Blame the doer, not the speaker
Re “Speech inspires good — and evil,” Opinion, June 20
Speech inspires good and evil, writes Jonah Goldberg, though the latter is entirely dependent upon unhealthy minds.
Even if David Berkowitz thought a dog had instructed him to kill, the blame for the “Son of Sam murders” falls properly on Berkowitz and not the dog. Restrictions should be placed not on speech nor art nor dogs, but on those who cannot adequately deal with them. Jim Johnson
I would be more inclined to agree that movies and speeches don’t affect people’s conduct if some filmmakers were not selling “promotional placements” by telling advertisers to pay for a scene showing our hero drinking a Coke instead of a Pepsi (or vice versa).
We’re also told that some product placements were instrumental in getting people to smoke. But rest assured, as we are to believe that violence in films does not affect the kids watching them. Arthur Armstrong
I usually disagree with Goldberg’s writing, as I find his opinions politically far different from my own.
But I must admit his column on free speech, in which where he highlights the paradox of the moral responsibility we have for what we say and, at the same time, the legal responsibility only for what we do, hit the nail on the head. Kudos to him. Stu Bernstein