Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Speech Crimes

When Congress passed a recent resolution to condemn an advertisement by MoveOn.org, they did something truly anti-American - legislating official intimidation of free speech, codifying dissent and opinion as actions worthy of censorship.

While the wording of the resolution was most careful to not really name names, the intent was crystal clear: it embraced the censorship of opinion.

Sadly, Democrats decided to play this most dangerous game, rather than shame the game itself. They picked up on the literal daily disgust of many for radio personality Rush Limbaugh and his recent divisive comments regarding soldiers whose opinions aren't of perfect support for the war in Iraq, and considered a resolution to condemn his opinion. And of course, the GOP then offered legislative action to praise Limbaugh.

Now we have Surrealism: Debate about debate. And again, the intent is clear - to label certain opinions as near-crimes.

So the NYTimes decided to run an ad critical of the Iraq war from a Left-Wing group, and sold the ad at a discount. What does it matter? Was a crime committed?

So Rush Limbaugh distorts facts and info to fill out his Right-Wing views. Again, no crime.

Do readers and listeners lack all skill and ability to discern meaning? And even if they do, even if the readers and listeners in every corner of America are too dumb to think objectively, does this mean Congress now will be in charge of fact-checking through legislation? Or are we inching closer to having political speech viewed as potentially criminal?

Every member in Congress who gave a nod to the anti-MoveOn resolution should be ashamed for endangering the concept of free speech.

Any and all who oppose the NYTimes or Limbaugh have a very effective, very powerful tool to sway public opinion and stimulate activism - boycott the product. No elected official need smash the Bill of Rights. Citizens need to exercise their rights.

And while I am here, I'll share more of my opinion - it amazes me that people can stand to listen each day to the hour-stacked-on-hour blamefest of talk radio. Boortz, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc etc, will speak each and every bit of their philosophy within a few days and after that it is all dead-horse-beating. The daily, hourly baptism of sanctimony through blaming The Other Side For Everything is an act I am glad I don't understand. More than a decade now of Radio Blame has built steep and wicked-hot fires of Resentment and Anger, have sucked out positive perspectives and have divided the nation along lines now critically fractured. Will the money and fame the Radio Blamethrowers have received be worth the destruction left behind?

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