Monday, July 23, 2007

Shorter Stanley Fish

by Tom Bozzo

My columns would go over better with the Washington Times readership.
(Times Select link, a column responding to readers who gave Fish what-for after a column praising Clarence Thomas's opinion that students have no free speech rights.)

At the very bottom of the column, the Nutty Perfesser — in contrast to his previous vagueness with respect to atheists and evolution — assures everyone that his affection for Thomas's opinion is not Swiftian satire or a pomo mind game. Thanks for clearing that up, Stanley, but did we really need to see directly into that corner of your mind?

But as a lack-of-self-awareness bonus, Fish offers this among potshots taken at various commenters (*) to the original column:
Krista Kerber believes that my columns are themselves “a perfect illustration of 1st amendment rights.” No, they are an example of rights granted, not possessed. The New York Times can always decline to print what I write, although if you are reading this, it hasn’t done so yet.
Hope springs eternal (though we appreciate the source of blogging material, Times Select editors). But is our Perfesser reading? She said,
[F]or Fish to hold this opinion and express it is a perfect illustration of 1st amendment rights.
Ms. Kerber doesn't claim that Fish or anyone has a right to expression at The only fair reading of the comment's plain language is that what Fish has is a right to express himself whether in major media, at, or handing out flyers on the Florida International University campus. Kerber 1, Fish 0.

(*) Some of whom make elementary mistakes like assuming there may be no limits to free speech rights.

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