It is the responsibility of all who have a public platform to speak the truth. Reputable journalists and broadcasters, as well as all elected officials, must rededicate themselves to speaking the truth and exposing lies.
Death panels, government takeover of health care, bald-faced lies about our president’s country of birth or religion — these are the kind of despicable falsehoods that permeate our culture. They serve no purpose other than to incite contempt for our government.
Reckless and hateful speech often has a terrible human cost. If the horrific events in Arizona are not enough to modulate our public discourse, it is likely there will be more violence, more deaths. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima Country, Ariz., summed it up best as he has repeatedly mentioned the effect of the vitriol spewed by many on talk radio and some on television: “It may be freedom of speech, but it has consequences.”
Rep. Steve Cohen is a Democrat who represents Tennessee’s 9th district.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.