Heckled Geraldo

Monday, October 24, 2011

Noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition and profanity. Most parts of speech are protected; however, cursing is not protected by the First Amendment.

An article found in The Huffington Post reported that Occupy Wall Street protesters swore at Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera. Rivera was covering the event for the third time. Fox News cameras caught a heckler shout the f word at the reporter.

Freedom of speech protects the right to say what one desires but profanity is not. This is because it infringes on another's rights. Swearing is like shouting "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater.

Journalists often report from the front lines to get the headlines. Reporters, like Rivera, try do their jobs, but citizens at the event did not agree with Rivera and Fox News's presence at Occupy Wall Street.

Regardless of intent, that protester did not have the right the yell profanities at Rivera. As reporters, we need to know our rights as well as the rights of others.

Photo by creativecommons.org


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