Attempts at media censorship deprive society of open forum

Joshua Horton

Joshua Horton

I have good days and bad ones. The good days are when I see progressive liberal changes being made and open challenges to the status quo occurring. Progress of our nation depends on challenging the set rules.

My bad days are the days when I see our nation regress; when we blindly accept things as they are without question; or when conservative views of the world attack and persecute those who wish to make people think differently.

The most recent example of this was the incredible outcry from students over a recent article in last week’s Juice. Although the article was not at all R-rated, it’s an example of how some raise issues of morality and decency on the most insignificant things.

I find it interesting that we haven’t seen the same kind of outrage on recent charges of assault by SDSU Athletics Director Fred Oien on his wife. This in my mind seems to be a more important issue of morality than some silly, poorly written article on a subject that some consider taboo.

Should it have been printed? Sure. Should demands for censorship and media decency be accepted on the basis of political and social correctness? No way!

Decency in the media has been a major concern of the conservative forces in society. The belief is that if you remove anything that offends, harms or scares people from the media you will be doing people a favor. This is 100 percent bullshit. Sheltering people from the reality of society only breeds misunderstanding, which can only lead to bad things.

I reject the idea that there be rules of decency placed on the media. Here’s a question: what kinds of rules would be made? Who would make the rules?

Everyone can accept the idea that standards of morality and right were more conservative 100 years ago than they are today.

What do you think would have been the effect of those rules had the media been subjected to that kind of censorship? Issues like gay rights, suffrage, sex education and many other things would have never been openly discussed because they would have been deemed taboo and the status quo would have never changed. From that it would be safe to assume that some day our standard of morality might be too conservative for future generations. Our marketplace of ideas depends on everything being fair game and available to be talked about, that’s how injustice is fixed.

The students at SDSU are a very sheltered bunch. While being wrapped in a quilt of political correctness, many feel that certain things should be withheld from public forum. Why should we keep some topics from discussion and others available? Doesn’t that fly in the face of what the freedom of the press and speech were set up for?

Our media must be open and free to print and expose us to different things all the time. It must be allowed to challenge the status quo to make us better human beings by exposing us to ourselves.

Reach Joshua Horton at [email protected].