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By Scott Tibbs, March 4th, 2004

Another Leftist attack on free speech

There are few things that shock me when reading the opinion page, especially one of a student newspaper. I've seen some really wacky Leftist arguments over the last ten years since I entered IU as a freshman. But this letter to the editor really takes the cake as possibly the most radical attack on freedom I have seen, before or after graduation.

Allow me to provide a little back story. David Horowitz bought space in the IDS for an article titled "The Middle East War is not about a Palestinian State or Palestinian Land". Horowitz buys ad space in campus newspapers frequently to explain his conservative views. Horowitz successfully baits radical Leftists into calling for censorship, as he did three years ago with an advertisement on reparations for the descendants of slaves.

Horowitz hit the jackpot this time. Graduate student Sebastian Braun writes:

As obviously the IDS is not ready to learn, I call upon the University administration to speak out and rethink the concept of a student newspaper that prints hate advertisements and insults the community it is supposed to serve.
This is nothing short of stunning. Braun is actually suggesting that the Indiana Daily Student be shut down by the administration because it ran an ad Braun didn't like. Shutting down newspapers that print "offensive" articles? This line of thinking can be best described as Stalinist.

The idiocy of Braun's call for censorship is obvious. The IDS (like most campus newspapers) is not exactly a bastion of conservatism. (For that, you have alternative publications like Hoosier Review.) Shutting down the IDS would remove a major source for campus Leftists to express their views. In fact, the IDS has had many good and thought provoking Leftist columnists over the years, from Andrew Straw, Dan Wiseman and Laura Taflinger during my college days to a few good columnists now.

Furthermore, The IDS is more than willing to publish responses to the ads it runs, as it did with people upset about the reparations ad and Braun's hysterical screeching. There is plenty of room for rebuttal. But some Leftist radicals are not satisfied with that. They want opposition views silenced. They must never be allowed to succeed.