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2000 Jefferson Muzzle Awards Announced

By smiley in News
Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 07:46:40 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

The 2000 Jefferson Muzzle awards were announced today, Thomas Jefferson's birthday. The Muzzle awards are given each year by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, to those who have ignored Jefferson's warning that freedom of speech "cannot be limited without being lost."


For full details: http://www.tjcenter.org/muzzles.html

In summary though, the winners are:

  • The George W. Bush Presidential Campaign
  • The Clinton Administration
  • Muscogee County (Georgia) Superintendent of Education Guy W. Sims
  • CBS News
  • The Midland (Texas) Independent School District Board and Midland High Principal Neil Richmond
  • Ponder (Texas) Independent School District Superintendent Byron Welch, Ponder High Principal Chance Allen and Assistant Principal Ted Heers
  • The Board of Trustees of Georgetown Charter Township, Michigan The Texas Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee
  • The Rockingham County (Virginia) School Board, Principal C. James Slye, and Superintendent John H. Kidd
  • The 1999 Virginia General Assembly
  • Lorain County (Ohio) Prosecutor Gregory White
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • and for the third consecutive year, a Jefferson Muzzle Award goes to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani

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2000 Jefferson Muzzle Awards Announced | 23 comments (23 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
So this is a group of people that t... (none / 0) (#7)
by angelo on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 09:54:22 AM EST

angelo voted -1 on this story.

So this is a group of people that think that free speech should be limited if it is embarassing? How honourable.
lowmagnet.org

parsing (none / 0) (#10)
by rusty on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 07:56:30 PM EST

I think you slightly misread the writeup. The "awards" are booby prizes for groups that think that free speech should be limited if it is embarassing. I think the awards are meant to draw attention to this kind of thing, and point out how wrongheaded it is.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
There's one award that is about ban... (none / 0) (#2)
by tnt on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 10:30:49 AM EST

tnt voted 1 on this story.

There's one award that is about banded books in schools. I think this is part of a larger issue: banned information in schools. (I'm talking about elementary schools and highschools here... where the students are children and not adults.)

To me, this seems kind of a problematic issue. On one hand, banning books goes against freedom of speech,... but on the other hand, these are children (not adults), and I think that no school, or teacher, or government, has (or should have) any say in how a parent chooses to raise their child. It is the parents right to teach their child! And if the parent doesn't want the child exposed to certain information, or beliefs, or idiologies, then their wishes supercede those of the school, teacher, or government. (Whether the child's wishes should supercede those of the parents is another issue... which I am not discussing right now.)

(Note though, for cases where we are talking about adults though, the issue doesn't seem problematic to me. In those, I think that freedom is freedom.)

--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

Not to pick nits, but when making a... (none / 0) (#3)
by evro on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 11:02:33 AM EST

evro voted 1 on this story.

Not to pick nits, but when making a list, please use the html listifier. This looks much better:

  • The George W. Bush Presidential Campaign The Clinton Administration
  • Muscogee County (Georgia) Superintendent of Education Guy W. Sims
  • CBS News
  • The Midland (Texas) Independent School District Board and Midland High Principal Neil Richmond
  • Ponder (Texas) Independent School District Superintendent Byron Welch, Ponder High Principal Chance Allen and Assistant Principal Ted Heers
  • The Board of Trustees of Georgetown Charter Township, Michigan The Texas Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee
  • The Rockingham County (Virginia) School Board, Principal C. James Slye, and Superintendent John H. Kidd
  • The 1999 Virginia General Assembly
  • Lorain County (Ohio) Prosecutor Gregory White
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • and for the third consecutive year, a Jefferson Muzzle Award goes to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
(hopefully this will come out correctly). This is much easier to read.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
Fixed that (none / 0) (#8)
by rusty on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 07:54:28 PM EST

...more evidence that we need to be able to choose not to have comments post with stories. I know.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Fixed that (none / 0) (#13)
by evro on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 08:17:37 PM EST

What do you think about the feasibility of letting people not only vote but edit the posts in the queue? Maybe let the author check a box to make the post editable? Then people could check the post out and in like CVS. If they don't check it back in after 5 minutes or whatever (to make grammar or HTML changes or something), their check-out gets erased. This sounds really hard to implement, but seems like a neat feature. And if the old versions of the file are kept, you don't have to worry about somebody checking out a file and completely writing over it with garbage or whatever. And people could view all previous versions of the post.

just an idea...
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
[ Parent ]

Re: Fixed that (none / 0) (#18)
by CodeWright on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 12:34:49 PM EST

It would be nice if story submissions themselves could be edited on the basis of the comments posted about them....

For example, if someone has posted a story that they feel is worth kuro5hin consideration, and then sees the mack truck size holes that the voters helpfully point out, they could be given the opportunity to "edit" the submission....

Of course, I might be misperceiving the intent of the submission queue.... maybe the more appropriate action is to resubmit an edited version of the story...



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
heh, so?... (3.00 / 2) (#5)
by Anonymous Coward on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 11:23:56 AM EST

Anonymous Coward voted 0 on this story.

heh, so?

Eh? (3.75 / 4) (#22)
by Dolgan on Tue Jul 10, 2001 at 04:19:24 PM EST

???????.

[ Parent ]
well i like the whole gaia thing... (3.75 / 4) (#23)
by Dolgan on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 10:35:49 PM EST

Plus the $3.14 or whatever for a drink and some donuts from the local dunkin' donuts.

[ Parent ]
I strongly disagree with some of th... (none / 0) (#6)
by Teneo on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 11:55:08 AM EST

Teneo voted 1 on this story.

I strongly disagree with some of the selections, and think they missed by naming just the FBI. The entire Clinton Justice Department is a superior choice and would top my list.

--Teneo

Although I know what some of these ... (none / 0) (#4)
by fluffy grue on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 12:11:21 PM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

Although I know what some of these people and groups did, could anyone write up a summary of what everyone did?
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Re: Although I know what some of these ... (none / 0) (#11)
by fluffy grue on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 08:00:22 PM EST

Oops, never mind. I didn't notice that the linked article had it until it was too late. :) (Rusty, we REALLY need voting comment editing.)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: Although I know what some of these ... (none / 0) (#12)
by Inoshiro on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 08:13:01 PM EST

If you like, the comment can be made to not exist ;-)

--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Although I know what some of these ... (none / 0) (#14)
by rusty on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 08:20:54 PM EST

No it can't. It's in the by-laws. "Comments which make fluffy look silly shall not to be removed, under any circumstances."

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Although I know what some of these ... (none / 0) (#16)
by Inoshiro on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 10:30:55 PM EST

/me malicously delete's Rusty's comment.

What was that? ;-)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
So it's like the darwin awards for ... (none / 0) (#1)
by kraant on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 07:34:51 PM EST

kraant voted 1 on this story.

So it's like the darwin awards for politics except that stupidity of this nature doesn't (unfortunatly) kill the person indulging in it? :P
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

Walmart (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 07:56:10 PM EST

Where's walmart on this list?

I think they do alot more to censor than any of the people listed.


Oh did I ever laugh. (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 09:14:21 PM EST

I was reading though the awards when I stumbled across this sentence and burst out laughing.

On November 10, federal district judge Nina Gershon found in favor of the museum on all counts.

I misread the judge's name as Gina Gershon. Oops.

Re: 2000 Jefferson Muzzle Awards Announced (none / 0) (#17)
by Paul Dunne on Thu Apr 13, 2000 at 10:48:47 PM EST

What a load of er, elephant dung. As I understand it, Jefferson was hot on the freedom of the press more than freedom of speech, and he surely hadn't heard of "freedom of expression", a peculiarly-contemporary cant term. But, these people can't be serious, right? Since when has a patron's right to chose what art he patronises been denial of the "right" to expression? Giuliani is a publicly-elected representative, and surely his function is to act as a patron on behalf of the people who elected him -- most of whom, I would imagine, share his taste as well as some at least of his political views. As for most of the rest, yeah, I know it's an American award and all, but it sure confirms that American isolationism is alive and well as we start the 21st century (oh, God! Now some calendar geek is going to pop up and say "BZZZ! Wrong! Eight months still left of the 20th!").
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
Re: 2000 Jefferson Muzzle Awards Announced (none / 0) (#20)
by analog on Sat Apr 15, 2000 at 01:56:18 AM EST

As I understand it, Jefferson was hot on the freedom of the press more than freedom of speech, and he surely hadn't heard of "freedom of expression", a peculiarly-contemporary cant term.

From a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison in 1789, explaining some things he would have liked added to the Bill of Rights:

"The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or otherwise to publish anything but false facts affecting injuriously the life, liberty, property or reputation of others, or affecting the peace of the confederacy with foreign nations."

Note that the emphasis on the word 'otherwise' was Jefferson's, not mine. He may have not used the exact phrase "freedom of expression", but I don't think there can be much doubt that's exactly what he meant.

As far as Guiliani goes, he tried to revoke public funds from a museum and have it evicted from the building that housed it because he was personally offended by a painting on exhibit there. That goes so far outside his role as public servant and his authority as a government official as to make me wonder why anyone would question that he was smacked down for it in court.

[ Parent ]

Re: 2000 Jefferson Muzzle Awards Announced (none / 0) (#21)
by Paul Dunne on Thu Apr 20, 2000 at 03:19:49 AM EST

> Note that the emphasis on the word 'otherwise' was Jefferson's, not
> mine. He may have not used the exact phrase "freedom of expression",
> but I don't think there can be much doubt that's exactly what he
> meant.

We'll agree to differ then. Attributing "freedom of expression" to Jefferson is an anachronism in my view.

> As far as Guiliani goes, he tried to revoke public funds from a museum
> and have it evicted from the building that housed it because he was
> personally offended by a painting on exhibit there. That goes so far
> outside his role as public servant and his authority as a government
> official as to make me wonder why anyone would question that he was

So what is the role of a public official in your view, if not to decide how taxes are spent? I thought that's what representative democracy was in essence. To deny the expression of this "artist" would be to forbid him to "paint" -- as the Nazis did, for example. No question of that here; just a patron withdrawing the patronage he is elected to dispense.

Also, consider how long a picture of "Ann Frank covered with elephant dung" would have lasted in a publicly-funded museum. No, that's not an anti-semitic jibe. I'm just pointing out that the PC definition of "freedom of expression" is remarkably elastic. I may be wrong, but wouldn't the same people who do these Jefferson awards be ready at the drop of a hat to lecture us about "hate speech"?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]

No prizes for the Brits? (none / 0) (#19)
by Strange Charmed One on Fri Apr 14, 2000 at 01:47:25 PM EST

This list appears to be American only- there have been enough mistakes elsewhere- e.g. the list of MI6 agents.
--
Feel the urge to put excessively cute little quotes into your .sig?

JUST SAY NO!

If you or one of your friends is frequently plagued by this tendency, Help IS available- Ask me how.

2000 Jefferson Muzzle Awards Announced | 23 comments (23 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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