Why Do Liberals Censor?

As I go through the Spring cleaning process of removing cobwebs from my mind I find from time to time the need to question my own tribe, the political liberal. One phenomenon I have noticed is the liberal’s need to censor speech he finds offensive. I got a dose of this first hand about a year ago when I visited a liberal blog, expressed a sentiment slightly off the “talking points” and found myself ridiculed and worse, discovered some of my comments edited.  But let’s not make this about me. Let’s look at a famous recent case.

Rush Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke, a congressional committee witness, as a slut. He was making an absurd point about her birth control testimony. It was crude and offensive. He eventually offered an apology of sorts. But what ensued after his original statement seems typical of the left. Petitions went out immediately to urge sponsors to drop his show. The goal no doubt was to either shut him up or put him off the air. Now I personally have no use for Rush Limbaugh but the far more effective strategy in my book is to argue with him. Go head to head with him. Write about his foolishness so it gets the disinfectant of media attention. But why the need to fire him? Why the need to silence him? Groups like change.org and Daily Kos spend a good amount of time trying to financially punish people with whom they disagree. Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against boycotts to encourage proper corporate behavior but to curtail free speech? To me that’s a bit much.

Contrast this with the conservative reaction to conservative commentator S.E. Cupp’s being defamed in Hustler magazine. Cupp was photo-shopped to appear as though she were fellating a disembodied penis. Accompanying the fake picture was Hustler’s political “justification” for creating it. I have not read a single article about conservatives calling for the firing of Larry Flynt or the termination of his magazine. Despite the incredibly vulgar attack against Cupp, the most I have seen conservatives do is yell loud and clear about the liberal (and feminist) double standard that keeps them from repudiating this kind of attack when a conservative is the victim.

Another example, actually the one that moved me to write this piece, occurred in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In an April article, writer Naomi Schaefer Riley wrote about the topics of Black Studies theses at certain universities. Her piece was titled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” She found a bunch of dissertations that she considered liberal “claptrap”. She has a right to her opinion. After being attacked for the piece, she wrote a follow-up, not apologizing but defending her original article. At that point, she was summarily fired and the Chronicle issued this apology:

When we published Naomi Schaefer Riley’s blog posting on Brainstorm last week (“The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations”), several thousand of you spoke out in outrage and disappointment that The Chronicle had published an article that did not conform to the journalistic standards and civil tone that you expect from us.

We’ve heard you, and we have taken to heart what you said.

We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.

So, all it takes is several thousand whining liberals to break this magazine’s backbone and throw their employee under the bus? The Chronicle knew what they were getting when they hired Riley. What the heck does “fairness in opinion articles” mean? When is opinion ever  “fair”? Opinion is by definition biased. But Riley violated the critical liberal law of “don’t criticize black people”. And so she was canned. As an aside, Riley is married to a black man.

If conservatives, on the other hand tried to silence vitriolic rhetoric from the left, Keith Olbermann’s career would have been ended by conservatives and not by …. Keith Olbermann. Ed Schulz who called Laura Ingraham a slut would have been fired long ago. (He was admonished and he did apologize but I doubt it was from any boycott campaign by conservatives.)

Bottom line, to me conservatives tend to fight fire with fire while liberals fight fire with “get him fired.”


Art by Ian Marsden from Montpellier (Rush Limbaugh by Ian Marsden) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Must Be ACORN (Plus My Endorsement)

Must be ACORN

When the news came down today that the Iowa caucus results announced earlier this month were bogus, Republicans across the country were outraged. Tallies from eight precincts are hopelessly lost. Santorum is as of today, the winner of the caucus but we’ll really never know who won.

George Will said, “This is a travesty of justice!”

Erick Erickson cried, “Voter fraud such as this cannot stand!”

Andrew Breitbart exclaimed, “It’s a Catholic conspiracy against the Mormons!”

Rush Limbaugh belched, “This, my friends, is just another nail in the coffin of a free America, hammered in by socialist saboteurs.”

Well, actually none of those quotes are real. I made them all up. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be a single Republican upset that the Iowa caucus resembled an election in a banana republic or perhaps Afghanistan or Iraq. No outrage or finger-pointing. Just an “oh well, maybe Santorum really won, maybe he didn’t.”

Remember this in November when the GOP screams voter fraud upon Obama’s reelection.

My Endorsement

I am making history today by offering a limited endorsement. This endorsement only extends to the South Carolina primary but make no mistake, this endorsement is sincere.

This Saturday I am urging all primary voters in South Carolina to vote for …

Herman Cain

Yes, you read that right. Earlier this week, comedian Stephen Colbert made the point that he could not get on the presidential ballot in South Carolina even if he wanted to. Deadlines have long since passed. But he made the equally valid point that Herman Cain, despite dropping out of the race, cannot get off the ballot. So with a wink and a nod, Colbert suggested that a vote for Cain is a vote for Colbert.

I am fully with Colbert on this one. It’s time we made South Carolina a true protest vote. A vote for Cain/Colbert is a statement that:

  1. We are tired of this clown car masquerading as serious contenders for the presidency and
  2. We are disgusted with what the Citizens United decision has wrought, where money equals speech and corporate and lobbyist interests now have the biggest voice.

Using his, wups, I mean Jon Stewart’s Super PAC money, Colbert has launched several ads in South Carolina to get his point across including the Cain as Colbert vote initiative.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Citizens of South Carolina, go out on Saturday and vote for Herman Cain knowing that a vote for Cain is a vote for Colbert and a vote for Colbert is a vote to stop the insanity!


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Obama Oval Office Address: Even Left Says Epic Fail

I noticed recently that one of my conservative readers started quoting from liberal media sources, sources that he had previously derided. He helped me understand why and tonight I got a full blast of confirmation. You see, the liberal media is starting to turn on Barack Obama and conservative Obama-haters everywhere no longer need to seek refuge at Fox “News” to get their daily fix of Obama-ass-kicking. (That’s Obama being kicked, not the other way around.)

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Tonight, Obama spent about 15 minutes broadcasting from the Oval Office his plan of action for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. Oh wait a minute, there was no discernible plan discussed. Forget O’Reilly, Hannity or Limbaugh. Keith Olbermann, yes the left’s answer to the Fox stable of opinion-meisters, was nearly apoplectic at the conclusion of Obama’s address tonight. He wasn’t alone. His guests, Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman piled on too.

Nearly everyone on the left defined tonight as Obama’s opportunity to make the Kennedy-moon-mission speech with the new mission being energy independence. It didn’t happen. At one moment it came close. You see, Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon and bring him safely back to Earth. He threw down the gauntlet and let the details take care of themselves. That is what a President is supposed to do. He is NOT supposed to tell the American people we will change our energy policy …. I don’t know how but it is going to happen. What do you mean, you don’t know how? You don’t need to say that. That is not what we want to hear from you. Then, to add insult to injury the ghosts of George W and Sarah Palin appeared as Obama told us that with God’s help everything would work out. Is God a new cabinet appointee? Is prayer a substitute for good domestic policy? Is the Holy Father going to clean up MMS?

From day 1, Obama could kiss conservative support goodbye. His only hope of political survival is a loyal base. This base is looking for boldness. We didn’t see it tonight. Obama truly could have skipped tonight’s address and he’d be no worse off.

Memo to the President: You know you are in trouble when conservatives eagerly tune to Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow to see you get eviscerated.


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