We know what you thought when you first read the headline. Sorry to disappoint you, but we don’t feel like losing $30,000 in advertising…just yet.
In case you haven’t heard or read, Colorado State University’s student newspaper The Rocky Mountain Collegian published a four-word editorial last Friday. Let’s just say that they didn’t use “flick.”
The editorial read: “TASE THIS, F— BUSH.” First, allow us to express our support for The Collegian’s right to publish this regardless of whether or not we agree with what it actually said. They should have First Amendment protection. That being said, the staff-particularly the editor in chief-should not be punished or fired because of the use of this one word.
Clearly, in light of the Tasing debacle involving University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, The Collegian was trying to make a point. Though this sparked a debate, the nature of the word they employed has adversely affected the discussion they had hoped to inspire. The “F-bomb”-profane to many but everyday diction to college students-communicated their call to free speech in a less-than-appropriate fashion. We chose “flick” for this editorial instead of its more controversial cousin “F—” for a number of reasons, such as the damage to the paper’s reputation as a professional publication. Moreover, since we receive funding from the university, our financial situation could be potentially compromised.
We cannot help but wonder why The Collegian would martyr their paper; why they would try to make an issue out of their freedom of press when it was not (yet) an issue. Though freedom of speech and freedom of press are intrinsically connected, hearing f— spoken and reading it in a large-size typeface are two different but equally protected things.
Firing the editor in chief of The Collegian would set a bad precedent at Colorado State University and at universities nation-wide.
If you don’t agree with us, flick off.
Or, write a letter to our editor.