BOSTON (CBS) – Imagine if you were a pop music superstar with an image that appeals to a wide audience and a reputation for avoiding politics like the plague.
All of a sudden, in an era where way too many people believe anything they see or hear, regardless of the source, obscure blogs and websites start speculating that you’re a neo-Nazi.
How would you feel about this false and potentially career-damaging narrative?
Taylor Swift isn’t hiding how she feels about a blogger’s efforts to breathe life into the claim she’s promoting white supremacy in her work. A letter from her lawyers demands the blogger cut it out. And now the American Civil Liberties Union has gotten involved, with a letter to Swift insisting that the Nazi smears are protected opinion.
Which side is right?
They both are.
Just because the blogger has the right to claim scenes like one from a Swift video are glorifying Nazism doesn’t mean it’s responsible to do so. In fact, it’s very irresponsible, and gives the First Amendment a bad name.
But there’s a good reason why the right to free speech sometimes gets a bad rap.
If all it protected were popular speech and opinion, it wouldn’t be a constitutional right, but a privilege bestowed by whatever self-appointed censor is in power.
So as understandably miffed as Taylor Swift might be, she’ll just have to use her music and her platform to tell her own story.
My guess is her huge megaphone can and will drown out the blogger’s tiny one.