We support freedom of speech . . . as long as you don’t listen!
On the job I access the internet through a military network (I’m a civilian contractor on a U.S. Air Force base). The military has always used filters to deny access to web sites containing pornography, hate speech, or games, but lately they seem to be taking an active interest in political content as well. In an earlier entry I talked about banned blogs, noting that while we .mil types can freely access right-wing blogs we are no longer allowed to pull up certain left-wing blogs.
Yesterday, while I was on the Drudge Report site, I idly clicked on the link to Molly Ivin’s editorial column. Sorry, Charlie, no can do . . . “The URL you have requested is explicitly forbidden . . . The content category reported is Entertainment, Humor.” Just to check, I clicked on Rush Limbaugh’s site. Came right up. It seems unlikely that Molly Ivin’s editorials contain anything that would trigger the filter . . . I think it’s much more likely that someone manually entered her site onto the banned list.
Somewhere in here, methinks, we’ve crossed a line. The military is denying access to mainstream media editorialists who, presumably, oppose the current administration and our invasion of Iraq. Okay, you can argue, but editorials contain opinion, not necessarily news. Well, there’s a lot of news the administration would just as soon we didn’t read either, as I mentioned in this entry. I wonder how long it’ll be before they start blanking out the Washington Post and New York Times?