My fellow Waukesha Freeman columnist Tim Schilke is taken to the woodshed by Rick Esenberg. Schilke believes that conservatives on the talk radio circuit not only have a moral obligation to shut up, but possibly a legal obligation. Esenberg takes Schilke to law school:
As Schilke acknowledges, in circumstances relevant to this question, the First Amendment prohibits the punishment of speech unless 1) it is “directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action” and (2) it is “likely to incite or produce such action.” Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444(1969)
If our talk show hosts had called upon the masses to rise up and stomp the poor fellow, he’d have a point. But criticizing someone – even harshly – does not qualify. Even urging people to let someone – say a politician or a business – know that you disapprove of some action they have taken does not qualify.