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Saturday, September 17, 2005
  Free Speech for thee and not for me
State: Firing puts East Lake grad at center of debate: "
Is she a poster child for political correctness run amok on college campuses? Or a prime example of a student journalist derailed by slipshod ethics?

Those are the questions after the high-profile dismissal of Jillian Bandes from her job as a columnist for the student-run Daily Tar Heel, an independent newspaper at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Bandes, 20, grew up in Palm Harbor and once worked as a high school-age correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times. She was fired from the Tar Heel Wednesday amid a firestorm of local criticism sparked by a column she wrote for Tuesday's edition headlined: 'It's sad but racial profiling is necessary for our safety.'

The lead paragraph of her story set the tone: 'I want all Arabs to be stripped naked and cavity-searched if they get within 100 yards of an airport.' Bandes paraphrased conservative columnist Ann Coulter's comments on the physical intimacy at airport security checkpoints before noting: 'I want Arabs to get sexed up like nothing else.'

Bandes, a junior majoring in international studies, says she was fired by editors reacting to a wave of protests from liberal readers and three Arab sources quoted in the story. Tar Heel officials say Bandes misled her sources on the true focus of her article and misinformed editors on whether the quotes she used accurately reflected their views."
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