Veteran journalist Dan Froomkin is upset with the editors of the New York Times over a recent editorial:
Itâ€™s hard to imagine a more fundamental misreading of the freedom of speech â€“ or an organization whose credibility depends more on understanding it correctly â€“ than todayâ€™s lead editorial from the New York Times editorial board.
The First Amendment asserts a right to free speech. It does not assert a right to not be criticized for speech. In fact, it protects critical speech.
And the protection is against government action, not against other people.
He does make a point. If senior journalists don’t support or even understand freedom of speech, who will?
There are some complexities Mr. Froomkin doesn’t address, however. When governments or elected officials reach out to social media giants, asking them to ban or curb opinions with which they disagree, those are in fact violations of freedom of speech.