Letters to the editor

“Imust’ clarify for you The Don Imus controversy is a dead horse that has been beaten to a pulp. However, Tom Grogan, author of What about free speech? apparently has some misconceptions about free speech. Because other readers of the Buchtelite may also misunderstand this issue, I would like to try to clear a few things up.”

‘Imust’ clarify for you

The Don Imus controversy is a dead horse that has been beaten to a pulp. However, Tom Grogan, author of What about free speech? apparently has some misconceptions about free speech.

Because other readers of the Buchtelite may also misunderstand this issue, I would like to try to clear a few things up.

First of all, neither NBC nor CBS violated Don Imus’s First Amendment right of free speech when they fired him. The First Amendment only prohibits government censorship of speech. CBS has the right, indeed the duty, to control the content of what they broadcast on the airwaves. The station is not owned or operated by the government, therefore Imus’s rights were not violated.

Furthermore, arguing that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were behind the sponsors pulling out shows that Grogan has a na’ve view of free market economics. No one can argue that Imus’s comments were anything but degrading and offensive. Just as NBC and CBS are free to employ whom they choose, their advertisers also may sponsor whom they choose.

Unfortunately for Imus, backing people who make bigoted comments doesn’t sell too well these days. Profit motive, pure and simple, is why Imus’s sponsors dropped him like a bad habit.

Matthew Kortjohn
Second year law student

Hixenbaugh is offensive

I am writing this letter in bitter disappointment of the April 19 Buchtelite. Mike Hixenbaugh stated in his front-page article that the media sensationalizing the Virginia Tech tragedy is responsible for my connectedness and caring for strangers (I) will never know.

This is extremely offensive and I’m saddened such a statement could be printed in one of my favorite publications. Blanket assertions about so many people’s feelings are wrong and short-sighted.

First off, college students in the United States share a common culture of brotherhood and rivalry. We are all in the same boat, so to speak, and it is deeply heartbreaking and depressing when we lose our own, especially to wicked tragedy.

Secondly, some of us are extremely sensitive to the suffering of all life on earth. I do, in fact, feel very passionately for the people of Iraq and Sudan and the families of fallen soldiers. However, Sudan and Iraq are war zones; life is expected to be lost.

The other tragedies you list are no more or less horrible than the Virginia Tech shooting, but in one of our very own college campuses, the death of 32 people is an extremely shocking and horrific event because it is so unexpected and hits very close to home for some of us walking open public campuses across the nation.

Telling people why they feel the way they do is arrogant and ignorant. Telling people not to worry and that they are completely safe is irresponsible and careless, as the rest of the paper seems to do. People should be aware this can happen anywhere and should pay attention to their surroundings regardless of this great tragedy.

I am sadly disappointed by the contents of last Thursday’s paper, especially how one-sided it seemed to be. I am requesting an apology from Mr. Hixenbaugh for assuming he knows the motives behind my caring.

There is a line between controversy and being offensive and hurtful, and I feel it was crossed.

Michael Kilgore
Freshman
Mechanical Engineering