Marching Morons

02/05/2004 | peter byrne
The Silski Visti case: Censors vs. Jew-haters
Feb 5, 2004 01:28

Silski Visti is a mediocre newspaper that publishes anti-semitic trash. The Ukrainian government is a semi-authoritarian entity that doesnt much like free speech. As we report this week, the latter in the guise of Kyivs Shevchenko District Court has shut down the former, claiming that Jew-bashing articles in the newspaper violated state law against fomenting interethnic strife.But Silski Visti is associated with the opposition Socialist Party. That makes it plausible that the Presidential Administration was behind its closure, as part of its oafishly repressive struggle against opposition media as the election season gears up. Thus the question becomes framed somewhat differently: as a free speech issue. And defending Silski Visti becomes the only acceptable choice.And so, holding our noses and steeling ourselves against the urge to vomit, were prepared to defend it. The government has no business shutting down a publication for publishing vile opinions, if that publication isnt calling for violence. If a law provides for closing newspapers on the basis of the opinions they print, its a very bad law, and should be railed against until its removed from the books. Being a hateful moron shouldnt be a crime. When a newspaper gets shut down, people who value free speech should see the writing on the wall. Period. To the government: spare us the pieties about preventing interethnic strife, and keep your hands off the cretins at Silski Visti. In the interests of democratic values, were prepared to let them spew.

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