Opinion: Doormat

POSTED: 11/16/12 6:20 PM

We support freedom of expression, which means that at times we have to defend something we do not agree with. That’s okay, because freedom of expression is a big thing in a constitutional democracy. But what to do if that freedom of expression is abused? Do we then still have to support this basic right?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes.

So now we see how a web site that we routinely prefer to describe as a gossip site is opening a frontal attack on the integrity of a journalist (who is not working for this newspaper) in a way that reveals an unprecedented level of vindictiveness.

It is always good, when accusations come your way, to look at the messenger. There is no need to kill the messenger, because in this case the messenger is quite busy doing its own killing. At the same time, the word personal vendetta comes to mind.

It’s okay to have a vendetta (as long as there are no real weapons involved), but to play this out in the public domain is quite embarrassing – not for the accused, but for the accuser. This is especially true because the gossip web site lets itself be used (with or without pay, we don’t know) as the doormat for – just to name two examples – the Inspector General of the Public Health Ministry, and for at least two attorneys.

Freedom of expression is a great thing, but when it falls into incapable hands, its effects are sometimes devastating.


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