Skip to content

Academic Dishonesty

February 6, 2014

Thane Rosenbaum’s recent opinion piece in Daily Beast in which he joins the cheerleaders who wish America to adopt the principles espoused by France and Israel in order to protect us from hurtful words.  The overall article has been dissected by Ken White and Scott Greenfield  who have laid its idiocy bare. However, there is another point to be made, which is that the article is outright deceitful.

Dr. Rosenbaum makes the following statement:

 There is no freedom to shout “fire” in a crowded theater.

This is a dishonest paraphrasing of a statement from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  The full statement is the following:

 The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.

There are two points here.  First of all, notice that there is a two part test. The man must be falsely shouting fire and a panic must be caused by his actions. And yet the quote, with Dr. Rosenbaum must know of, was changed to the point where it’s entire meaning has been warped.  This is, to be blunt, an attempt to perpetrate a knowing falsehood upon the reader, to imply that Holmes took a far more restrictive view of the First Amendment than he actually did.

It is one thing to for someone to make a poor argument; it is quite another for an academic to pass such a misleading statement off as some form of proof.  It brings up the question of whether or not there is any other proof, save that France and Israel seem enamored of using the state’s power against those they find wanting.  But that is not an argument that should move any American.

 

Note: I erroneously posted this blog post to my writing blog, so here it is in the proper place.

Advertisements

From → Politics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Make A Living Writing

The political thought of Charles Gray

Why? Because Science.

Combating Stupidity Since 2012

Psyche's Circuitry

Thoughts on growing up and growing old in the digital age

Future Tense

The political thought of Charles Gray

Viv Drewa - The Owl Lady

PA/PR, Indie Author and Blogger

chrismcmullen

Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Ideas

Artistry With Words

Helping writers to spread their wings and fly

Random Thoughts

from a stranger in a strange land.

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

CONTRARY BRIN

Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

storytelling nomad

the humble musings of a nomadic writer

Charles Gray's blog of writing

Charles Gray's professional and not so professional writings

%d bloggers like this: