Editorial: Checks, balances and Twitter

Editorial: Checks, balances and Twitter

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Tuesday, June 5, 2018:

So many things to unpack following the Roseanne Barr inappropriate tweet saga that played out last week.

A lesson to all who have the will to use their personal and powerful social media platform (Roseanne has over 865K Twitter followers) to belittle another, even when said attack is made in jest. The lesson in this case - the swift cancellation of her hit return show "Roseanne" by ABC executives.

There's been some talk that the cancellation of "Roseanne" was an impediment to the First Amendment, but it's important to understand exactly what freedom of speech grants us.

All the First Amendment does is protect us from facing consequences from the government over our speech, not consequences from our peers or employers.

That's an issue that has come up a lot recently.

The NFL and its players are having a similar discussion these days, too. People have the right to say or make political statements the way they want, but their customers – viewers or advertisers – have the right to react how they want, and employers have the right to do what's best for their business.

America is a great country, in part, because of the First Amendment. But it's also a great country because using the First Amendment also comes with its own set of checks and balances. It will protect someone like Roseanne to anything, including those things hateful on her Twitter account. However, now she'll just be doing it watching someone else's TV show.

If you would like to respond to this editorial, email editorials@wbrc.com, write to:

P.O. Box 6
Birmingham, Alabama 35201

Or call (205) 583-4328.

Your comments may be used on WBRC or on WBRC.com

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.