Duck you. It ain’t about free speech
Music worth listening to could not exist and thrive without free speech protections. So, in the wake of the Duck Dynasty brouhaha, Sing For Me jumps into the fray on a subject Hunter usually shies away from: politics.
At first glance the story seemed an issue of free speech, with folks taking the usual, expected sides. Conservatives like Sarah Palin have come out in support of the reality show’s star – Phil Robertson – and his use of inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric.
Palin has said the backlash against Robertson, especially his suspension from A&E and the show, is a threat to freedom of speech.
Some folks seem surprised that political antipodes to Palin, such as Jon Stewart, would agree with her. Hunter asks “why the surprise”? Palin admits she didn’t even bother to read the GQ article which created all this controversy and, as Stewart’s own words make clear, neither of them understands a thing about what free speech even means.
On his own show comedian Stewart, hardly a stranger to inflammatory rhetoric himself, exposed his clear ignorance of the nature of the issues involved. Stewart said he supports a world in which “saying ignorant shit on television doesn’t get you kicked off that medium”.
Of course he does.
On The Record’s host Greta Van Susteren tried to set the record straight with Palin on why this is no free speech issue, to no avail.
So. Two big government types, Palin and Stewart, hear about some dumbass getting potentially canned for saying things that are monumentally ignorant, and both see an economic ass whoopin for Robertson as a free speech loss? Oy, we’re all in trouble.
Let’s make this clear. Getting fired from a job for doing or saying stupid shit is not a violation of your rights – it’s what you deserve. If the law banned Robertson from the airwaves, THAT would be a free speech issue.
When it comes to Stewart and many like him, personal responsibility never enters the equation. Naturally, in Stewart’s view, Robertson should stay on. In Palin’s case a gross misunderstanding of the Constitution’s function – the limit on government’s control of the individual – is in play. Both would like to eat their cake and still have it.
Stewart wants a world where folks have free reign to say or do whatever they like. Palin wants a world where ignorance isn’t penalized. Both forget that reality, that pesky arbiter of right and wrong, has the final say. In the case of Robertson, the reality is that his boss – A&E – found his comments beyond the pale – for now. Money will of course be the final decider.
Thank God we still live in a world in which Big Government doesn’t decide. Thank the Constitution that a line has been drawn in the sand between government power and our rights
For big government types like Palin and Stewart the line is decidedly blurry.
- Van Susteren Tells Palin Why Duck Dynasty Controversy Has Nothing to Do with Free Speech (mediaite.com)
- Sarah Palin: Free Speech For Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson! For Martin Bashir? Not So Much (newshounds.us)
- Walmart SELLS OUT of ‘Duck Dynasty’ merchandise in mass show of support (conservativeread.com)
- Why The Racist And Homophobic ‘Duck Dynasty’ Comments Have Nothing To Do With Free Speech (thinkprogress.org)
- Is the Duck Dynasty Flap Really About Free Speech? (eyeonthenation.wordpress.com)