Editorial: Free speech vs. moral obligation
By Daily Titan Editorial Board
Published: April 21, 2010
The Daily Titan staff does not share the opinion presented by Smith, but we felt for a time that if we silenced Smith by removing his ad from our site, we would be hypocrites. As advocates for free speech, we would be silencing someone’s voice simply because we disagreed with what they said. It did not sit right with us to decide for society what it should and should not be exposed to. But in the end, we realized that this is something we do every day, just not to such a complicated and controversial degree. As journalists, we are the gatekeepers of information. We make decisions based on what we believe is important or of interest to the Cal State Fullerton community.
We ultimately decided to remove the ad from our website because we believed we have a responsibility to the sensibilities and sense of decency of our readers. We hold the right to free speech in the highest regard, but we also make a distinction between our legal right to publish this ad and our moral obligation to our readers; that is what lead us to our decision.