Writing assignment: Free Speech doesn't come without a cost

Essay by PondscumUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

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"Free Speech Doesn't Come Without Cost"

In an essay written in the Wall Street Journal, in 2001, the author, Gregg Easterbrook, mentions the Bill of Rights. He mentions the First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, and the misunderstanding of this amendment. How It "Guarantees a right to free speech, but hardly guarantees speech will be with out cost." Is there no cost if you say what the majority audience wants to hear? The First Amendment only protects from imprisonment but when there are high costs for your free speech the speech is not free anymore.

It is understood that we have the right to say what we want, but in return, others also have the right to respond. Sometimes the response in many ways can be construed as much harsher than what was first said. In 2001, the group Dixie Chicks spoke out for what they believed in and where they stood politically after 9-11.

Other celebrities spoke out also against war in Iraq, and against President Bush. Soon after, you see those same people on television apologizing for what they said. They did not stand behind what they said, as they should have. They cowardly bowed their head and played follow the leader. All because of the First Amendment. The audience did not want to hear anything un-political since our country was just attacked by terrorists. Anything against our country was and is considered unpatriotic. Their freedom of speech came at a high cost and these celebrities paid a high cost. The Dixie Chicks were taken off many radio stations in the country, they were publicly humiliated, and their career was put in jeopardy. This was because at that time their views were supposedly not the majority.

Maybe there were many people out there, the majority even, that...