Thursday, April 24, 2003

Press coverage on the Nike free speech case

This observation from Richard Salsman: Note how the Washington Post put 'free speech' in quotes in the headline of today's coverage of the Nike commercial free speech case.

Considering that the Washington Post Company joined 39 other media companies in support of Nike in an amicus curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court, one wonders why the Post's headline writer saw fit to put the right to economically self-interested speech in scare quotes, but the Post's lawyers did not.

UPDATE: I fired off this letter to the Post in responce:

To the Editors:

In the Washington Post Staff Writer Charles Lane’s Thursday report (“Supreme Court Considers Nike's 'Free Speech' “ Page E02), I was struck by how the Washington Post put 'free speech' in quotation in the headline of its coverage of the Nike commercial free speech case.

Apparently, the Post’s news editors consider corporate free speech to be dubious enough a topic to rate such quotation. Yet considering that the Washington Post Company joined 39 other media companies in support of Nike’s rights in an amicus curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court, one has to savor the irony that the Post saw fit to put freedom for economically self-interested speech in scare quotes in its news coverage, but not in the Supreme Court brief it supported.

Perhaps the right to economically motivated speech is more misunderstood than even a company that makes its living selling news understands.

Yours Respectfully,

Nicholas Provenzo

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