OpinionMeister

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Freedom of Speech vs. Freedom of Speech

Deadlines can be a problem for newspapers. By the time their story is published, it may be obsolete. Here is the story of two news reports from Oregon, one from a newspaper and one from a local TV news web site, both dated January 28.

The The Salem Statesman Journal reports that:

Marion County has allowed a Portland-area skinhead group to adopt a rural Salem road as part of a volunteer litter clean-up program.

The signs proclaiming that Sunnyview Road NE between Cordon Road and 82nd Avenue is sponsored by the American Nazi Party NSM were installed Monday.

County officials say they were legally advised that excluding the organization would violate a constitutional right to free speech. Their choices, they said, were: allow the group to join the program, remove all of the signs from the program or refuse the group and risk a lawsuit.

That same day, KATU News in Portland reported:
Two controversial road signs that were put up in Marion County have already been ripped down.

The road signs read, "The American Nazi Party has adopted a two mile stretch of Sunnyview Road" and were put up by Marion County officials one week ago.

It seems that people driving along the road have some freedom of expression too.

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