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ODE Reacts to Reaction Over Insurgent

There are two pieces about the Insurgent’s cartoons in the Daily Emerald today. The first is the prerequisite reaction to reaction Editorial. To their credit, the ODE Gets It Right:

The ASUO and University should, under no circumstances, have the power to censor student publications. This was clearly established last year during the Oregon Commentator’s battle with the PFC when members of student government and the public tried to have the publication defunded for printing “hate speech.” The ridiculous irony is that members of The Insurgent staff spoke in favor of defunding the publication.

Pira Kelly, former Insurgent contributor, participated in a rally last year to encourage the administration to “take responsibility” for hate speech on campus after the PFC decided to fund the Commentator (“Students protest hate, discrimination” ODE, Feb. 18, 2005).

The point of the student incidental fee is that everyone may end up paying for something they do not support as long as it contributes to the cultural environment and marketplace of ideas at the University, a concept clearly established by the U.S. Supreme Court. Further, labeling any language “hate speech” is tricky business. The Insurgent’s sudden reversal in position from protester to protested demonstrates this perfectly.

Indeed. Of course, the gem of today’s paper is an excellent guest commentary by the Commentator’s own Tyler Graf:

Before spring break, our publication published an editorial lamenting the U.S. media’s inability to properly deal with the Mohammed cartoon controversy, which occurred several months after Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a number of political cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed. We did this to put the controversy into context and educate the public. In our editorial, we mention that President Bush squandered a “teachable moment.”

Perhaps, at the University, our own mini-brouhaha will engender a teachable moment — a moment of clear, undiluted resoluteness: Speak freely, but don’t be a jerk. Or perhaps this moment will make us all realize how devalued the word “discrimination” has become, as the Zachary Whites of the world continue to believe that crudely drawn pictures of Jesus sporting a giant pink erection — images viewed primarily by Oregon’s prison population — are discriminatory. Or perhaps it will teach some members of the University community that free speech is an idea worth fighting for, and that it is ultimately intended to protect that which offends or goads.

As Glenn Reynolds would say, read the whole thing. (Oh, and the ODE appears to have inserted a superfluous comma into the second sentence of the second paragraph. The draft Tyler showed me a few days ago was grammatically correct, so I don’t know why they changed it.)

  1. […] The Commentator’s own Tyler Graf (who appeared on the O’Reilly Factor tonight) wrote a guest commentary in the Daily Emerald, the UO’s campus daily. […]

  2. CG says:

    Shhh! The topless Buddha sounds like a friggin’ fantastic idea for the OC! Don’t just GIVE the shit away, niedermeyer!

  3. niedermeyer says:

    Methinks this story is only flirting with its potential hilarity… Just wait untill someone gets shivved for a copy of “Jesus Porn” in prison (probably as good as it gets there). Hell, maybe the Insurgent will even change their format completely… Given all the publicity around this, maybe “Deity Porn” will be the silver bullet to pull the Insurgents circulation out of the gutter.

    Next issue, Bhudda topless as the page 3 “Deity next Door!”

  4. WWB says:

    I especially liked “images viewed primarily by Oregon

  5. Tyler says:

    Oh, that was me above. Doi! I should probably check and see what the office computer has set as the default comment name before posting.

  6. Ian says:

    I was fairly pleased with how the guest commentary turned out, though I had to whittle it down to a paltry 550 words from nearly 800. If I had been allotted more space, I would have been able to enumerate my position better. But as it stands, I think I made myself pretty clear.

    The stuff I cut out included a passage from our Mohammed cartoon editorial (all props go to Bryan on that one, by the way), and a short paragraph about our situation last year, and how the Insurgent, true to their name, insurged against us. To the Emerald’s credit, their editorial expands my position in ways that I couldn’t, given the space requirements, and they deserve credit for that.

    Further, looking back through the posts on this topic, I noticed that Olly had used the “teachable moment” line from our editorial and applied it to the Insurgent cartoon situation. Dammit!

  7. Timothy says:

    Dude, remember when we took them over? Proved our air superiority then, I’ll tell you what.

  8. Ian says:

    The B-2s are on their way to the ODE office as we speak…

  9. Antonio L says:

    “(Oh, and the ODE appears to have inserted a superfluous comma into the second sentence of the second paragraph. The draft Tyler showed me a few days ago was grammatically correct, so I don

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