- A high-profile figure or sometimes just a person (we'll call them Person X) makes a comment, publicly, that someone takes offense to (it could be something they say in the real world that then makes it into print or something they write on a blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- The offended party (Person Y) publicly takes issue with the statement (on their blog, Twitter, etc.)
- A third party (Person Z) is offended in turn by Person Y's response (whether or not they agree with Person X's original sentiment), and tells them that Person X "is entitled to" or "has a right to" his or her opinion.
When this happens, it always sounds to me like Z is suggesting that X has more right to their opinion than Y (because X is more famous, perhaps?). If that's not what they mean, what do the Z's of the world mean by these statements? Everyone has a right to their opinion, sure, but no one has the right to not be criticized.