Sarah Palin has been notorious for propagating distortions of the First Amendment and the meaning of “free speech rights” – essentially, when she or one of her right-wing friends is criticized for some offensive thing they said, in her eyes, their freedom of speech was violated.
It’s a woefully flawed and ignorant understanding of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech that she and other right wingers often grab onto and use to cry foul when they are called out for their bigoted remarks.
Most recently, Palin has been pushing her false “free speech” line in defense of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, after he came under fire by his television network for an interview in which is he expressed views many perceived as homophobic and racist. But even Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren, who has a history as something of a Palin cheerleader (Who can forget that painful-to-watch “first dude” interview with Todd Palin back in 2008?), couldn’t let Palin’s confusion go uncontested and had to correct her – albeit gently.