The Democrat mayor of Philadelphia has demanded an investigation against a local magazine because he doesn’t like what they wrote.

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Free speech according to Democrats: The Democrat mayor of Philadelphia has demanded an investigation against a local magazine because he doesn’t like what they published.

I ask the Commission consider specifically where Philadelphia Magazine and the writer, Bob Huber, are appropriate for rebuke by the Commission in light of the potentially inflammatory effect and reckless endangerment to Philadelphia’s race relations probably caused by the essay’s unsubstantiated charges. While I fully recognize that constitutional protections afforded the press are intended to protect the media from censorship by the government, the First Amendment, like other constitutional rights, is not an unfettered right, and notwithstanding the First Amendment, a publisher has a duty to the public to exercise its role in a responsible way. I ask the Commission to evaluate whether the “speech” employed in this essay is not the reckless equivalent of “shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater,” its prejudiced, fact-challenged generalizations an incitement to extreme reaction. [emphasis mine]

Under this Democratic mayor’s standards, anything that offended anyone could be banned. In fact, it would destroy all free speech. All any bully would need to do to silence his critics would be to complain about the inflammatory nature of their statements.

You can read his entire letter here. [pdf]



  • Canada does have laws prohibiting ‘offensive’ speech, and the effect has been much as you fear.

  • Patrick Ritchie

    If he was slandered in the article does he not have the right to file a defamation suit?

    Regardless, I don’t see why the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission should be involved…

  • Your last sentence answers your first question, and illustrates my point exactly.

    Note also that as a public official, the mayor has far less legal grounds for suing for slander. He also has far less justification to do it under moral grounds.

  • Pzatchok

    Its the new fascism of the left.

  • joe

    The truth! the left wont here it! The left will never accept responsibility for the destruction that they create in urban area’s with dem control, until black leaders start preaching family unity and start shrugging off dem policy’s that keep urban poor valueless it will only get worse. No one who wants to to do buisness will do it where it will cost too much to insure or defend will do it when there is only grief!

  • JGL

    Freedom of speech is not about speech which you like to hear and agree with, its about speech that you find offensive and disagree with. That is what the first amendment is all about.

    I think I remember previously hearing Mayor Nutter and as I remember him he was a pretty plain speaking man not bogged down in the politically correct race speech that he seems so upset by hear.

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