OUR VIEWPOINT: While deeply offensive, the Koala is still legal
A group of CSU San Marcos students seeking to shutter the campus’s satirical newspaper are forgetting an essential rule about protected speech: taste is irrelevant.
The moral crusaders have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education asking that The Koala, a crude and obscene publication printed irregularly that pokes fun at CSUSM life, be shut down because it creates a “hostile learning environment,” according to a Nov. 11 North County Times write-up.
It is true that the Koala is deeply offensive and offers little respectable information to its readers. But, however unnecessary and off-putting the content of its pages, the paper’s publishers and writers have a concrete and established right to continue producing their drivel.
Freedom of speech and of the press form the bedrock of America’s world-renown system of justice and equality. Again and again, the Supreme Court and other dockets have decided that personal sensibilities should not be the basis for censorship.
Vulgarity—and, for that matter, utility—are entirely in the eye of the beholder. The Koala shouldn’t blink in the eye of this challenge, and the federal government should respect its right to continue to piss people off every single day.