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Tom Shillue


Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences

ABC's "Roseanne" has been cancelled following a racist tweet by star Roseanne Barr. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

When ABC canceled its top-rated Roseanne revival because of vile racist comments by its star, Americans received another reminder that freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.

No, the government can’t stop you from saying stupid things but a private business can terminate your employment if your offensive words damage that company’s image or bottom line. Kathy Griffin saw her career go up in flames when she appeared with a bloody replica of President Trump’s severed head, and NFL players will no longer be able to damage their league’s ratings by demonstrating against the national anthem.

Meanwhile, conservatives shouldn’t rush to Roseanne Barr’s defense: she’s a long-time leftist and conspiracy nut who ran for the Green Party presidential nomination. Her recent embrace of Trump always seemed to be more a commercial strategy than a matter of conviction.


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