Back freedom of opinion

I want to thank the editorial staff for the July 17 editorial titled “The two sides of freedom.” It was an excellent statement in reviewing both sides of freedom in this country.

It also brought to mind this week’s controversy over the hiring of Jenny McCarthy by ABC-TV as a permanent host on the talk show The View. It brings into focus the very freedom that all Americans value – and that is freedom of speech. Ms. McCarthy has stated she witnessed her son’s regression into autism following his series of vaccinations. If some people disagree with her, they can certainly educate themselves and choose different paths for heir own children. Why should she be silenced for her views?

However, that is exactly what has happened. The media, from National Geographic and Forbes magazines, to The Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times, to major television stations, have called for a boycott of Ms. McCarthy and for ABC to rescind its offer. Headlines have read, “Don’t put Jenny McCarthy on The View as she is causing children to die” or “Jenny McCarthy’s pseudoscience has no place on the view.” This kind of backlash has no place in a country that was founded on freedom of speech.

Whatever one’s beliefs are regarding vaccines, we all have a right to speak out. Tens of thousands of parents saw the same thing happen to their children that Ms. McCarthy saw. We now have one in every 50 children in the United States diagnosed with autism and nobody can tell us why. The debate is not over.

I believe this media boycott is being fostered by the drug companies, especially those that make vaccines. Think about all the ads they run in the media and how much of their money supports magazines, newspapers and television.

So, again, thanks to The Augusta Chronicle for pointing out the freedoms we have and those that are denied us or soon will be. Thanks also to ABC-TV for not bowing to those who would take away our freedom of speech.

Maurine Meleck

North Augusta, S.C.

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