Tuned In

Losing Your TV Job Is Not a First Amendment Issue

Cable TV, thank God, is not the government.

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Sigh. I can’t believe we have to explain this, over and over, every time a media figure loses a job (or just gets a for-show suspension) over saying something stupid, but: Losing your job for saying something that embarrasses your private employer–even if that is a media outlet–is not a free speech issue. It is not a First Amendment issue. It may be dumb, it may be justified, but it is not a constitutional violation. It is not for Phil Robertson, Alec Baldwin, Martin Bashir, Don Imus, The Dixie Chicks, Rush Limbaugh, or anyone else. People changing the channel or not buying your products because of what you said is not “censorship”; nor is losing a business deal for same.

Cable TV is not the government, thank God. But apparently some politicians both inside and outside the government could stand to reread the First Amendment.