Free Speech, Red Herring.

It always seems that whenever a liberal says something stupid and objectionable – um ok let’s qualify that: whenever a liberal says something SO stupid and objectionable that even the MSM rouses itself out of its ideological torpor long enough to feature it, and the public (particularly the right) erupts in condemnation, the default defensive position of said lib is: “Shut up, I have Free Speech!”

In a general sense he and his fellow Libs are correct – everybody in America has free speech (unless they work in Academia, where certain kinds of speech have been banned), but the freedom to say what you like does not come with any guarantees that you will also be freed of responsibility for what you say or that others can’t use their freedom of speech to criticize you for saying it.

Supporters of Bill Maher, The Dixie Chicks and the former Edwards Campaign Bloggers, all victims of oral effluvia, have positioned themselves in this manner in the past; criticism as de facto censorship; refusal to buy the products touted by people who say things you find offensive as a violation of the Constitution. The public must shut up when they disagree and send you money to keep offending them, only then will your speech be free. Corporations, who link their image to celebrities, must continue to sponsor them. Television shows cannot be cancelled. “Shut Up and Sing” becomes “Shut Up and Buy Our Albums”.

Of course it’s a one way street: Ann Coulter’s wildly inappropriate comments last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 2, received the ire it deserved and the same liberal champions of consequence-free speech seemed to feel none of the reluctance to excoriate her that they appear to want the conservatives to feel when Bill Maher lets off a bad one. No, the nutroot section of the internet lit up like downtown Baghdad in 1990 as the invective plummeted down.

Where were they when Michael Savage was kicked off of MSNBC for his rough treatment of a gay radio caller, or Dr. Laura, who suffered a similar fate because of her statements about homosexuality? No complaints at all – apparently they don’t deserve or enjoy the same standard – for them it’s “Free Speech Lite”.

Let’s be clear about this – access to The Public Mind is both a curse and a blessing. When they like you, the world is your oyster. Only the wildly famous complain about being popular, but we all know they would suffer far more if they were suddenly ignored. It’s great to be listened to, but it also means that you will sometimes be held accountable for what you say. The worst consequence for Coulter, Maher, et al. is not criticism; it’s a return to obscurity.

Because media attention is also a privilege that can be revoked at any time.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Posted March 11, 2007 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi hairy,

    That, as I see it, is exactly why the Second Amendment is there. The Founding Fathers were scary in their wisdom.

    the Grit

  2. dug
    Posted March 12, 2007 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Let’s see if the media attacks Bill Maher a la the attcks on Coulter.. Maher has called the Republicans love of Ronald Reagan “GAY” .

  3. Posted March 12, 2007 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that Dug.

  4. carlie
    Posted March 13, 2007 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    I agree.. it’s only free speech when you say something that they agree with. Bastards.

  5. Posted March 13, 2007 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    It does seem to be QUITE difficult to get people to admit their obvious partisanship when it comes to being objective in commenting on various wrongs and slights committed by both parties, on a daily basis.

    I’ve been accused of the same, but I try to be as objective as possible…I’ve also discovered a political ideology which has captured my intense fascination, which is the Constitution Party. I only have one objection to anything I’ve read in their platform, which is the whole “Christian Nation” bit that is going to scare off a great many people who cringe at the idea of a state-sponsored religion…which would also have offended the Framers, interestingly enough.

    Otherwise, I agree with their ideas. Have you considered the Constitution Party? If so, what are your feelings on it?

    Glad to see you’re still typing away. 🙂

  6. Posted March 13, 2007 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    “positioned themselves in this manner in the past; criticism as de facto censorship”

    Exactly. Only an arrogant jerkoff imagines this to be valid, but they absolutely do.

    Global warming propogandists adhere to this victim based demagoguery.

  7. Posted March 13, 2007 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Grit,

    The Beast has always been a bit befuddled by those who discover unenumerated rights (i.e. – not actually IN the document)and style themselves civil libertarians because they interpret certain clauses broadly. These same people who posture and preen their devotion to this document simultaneously require interpretations of the second amendment that are so narrow as to remove it from existence.

    Another one-way street; Liberals push the rights they like and want you to have but negate the ones you have that they don’t like.

  8. Posted March 13, 2007 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Dug,

    Lol – you’re funny. Maher has already gotten a pass.

  9. Posted March 13, 2007 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Caz,

    It’s wrong because it’s insulting and untrue and worse still, MAHER KNOWS IT.

  10. Posted March 13, 2007 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    jeremia,

    The difference in this case is that this Free Speech trump exists soley in the playbook of the left. The rest is just the usual partisan one-upmanship.

    The Beast is not familar with the Constitution Party so he can’t comment.

    But to his knowlege there are no plans by anybody for a state religion – except for the Muslims, who already enjoy many Theocracies in various parts of the world.

  11. Posted March 13, 2007 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    icanplainlysee,

    Global warming advocates work harder than anybody to stifle free speech, but it’s ok for them.

  12. Caz
    Posted March 16, 2007 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Beasty – I gather you’ve never watched “Seinfeld”?

  13. Posted March 29, 2007 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi the Beast,

    What confuses me are the continued findings that the Federal Government has a new power not listed in the Constitution. Really, I would have expected someone to catch that in the first 150 years or so.

    the Grit


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