The article she tried to post along with it: Townhall.com::The Imus Lynch Party::By Patrick J. Buchanan was great. Where Buchanan is talking about Imus, I agree with much of what he says. I even agree that Imus' being fired for using the same words in very similar ways that others have and continue to do is hypocritical. I don't think Imus deserved to be fired.
But the idea that the people who wrote & called & threatened boycotts about his words were some kinda lynch mob, or that doing these things is any kind of censorship or free speech issue, is patently ridiculous. So, I set out to find out the basis by which folks were making these claims.
I didn't get much from Skye. If you read the comment section where she & I discussed it, her argument seemed to come down to:
1) "I say it is the public display of unbalanced 'morality' in the American stage that inflicts far more damage to our credibility as a nation and a culture."
In other words, anyone who was offended by Imus should've just kept quiet. Unless you've complained about all instances where anyone may've been offended--especially ones committed by those you support--you have no standing to complain about this one. The world is watching, & you're making us look bad. There was a time when I didn't really understand the concepts of moral relativism & moral equivalency. But I'm starting to...
2) "Using economic forces as a weapon to supress the freedom of speech was a tactic employeed by the German Socialist Workers Party back in the day. We are close, to repeating this brutal mistake which apparently has the full blessing of US liberals."
The difference between individuals, like the ones who did the complaining, & political parties, like the Nazis, seems to escape her. Besides, using the power of the purse to encourage one kind of behavior over another is a tactic employed by individuals, groups, and governments all the time. Everything from picking a certain brand of dish soap, to only buying American, to not shopping at Mal-Wart, is an attempt to affect the behavior of those companies. And the US government has been known to use funding to affect the values of our country, as well.
That was about the extent of it... (at least so far. As of this writing, I was he last one to've commented at her blog. Perhaps Skye will have more to say, & will offer another reason or something.) Not much to explain how or why it's a free speech issue.
So, I moved on, and that's how I got to Mike's America, and his post on the issue: Democrats Announce Media "Enemies List".
Mike says "The lovers of free speech, diversity and tolerance are at it again!" Well, my question is "How is asking for a certain level of behavior an offense to free speech, diversity, or tolerance?"
Like Skye above, Mike's main argument seems to be one of balance. If you don't object to EVERYONE who may be offensive--but especially those to whom you're closest--you shouldn't object to ANYONE who may be offensive.
"Taken out of context and overblown to shock the easily offended sensibilities of self righteous,left wing hyprocritical poseurs bigots who couldn't care less when much much worse is directed at anyone not in one of their protected classes of people. I say: you want to change the culture and clean things up? Fine by me. Start by holding yourselves accountable to the same standard of conduct you daily demand of others."
Leaving aside all the unnecessary (mis)characterizations, Mike's "glass houses" argument isn't persuasive. You start where you start. Whatever one thinks of Imus or the people on Media Matters so-called "enemies list", the issue is current, and these are the people, along with rap artists & comedians, who say the things that some people question.
Is there a political or social element? Sure. Folks who like the rap in question obviously aren't offended by it. If you enjoy or agree with Coulter's friendly little barbs, why would you complain about 'em? But that doesn't mean that others are not offended, & don't have every ethical right to voice their opinions to the people in a position to make changes; the artists, the people for whom they work (labels, stations) & anyone else involved in getting the art from the artist to the public (advertisers, stores)
Let's see whether there's any more in Mike's arsenal:
"I'd like to know when Media Matters will complain about ANY left wing fascist?"
Media Matters is a "progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."
It's very much like NewsBusters: Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias or Media Research Center Home Page: America's Media Watchdog, who currently has a banner saying "The Leader in Documenting, Exposing, and Neutralizing Liberal Media Bias".
The answer is, MM won't complain about any left wing "misinformation," because that isn't their reason for being, any more than NewsBusters or MRC will complain about right wing "misinformation." If you want a more balanced approach, look to omnibudsmen, or perhaps the American public at large. Fairness to all sides isn't the mission of any of these websites, nor should it be.
When I asked Mike about it in the comment section for his post, this was his reply:
"Who commenting here has defended Don Imus? He's one of yours, not ours."
Very interesting, particularly in light of his previous comment (also from the comment section, but not to me) about MM never complaining about anyone on the left... So, if MM had anything to do with Imus' downfall (like being among the first on the net to highlight his comments, perhaps), that would mean MM HAS complained about some (or at least "someone") on the left. (I didn't catch that, till just now...)
That was pretty much our whole conversation about Imus, MM "enemies," and free speech, though in that post of Mike's & a bunch of others between us in that comment section, we addressed other topics. My one other attempt to broach the subject was brushed away by his saying "I responded to your query about Imus. Sorry if my interest in that is less than yours.", almost as though *I* brought it up, and wasn't in the comment section of *HIS* blog posting on the subject, replying to the words he wrote. (I actually checked to make sure I didn't accidentally post my query in the wrong comment section. I hadn't.)
And that, dear readers, is the story of how/why I got to Mike's in the first place, and the beginning of the path to the creation of this blog...