For a newspaper with a masthead that screams “Democracy dies in darkness,” The Washington Post doesn’t seem too concerned about a new poll finding nearly 4 out of 10 college students think it’s okay limit free speech if they don’t like it. It was left to the journalists at CBS on Monday to mock college snowflakes who can't handle alternative points of view.
The Post banished the poll to page B-2 of the metro section. Not exactly prime location. There, writer Jeffrey J. Selingo recounted the alarming news: “37 percent of college students in the poll said that shouting down speakers was acceptable, at least sometimes. Another 10 percent said it was acceptable sometimes to use violence to prevent someone from speaking.”
On Monday, only CBS This Morning bothered to cover the story. To their credit, the show's hosts mocked college snowflakes who can’t handle ideas that differ from their own:
NORAH O’DONNELL: The Washington Post looks at a survey out this morning that says college students support free speech unless it offends them. [Laughter from hosts.] A poll of 3000 U.S. students revealed they generally endorse campuses that encourage the discussion of a variety of ideas. But they're willing to limit free speech if the ideas infringe on their personal values. We all need to learn more about what free speech is.
GAYLE KING: [Laughs.] That’s right.
JOHN DICKERSON: They like all food unless it tastes bad.
In perhaps a bit of excuse making, the Post's Selingo offered:
Some scholars have noted that one reason current college students are ambivalent, sometimes even hostile, to the idea of free speech is that they were a generation raised to recognize that bullying is wrong.
You would think that all journalists would zealously defend the First Amendment. Apparently, The Washington Post, ABC and NBC aren’t as concerned.