Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by Devac
Devac  ·  384 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Long-time Iowa farm cartoonist fired after creating this cartoon

The link points to a different article.

Anyway, how is that about free speech? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the freedom of speech is about government not preventing you from having your voice heard. You can still be sued for liable or suffer any other consequences of what you say. In this case, it was publisher firing the artists after the sponsor felt offended. Nothing about government, nothing about preventing this cartoon from getting published. It's just a pure repercussion of the action. The sponsor, who isn't to my knowledge a governmental entity, can do whatever the fuck he wants to do with the money as per own judgement, as it is usually a deal predicated on said sponsor's good will.

This sounds like business. Perhaps bad PR. But it's not an infringement on anyone's free speech.

kleinbl00  ·  384 days ago  ·  link  ·  

(libel not liable - I hope I can point that out to someone for whom English is not their first language without being a douchebag)

Things get sticky when it comes to journalism. On the one hand, it's a for-profit, commercial venture. On the other hand, it's a for-profit, commercial venture whose civic duty is to provide critique and criticism of the actions of those in power. In the US, the classic example of cartoons and political freedom is Tammany Hall and Thomas Nast, whereby a large organization with monolithic control over much of the state apparatus around them was brought down by a cartoonist. Another example would be the lack of criticism of any Hearst-owned property by the papers of William Randolph Hearst.

The argument is this: it may offend the sponsor to be criticized, and it may be within the rights of the publisher to terminate the cartoonist... but it does not serve the interests of the subscribers for their content to only be that which is approved by the sponsors. Obviously, pretty much every journalistic organization deals with this on some level; this is, chapter and verse, the definition of editorial independence.

You're right. The sponsor can do whatever the fuck he wants to do. The editor, on the other hand, is supposed to protect his journalists. In this case, he didn't.

They did eventually.

Devac  ·  384 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    it does not serve the interests of the subscribers for their content to only be that which is approved by the sponsors

This bit actually didn't occur to me. It indeed sounds like a murky conflict of interests. Is resolving such issues really a job of the editor? I was always thinking of them as skilled lingusts or writers who 'demangle' text and check it for factual or other types of errors.

    (libel not liable - I hope I can point that out to someone for whom English is not their first language without being a douchebag)

Doh! Thanks. No duchebag detected, I appreciate any education that isn't a clear put-down, which isn't the case.

am_Unition  ·  384 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Unsolicited coding break garbage:

There was a Japanese scientist who had me build him some stuff for a rocket once, and one day, he went into the machine shop with me. American machinists are notoriously lewd and whatnot, so after he said "ohh, I like this, I really like this" about an intricate part that they had made, one of them says "well, Haruto, when we like something a lot, here in America, we say, 'that's the shit!' ". So the scientist says "Shit? What means shit?", and some of them are making the face ya do when you don't wanna "lose your shit", but the machinist comes back and says "It's just really good... stuff. Anything, really". The scientist thanks them for this lesson, and we leave.

Of course, less than a minute later, I had to tell him not to ever use that in a professional setting, and explain that it is a crude, explicit term. But to this day, the idea of being there, in the crowd, when he innocently exclaims that his data is "the shit", at a conference... hilarious, but I just can't do that to the guy.

kleinbl00  ·  384 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It goes to the concept of the Fourth Estate - the argument is that the press, as the ears and voice of the people, has an obligation to defend the interests of the people against the other three estates (the clergy, the nobility and the commoners or the executive, the legislative and the judicial depending on who's counting). There's a reason the press in the United States enjoys a lot of freedom - the argument is that a free and functional press is a check on power against the government.

"Editorial" in English means both "proper construction and content" AND "position taken in an argument." The "editorial pages" in a newspaper are where the staff members write opinion pieces, often to augment the reportage of their newspaper. So. A copy editor? Makes the grammar and phrasing better. A content editor? Steers the story or novel or article. An "editorial board?" Decides what formal position the paper takes on political and news issues. So when you see an article saying something like "the libertarian whackadoo has gotten more editorial endorsements than Trump" they're not talking about proofreaders, they're talking about the upper-level people at the paper who issue proclamations, positions and recommendations in their role as member of the fourth estate.

bioemerl  ·  383 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Free speech is an ideal, like donating to charity. Government may not restrict your free speech by law. Everyone else shouldn't restrict your free speech because they aren't scumbags. If they do, then they are scumbags, and should be treated as such.