June 18, 2003


Here is the new deal: Say something not nice about some public figure; maybe someone who, though without much substance, still likes to bark like Bill O'reilly.

Then, prepare to provide space on your blog for whiny O'reilly to use to respond.

This very scenario is being proposed by the Council of Europe, a quasi-governmental body oft used to test proposals for new EU laws. As you can imagine some folks are not happy with this idea. From Peeve Farm:

And now the EU wants to regulate blogs, guaranteeing any criticized party the right to rebut any such criticism prominently on any such blog or website that issues it.
And from Perry at Samizdata:
People in the US, who take notions of Freedom of Expression and Private Property for granted, will be astonished by the latest steaming pile of wisdom to emerge from the clenched cheeks of our European would-be masters.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to climb right up on the battlements with Perry. Can't the folks that dream this stuff up just go find a real job?

Update: Perry has more and if you have lots of time den Beste covers this at length.

Posted by Steve on June 18, 2003

I'd be perfectly happy to provide space on my blog for O'Reilly to answer any remarks I made about him, but I certainly don't want any authority figure telling me it's required. It's not as if public figures don't have adequate avenues to publicly express their disagreement or dismay. Will he be required to give me camera time on his show to rebut his rebuttal?

Posted by Nurse Ratched at June 18, 2003 4:32 PM

Exactly! It is the aspect of being told that we must do this that bothers me. Having interesting guest rebutters from time to time could be pretty cool. I do a 100 word knockoff on someone and they get 100 words to respond. Might be a great traffic builder.

Posted by Steve at June 18, 2003 11:54 PM

Sure, I'd enjoy that. It would probably force me to be more careful with constructing and backing up my arguments, too, which would be a good thing. And I'm pretty sure if either of us had O'Reilly as a guest blogger that it would be an instant traffic-builder. :-)

Posted by Nurse Ratched at June 19, 2003 4:38 PM
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