[Ed. – A powerful argument that should be a clarion call to all all news organizations and citizens who have come to view suppression of disquieting ideas as their duty.]
But as important as it is to try to keep people safe against genuine threats, it is not the duty of the paper to make people feel safe by refusing to publish a dismaying Op-Ed. Even if one concedes that Cotton’s call to send in the troops poses potential risks, it poses those risks whether his call appears in these pages or not. To know Cotton’s views is, if nothing else, to be better armed against them.
The same goes for any other type of knowledge, however unpleasant: Having more of it is always a source of strength — a belief that lies at the core of our profession.
Or, I should say, used to. There is a spirit of ferocious intellectual intolerance sweeping the country and much of the journalistic establishment with it. Contrary opinions aren’t just wrong but unworthy of discussion.