectionable speech by a Senator) or it may be covered under the same rules that govern free speech on campus... I have no idea.

But as I said at Barb's - it's not a good idea to make a martyr of this chickie - embarrass the hell out of her by passing a unanimous disagreement with what she's said.

Posted by Teresa at February 18, 2006 11:36 PM

Some of you are saying this is comparing apples and oranges. If you go deeper then what I'm implying yes, it is different. If you look at the basics of it, no its not. Both said/printed something of their own free will, both are being punished for it. (Even if Mr. Gorton wasn't given a chance to appologize)

Amongst yourselves you've established that both the school newspaper and the senate can do what they want. Now we get back to the heart of my post, why isn't anyone that is screaming that what happened to Mr Gorton is wrong, not screaming that what is happening to Mrs. Edwards wrong?

Ms. Edwards didn't do anything worse then some of the current U.S. Citizens/politicians we have now. She wasn't speaking for the school she was voicing her oppinion.

JimmyB: you went way too literal into that statement, poor choice of words.

Posted by Contagion at February 19, 2006 04:19 PM

I am not making any noise about Mr. Gordon, and I do think that the editor is subject to the publishers.

Posted by Barb at February 19, 2006 09:58 PM

I felt it an important distinction.

A very important one.

I may have used a poor choice of words.
It would not be the first time.
I don't claim to write well, or to be that insightful.
But I feel this was important, because while you say I misread what you wrote, there are many in this country who feel exactly that way.
That rights are bestowed by the state.
This is a dangerous mindset.
I apologize if you took offense.

But I don't think you disagree with what I said (correct?).
This seemingly insignifigant parsing of words is what the left uses to do what they wish regarding constitutional issues. The 2nd Amendment is one issue they do this to all the time.
Stoopid hippies.

Posted by jimmyb at February 20, 2006 06:45 AM

Jimmy, I was saying it was my poor choice of words. I do agree completely.

Posted by Contagion at February 20, 2006 10:53 AM

cool!
Let us smite hippies together in solidarity, then!!!
;)

Posted by jimmyb at February 20, 2006 11:39 AM

Yay! Hippie Smiting! Count me in!

Posted by Ogre at February 24, 2006 10:33 AM