I don’t always agree with every talk show host, news pundit or political “expert” that comes across my TV screen (well…I say TV, but I only use my laptop.)
Does that mean that I think they should be banned from the airwaves?
No, I don’t. You know why?
Because the First Amendment is one of the truly unique and wonderful things about this United States. We take that freedom for granted. We live in a country where we are free to argue and debate and discuss and say anything we want about any topic under the sun.
I’ll grant you, there can be consequences if you choose to say something at the wrong time and the wrong place. If you shout “fire” in a crowded theater then you will have to accept the punishment for those actions, whether they punishments from the law or punishments from your conscience, but you have to accept them. You are still free to shout fire, but that’s what freedom is, isn’t it?
Freedom is a choice. Freedom of speech is included in that.
We make choices about our speech every day.
I make the choice between saying
“Thank you and have a nice day!” to a rude customer, or saying
“Fuck you, you inconsiderate bitch. Do you think I’m your slave or something?!”
I could choose to say either one (and, trust me, the urge to say something similar to option 2 is a daily occurrence at my job). I choose to say option 1 because option 2 would get me fired. I’m still free to choose though.
Similarly, when I read something on a news site or hear some completely idiotic statement made by the news (liberal or conservative) I have a choice.
I can get offended, scream and rant and tear my hair out and then try to get their show pulled from the air.
I can ignore it and change the channel, close the tab, or open a new youtube video.
Or I can write a blistering commentary on what I just heard and post it on my blog.
I usually go with option 3.
In fact, today is an option 3 kind of day. (This long lead is reminding me of Alice’s Restaurant a bit…)
I read this the other day.
(There is a video too, video proof that these responses were real.)
Here’s the backstory
Oliver Darcy is doing his part to expose liberal ideas and hypocrisy on college campuses. Last month he produced two videos showing students willing to redistribute wealth but not grades and also refusing to pay their share of the national debt. Now he (along with his colleagues Michael Fincher and Maurice Lewis) is back, and this time he’s showing how college students who say they support free speech are willing to sign a petition to “ban” Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and other conservatives from the airwaves.
All of these students expressed a support of the First Amendment and free speech. (Well…one supported free speech, but didn’t know what the First Amendment was. This was at a college? Do colleges no longer teach the history of the United States?) However, they also happily signed a petition to curtail freedom of speech, simply because they didn’t like the view point of these hosts.
The thing is I don’t even agree with Limbaugh or Beck all the time. In fact, I kind of don’t like Limbaugh much at all. That doesn’t mean he should be kicked off the air though. I don’t like Hannity or Colmes and several other conservative and liberal hosts. However, I love the First Amendment a whole lot.
The First Amendment lets me write these blogs, it lets me write novels and articles and study journalism and listen to debates and go to protests and, most importantly, it lets me be free.
You start pulling the foundation of freedom in this country down, even if it’s just over one radio personality that you think is a douchebag, and that can start a chain reaction. Think carefully before you kick that rock down a hill, you might just start a landslide that will bury all of us.
You take away our freedom, our right to disagree and have different opinions, and you take away what makes America…American.