Pittsburgh, it’s time again to give many of you a First Amendment lesson.
Entercom did NOT violate Wendy Bell’s First Amendment rights when it announced today it has taken her off the air.
This is as true today as it was a couple of years ago when WTAE did NOT violate her First Amendment rights by firing her.
Here’s what you must remember about the First Amendment and free speech: It prevents a government entity from tossing you in jail (or worse) for writing or saying something the government doesn’t like.
That’s it. (The Amendment’s other elements aren’t considered here because they’re not relevant to Bell’s situation.)
Any company may fire any employee for saying something that violates its standards. Any company may fire an employee for publicly advocating racist, violent or otherwise dangerous views. Any company may fire someone who embarrasses its brand.
So, go ahead and whine and cry all you want now that your Wonderful Wendy has been muted. (You might want to ask yourself why you think someone with rather clear racist and violent opinions ought to be supported, but, hey, that’s your call.) But don’t be foolish and scream that her rights to free speech have been violated.
Below are the words to the First Amendment. Remember them:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.