To the Editor:

I found your Oct. 19 editorial, “You Call This a Free Press?” (The Hoya, A2) to be an overstated and histrionic indictment based on an incomplete analysis.

Your refusal to acknowledge the material differences between political advertising and editorial content makes your argument quite weak.

When Georgetown says that pro-choice advertisements may not be published, it is not preventing the expression of that viewpoint. The Hoya is free to publish articles favoring abortion rights, or any other opinion, as you point out.

Rather, the university is refusing to profit from those who disagree with its core principles, since to do so would be profoundly hypocritical. That The Hoya is financially self-sufficient is irrelevant. It belongs to Georgetown University and its profits and losses are equally Georgetown’s.

It is silly to suggest that denying one the ability to pay to express an opinion but allowing that person to do it for free suffocates free speech.

While you are correct in your assertion that this rule means that The Hoya does not enjoy pure freedom of speech, the situation is hardly as extreme as you would have us believe.

If this inequality of access to advertising is so troublesome, then you ought to consider rejecting speech ads when alternative views are not allowed.

Certain members of The Hoya make no secret of their desire to become independent. They wish to free themselves from what they see as the oppressive yolk of Georgetown University, yet their complaints want for substance.

Perhaps the zealous overreaching of this editorial was an attempt to put some meat on the bones of a very thin argument.

Michael Sanders (SFS ’04)

Oct. 27, 2004

The writer is a former Media Board member.

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