Brian Faler's Sept. 30 news story, "Bennett Under Fire for Remark on Crime and Black Abortions," contained the assertion that William J. Bennett's radio show should, in the words of a civil rights leader, be "pulled from the air" for comments he made about abortion, crime and race. That is ridiculous.

The appropriate response to the presentation of any idea we disagree with or find distasteful is the presentation of a better idea or at least an alternative. It becomes quickly apparent from reading history that the tyrannical desire to suppress discourse is far more common than the tolerance that fosters democratic ideals.

The ideas attributed to Mr. Bennett are an extension of the notions presented by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner in their best-selling book, "Freakonomics." Their chapter "Where Have All the Criminals Gone" explores the correlation between the rates of abortion and crime in some detail. Has anyone called for closing the HarperCollins publishing company for its presentation of a notion that many people find distasteful?

As the authors of that book acknowledge, discussion of the abortion-crime correlation didn't start with them, and their references are duly noted.

Someone please explain how we maintain the liberty we claim to value without maintaining tolerance for all ideas.