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New Times chose to publish hateful content


On Aug. 17, the Shredder championed the rights of groups like the Missionaries Fellowship of Los Angeles to express their offensive views, just as progressive groups have the right to express their views ("Don't fight fascism with fascism").

But there is an important difference between organizing a protest, voicing one's beliefs at a public government meeting, and the like, and publishing in a privately owned, edited outlet. The Missionaries Fellowship message was a paid insert accepted by New Times. No one has an unabridged right to buy space in New Times; I doubt New Times would accept ads from human traffickers or illegal narcotics dealers, for instance. New Times reserves the right to publish what it wants to publish, and to refuse to publish what it does not want to publish.

"Alt-right" speakers on college campuses present a similar case. Once they are invited, disinviting them is easily viewed as censorship. But what if they are not invited in the first place? No one obliges UC Berkeley or Cal Poly to invite Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter to campus. Ignoring them, not inviting them, is harder to view as censorship. Yes, alt-righters and religious bigots have every right to express their views (within the limit of inciting violence), but they don't have the right to choose whatever venue they desire.

New Times made a conscious decision to accept payment in return for publishing hateful messages. They were not obliged to do so under the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

Johanna Rubba

Grover Beach

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