A small Tennessee-based newspaper has become the center of a free speech firestorm after it was banned from a grocery store chain and a KFC for allegedly publishing "hate" speech. The Rutherford Reader, a family owned and operated business, runs feature columns of local interest, many of which lately have related to controversy surrounding a mosque being built in Rutherford County.
The columns didn't sit well with at least one patron who complained to several companies that they amounted to hate speech after a guest columnist in April referred to Islam as "evil." One month later, the Reader was dropped from Kroger grocery stores, and soon after from a local KFC. Now the paper is threatening to sue, saying this is a blatant breach of its First Amendment rights.
U. S. Constitution, Amendment I:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The last time I checked, Congress doesn't run grocery stores or fast food restaurants... only banks and automobile manufacturers (and possibly oil companies). ;)
Newspaper, Businesses Feud in Tennessee Over Claims of 'Hate Rhetoric'