Free speech is a bitch. It gives you the right to say whatever you want, but it gives the prick you hate that same right.
I hate pornography personally, but I defend pornographers. Don’t expect to catch me in the park, though, wearing only a raincoat.
Still, when my client Al Goldstein, a newspaper publisher, who published Screw Magazine for 19 years in New York City, chose to put a statue of a raised middle finger in his backyard, on his patio, at his home, in Pompano Beach, that he paid for, with his own money, I defended his right to do so.
I think it was Benjamin Franklin who wrote that “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The founding citizens of our republic stood up to a king that made it a crime to criticize him.
We started a revolution to be at liberty to say and do what we wanted, when we wanted, and how we wanted to. I don’t expect you to agree with me all the time, nor do I care if you do or not. That is why the First Amendment, the very first one, says that Congress shall make no laws that abridge the freedom of the press.
The First Amendment is a restrictive covenant. It does not just say what rights we have. It reminds the government what rights they can never take away; ones that were never theirs to give. They were inalienable, indivisible and undeniable.
This means that courts should not issue gag orders on one hand, because their judicial powers are an extension of the government. They should be protecting a free press, not silencing it.
Correspondingly, every citizen has a duty to stand up and protect someone’s right to publish something you don’t want to hear, don’t choose to read, and don’t like to see. You have the right to turn the dial off any radio station you are listening to. But don’t smash the radio. Find another station.
If you don’t want to read our paper, don’t.
But please, when you pick it up and throw it away, you are putting yourself in the trash, not our words. We will survive you, on the streets, online, and in our communities. The truth always comes out, whether you like it or not, whether you are the president or a pauper. So don’t throw away papers because you don’t like what they say. When you close the door on reality, it comes in through the window.
Come now then, to SFGN news boxes in a variety of places, from Stork’s Bakery to Bob’s News on Andrews Avenue near Broward General.
In venue after venue, people who oppose our editorial vent are trashing our papers - throwing them out. But they are leaving a Trumpian message.
In each of the locations where a conspiratorial SOB emptied the news boxes, we were left a little pre-printed note reading that “The Trumps
Sacrificed Their Wealth for Our Country. The Clintons Sacrificed Their Country for Our Wealth.”
I have enclosed a picture next to this special column. Here is the hateful ad from Trump supporters. They are using it as an excuse to deny you access to SFGN.
Ours is a free paper. You don’t have to read it or pick it up. But you do not have to be mendacious, and throw it out either. If you do, you flunk First Amendment 101.
It costs thousands of dollars a week to distribute this free newspaper. Nothing about it is free, except our opinions. The delivery vans, the insurance, the rent, the drivers, the printers, and right down to the ink cost us money.
Our news boxes are proprietary. We pay a city-licensing fee to locate them, a manufacturer to build them. Trashing papers lawfully placed is an act of criminal, malicious mischief. But it is more than a misdemeanor. It is a high crime. It is treason. We will prosecute you. Stop it. Read the paper instead.
On our pages, you may learn that our 45th president is a con artist, a crook and a criminal, corruptly catapulting our country and constitution to a catastrophic collapse.
Or maybe you will tell me to go screw myself. I don’t care.
Whatever floats your boat. Go put jelly on your belly. Make yourself happy. Just don’t try to shut me up. Besides, you can ask my mom. That has never worked.
Give others the chance to read what you seek to censor. What is not right for you might be for them. Let them do their thing; you do yours. I will defend your right to speak out, just as I have Roger Stone, Al Goldstein, Neil Rogers and other people you can't stand. We built the First Amendment for people to stand on a stump and say what they want, no matter what else anyone may damned think.
If passengers on an airplane were randomly asked their opinions, it might be like a Thanksgiving dinner.
Everyone could scream and shout and yell at each other, but we have one thing in common no matter what. We are all rooting for the pilot.
The First Amendment is everyone’s pilot. To keep the flame burning, papers can’t. To make the truth available, the press has to have a right to write. You have to have a right to read. Don’t play with matches. The rights you burn down belong to all of us.