"Taser this: Fuck Bush"
He was apparently referring to the Tasering of a college student who had disrupted a John Kerry speech earlier in the week, but it's not real clear what George Bush had to do with it ... or why this kid felt a profane need to belch out his clearly immature politics. But kids will be kids, eh?
McSwane has certainly cost his newspaper a lot of money and his "publisher" (Colorado State University) some great embarrassment for the simple reason that he couldn't control himself. His Tourette-like mini-spew isn't just foul, it doesn't make sense. But free speech is funny that way: One needn't be coherent to speak freely.
I defend McSwane's right to say it. I also defend his publisher's right to fire him for misusing his rights and his position as a gatekeeper. That's another funny thing about free speech.
McSwane is just a potty-mouthed kid who apparently can't form a logical, rational argument for or against whatever he's for or against. His thought processes are crippled. He's a heckler, not an orator. He's thinking of himself, not his readers.
Would I hire him in my newsroom? Not a chance. Not because he's an inarticulate freak. Not because his vocabulary seems woefully limited. Not because he's apparently incapable of original thought. Not because he prefers to stand at the back of the crowd and shout profanity instead of leading a crowd to a positive conclusion. Not because he's heckling Bush (I'd feel the same if it was Hillary or Obama.) Not because he showed disrespect for his publisher and his community. Not because he can't seem to surrender his knee-jerk politics to the greater purpose of writing wisdom.
But because he seems to have no ability to step back from his narcissism and say something that's worth the price of ink and dead trees. This masturbatory little punk put himself first, not his readers.
Good luck, kid, in pizza delivery because you suck as a newspaperman.