Speak up

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

It’s been building for a while. Every week, more people have suggested war-related stories. Somehow, they just all came together at once. Here we are, an issue hip-deep in the likely upcoming war against Iraq. While there are a lot of opinions expressed in this paper, there is one seemingly unrepresented—pro-war.

You’ll have to take my word that if I’d realized it sooner, I’d have put a pro-war viewpoint in the paper, at least in Guest comment. I see no reason to fear dissenting opinions. It’s the people who try to stifle dissenting opinions who scare me. Still, it’s not like the pro-war view is under represented. Almost every other mainstream mass media outlet seems in favor of this war. When I see the media whores on the network “news” touting new weapons like they’re promoting add-ons for my PDA, interviewing generals like they’re captains of industry and then tsk-tsking the petroleum companies for profiteering, I want to puke. You don’t suppose these mass media outlets are in favor of the war because they are owned by the companies that make the bombs, do you?

That’s my roundabout way at getting at the core topic of this editor’s note: free speech. I’ve noticed a lot of stories about people being punished for exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech as of late. The dean who got fired at UNR comes to mind. So does an e-mail that was sent out by the Washoe County School District, which we discuss on page 9. I couldn’t count on all my fingers and toes the number of times I’ve heard, since Sept. 11, an opinion prefaced by, “Well, I shouldn’t be saying this, but …”

Man, say it. If you don’t say it, no matter what it is, eventually you will lose the right to say it.

Along other unrelated, maybe, lines, Brian Bahouth, news director at KUNR, informs me that the station’s special High Desert Forum with UNR Provost John Frederick will be at 4 p.m. on March 25, rather than March 19, as originally scheduled.