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Media personalities face backlash after student arrest

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.

BACKLASH FACING MEDIA PERSONALITIES PUTS FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN FOCUS

Michelle Fields:  I’m young, but I’m old enough to remember the days that when you saw something on TV you didn’t like, you’d pick up this thing called a remote control and you would just change the channel and it would go away.  You didn’t have petitions. I think this is actually good for Raven and liberals because they are finally realizing what Democrats are like.  If you don’t toe the Democratic Party line, if you don’t agree with them on every issue, and God forbid, think for yourself, then they will come after you and make sure that you don’t even have a job.  I think the petition is dumb, I think that the petitions that they’re putting forth are silly. 

Eboni K. Williams:  Here’s the thing, it’s very much about the race issue.  As a black American in this country, the amount of black people on TV, let alone national platforms like ‘The View’ and these big cable news outlets, there are limited representations.  Here’s what the outrage is about whether you think it’s fair or not, when you hold that position as a black person in this country, there’s an expectation that you are going to represent a point of view that is consistent with the community at large.  When you don’t hold that point of view, there is going to be backlash and outrage around that.  That is really what you’re seeing.  I’m not even saying that it’s the right thing to do, it’s going to be what is expected when you are, not just a black person, any marginalized community that’s limitedly represented in media.  

Jonathan Hoenig:  I’m bewildered by Eboni, but free speech.  Unless we just talk about movies and the weather, you’re going to have disagreements.  You’re going to be offended by free speech and I don’t think it should be silenced, it should be tolerated.  You should either counter it with reason or simply ignore it.  Whether it’s the Nazis marching in Skokie, Illinois back in the 1970s, or Rudy Huxtable on ‘The View’, sometimes you’re better off just to ignore the message rather than bring any attention to it. 

Jessica Tarlov:  We talked about this last week as well, and I felt that you guys were, in some ways, justifying what the cop did by phrasing the question in that way saying that we need to know what happened beforehand instead of just absolute outrage at the event.  I want to return to what Michelle was saying, where the left goes nuts about this.  There are many instances of the right going nuts.  In 2012, Mark Levin called for Al Sharpton to be fired.  We have Martin Bashir losing his job over his unfortunate comments about Sarah Palin even though he profusely apologized.  We have Keith Olbermann thrown off the air because they wouldn’t let him do commentaries anymore. There’s no way that it was liberals going after him for that, it was the right.  Right now we have GOP candidates who want to fire the debate system essentially because they don’t like the way things are going.  This is not just a left problem, this is an American thing that happens on both sides of the aisle.  Do not put it all on liberals, it’s not true.

WHITE HOUSE MOVE WILL BAN GOVERNMENT FROM ASKING ABOUT CRIMINAL HISTORY ON JOB APPLICATIONS

Jonathan Hoenig:  To ignore someone’s criminal history is totally evasion of reality.  Employers, especially the federal government, should be able to ask any question they are.  Should you hire a con?  I think it depends on the con.  Somebody for example that’s committed a violent crime has about a 70 percent chance of being arrested for that violent crime but someone who’s been arrested for drug use or abuse only has a 12 percent chance of being rearrested.  So look at the individual, and the government should have the highest standards than anyone.

Jessica Tarlov:  That’s not what’s going on here, it’s about banning the box on the initial application.  Obama has made it perfectly clear that this is not about federal workers not having to own up to their criminal records, if they have one, it’s just that it won’t be the initial thing that they see.  It’s about reducing the initial penalty.  Ex-cons have 60 percent long-term unemployment and this directly contributes to that issue.

Michelle Fields:  Absolutely the taxpayers should know if someone is an ex-con and that their money is going to be supporting these people and hiring these people.  I absolutely disagree with Jessica, I think that the taxpayer ought to know.  I don’t think that we should be hiring ex-cons, I don’t think that we should be hiring people in the federal government period, because we have enough people as it is.

Eboni K. Williams:  I spent many years as a criminal defense lawyer, and I watched many people be unsuccessful in being rehabilitated and that’s a sad thing in this country, but some were.  Some were actually successful, and there’s a two prong part to our criminal justice system.  Sure, protecting society, number one, but also there’s a rehabilitation component where in theory, we want these people to serve their time, do their sentence and transition to successful contributors to society.  So I don’t think it’s really fair or responsible for us to say that we shouldn’t hire these people.  I do agree with Jonathan, because if there’s someone’s been violent, if there’s a sex crime, there’s habitual crimes, then they should disclose that.

NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS BOSSES WHO MAKE JOKES ANNOY AND OFFEND EMPLOYEES

Jessica Tarlov:  My boss jokes around, and I think it’s fantastic for moral.  We have a great office culture because of it, but it’s all about whether the jokes are appropriate or not.  An ill-timed joke is terrible, an inappropriate joke is terrible, so I think it’s about how it’s executed but I think joking around is great. 

Jonathan Hoenig:  I think the boss should act like a boss.  It’s work, it’s not play and I think the real pleasure in work not comes from a wise cracking boss but from the self-esteem.  I think that work is a place of business.

Michelle Fields:  I think it’s fine so long as the execution is good.  I think a lot of people think they’re funny and they’re not and employees feel compelled to laugh and sometimes they make inappropriate jokes.  I think if you’re doing that, it’s not good.

Eboni K. Williams:  If you’re getting the job done, you can say pretty much whatever you want to.  If you’re slacking, you got to tread really carefully because no one wants to hear it.  If you’re doing well, I think you get way more leeway.