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Speech is free

September 29, 2007

REGARDING demeaning, stereotypical or violent images in American pop culture, Patrick Goldstein claims to be "as conflicted as everyone else about the issue" ["Calling All Foul Mouths," Sept. 25]. He then comes down squarely on the side of puritanical government busybodies by saying the entertainment industry should not be allowed to police itself. He adds that artists "should be willing to defend [their] work" to those who find it offensive -- apparently instead of simply letting a little thing called the 1st Amendment do the talking.

Artists have no obligation to defend their work to anyone, least of all to a politician -- or journalist -- who sees no harm in congressional hearings that are intended to chill free speech.

James Dawson

Woodland Hills

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