Skip to comments.Ann Coulter banned in New Jersey?
Posted on 06/13/2006 6:12:39 AM PDT by radar101
click here to read article
I am confused by the lack of detail in the article. In what way are the two legislators attempting to ban Ann Coulter's book?
First off I do have faith in many New Jerseyan's, not all.
I also realize that in all the cases you mentioned, over 45% of New Jerseyan's voted AGAINST those people.
I think you are too quick to paint the population of New Jersey with a broad brush.
In the case of the Coulter book, most people could care less what she said. Of those that do care, there will be some who over-react but there will be many on the right and some on the left who will defend her right to say it.
Quigley and Stender are just publicity hounds and except for a few reactionaries who agree with their actions, the vast majority of New Jerseyan's, Republican, Democrat or Independent could care less about this issue.
This is not the people of New Jersey against Ann Coulter. It's a "handful of reactionaries and political grandstanders who just happen to live in New Jersey" against Ann Coulter.
They overwhelmingly carry Newark, Trenton, and Camden?
Has Ward Churchill been to Princeton and did he get a standing ovation?
Could someone explain to World Nut Daily the distinction between "ban" and "boycott"
Bon't expect reason or evidence from the believers in the religion of Coulterism
There's a chill wind blowing...
Good taste was first banned in Jersey in 1973.
Read post #23 by Publius, who has it right. When the government attempts to restrict sales, then that is the only proper definition of censorship [and censorship is not the 100% bogeyman that it's made out to be by liberals; some things--like obscenity--need prior restraint).
Example: Fans who choose not to buy Dixie Chicks' CDs or concert tickets is NOT an example of censorship (banning). It simply shows a market-savvy public at-large.
Likewise, if individual radio stations or corporate chains of radio stations choose not to play the Dixie Chicks, that is NOT censorship/banning; that is the free market at work.
However, if you have government officials come along and tell radio stations NOT to air the Dixie Chicks, then THAT would be weighted more as an attempt to ban rather than merely boycott.
Distinction between ban and boycott: If the Jersey pols were appealing to potential buyer-readers, then that is weighted more toward a boycott. When the appeal by government officials is to retailers not to stock a certain item, then the appeal is weighted more toward a ban. Obviously, there is no attempt for a total ban here. I am merely talking on a continuum scale.
Alright this one is pretty simple. Government official A + Government official B [New Jersey pols]. These pols are by definition, "government reps."
Now for the other half of the phrase: Dictionary definition of "restrict": "to keep within limits; confine."
Are you so out of bounds as to not recognize an attempt to keep sales "within limits" or is the dictionary a mystery novel to you?
Let's put it all together in context: the Jersey pols' own joint statement reads: "No one in New Jersey should buy this book and allow Ann Coulter to profit from her hate-mongering."
So, now allow me to go to my Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms: When a Jersey pol publicly campaigns to have you as a voter vote for him or her, that is the opposite of restrict: He or she is seeking to "widen, expand, extend, and enlarge"[antonyms to restrict] his or her voter base. Now, when those same Jersey pols publicly campaign for stores not to stock a certain book, that means they are seeking to "limit, restrain, impede, confine, check, bind, curb, fence, crimp" [synonyms to "restrict].
There, crystal clear now?
First of all, did I ever say every act of government censorship or banning is wrong? [No] So why do you put words in my mouth by implying here that government officials cannot express opinions on this subject? Of course, they can! They just need to realize they are not simply speaking as private citizens [and in this case, they are clearly using the platform of their governmental offices].
Are you saying that had Bill Frist or Tom Delay issued a general statement asking radio statetions not to play music by the Dixie Chicks, it would be an attempt to ban such musicm but Sean Hannity making the same statement would not?
Some analogous questions are in order here: If your public school librarian, who is by the way a government official, told you that he or she had removed certain conservative books from their library and was mounting a campaign for school, public and private libraries to do the same thing elsewhere, would you describe this campaign as an attempt to ban the offerings of this book, or would you label it as "free expression"? [This gets down to the nub of this debate, because one person's "banning" is "free expression"--and vice-versa].
On the other hand, if you as a private or public citizen simply mounted a campaign to do the same [for either a conservative or risque book], THAT would not be apriori banning. That would be citizen-activist democracy at work.
The distinction I make is: Is the person using their elected or appointed platform as an 800-pound gorilla, or are they using private resources to do so? I would think that a Frist or DeLay could give a disqualifier that they are speaking as private citizens and turn around and ask radio stations not to air Dixie Chicks' music.
Why this distinction? Because government reps are exactly that! Representatives! They seek to represent what a sizeable portion of their constituency is clamoring for. In this case, since the media blitz on Coulter's book was less than a week old when they made this statement, I don't believe these two have had enough input and feedback from their constituency. Secondly, even from those constituents who have called their offices, I don't believe their constituents are calling for them to take this action.
Do you seriously believe that to be case? Do you think Jersey constituents have called these two and said, "Hey, launch a public campaign to retailers to squelch sales of Coulter's book." If that's the case, then Jersey constituents have their priorities out of whack.
Alright, it's back to the dictionary.
Ban: 1. "To prohibit" [which in turn, has a secondary meaning of "to prevent; hinder"]. How are these two NOT trying to "hinder" the sales of Coulter's books? How can these two clearly say that is precisely what they are trying to do, and then you come along and say, "Well, they're not exactly trying to hinder or prevent sales"?
Secondly, under that same definition of ban my Webster's adds, "especially officially." This goes back to my last post. Are these government reps acting officially according to their government offices, or are they acting as private citizens? In this case, they are using their governmental platforms to initiate an official campaign.
Thirdly, my Webster's has a "fourth" meaning to the word, "ban": "strong public condemnation." Now, tell me, how can these Jersey pols give a "strong public condemnation" of Coulter's book, and then you come along and tell me, "No, they're not giving a strong public condemnation" of Coulter. (You know something about this word that Webster doesn't?)
Finally, "ban" and "banish" are European-derived words ("ban" from the Old English word bannan and banish from the Old French word banir). In other words, these words are old relatives even if they are not direct descendents. To "banish" means "to exile; to drive away." These Jersey pols are indeed seeking "to exile" Coulter's book to another state, "driving away" sales in the process.
Okay. Do you want to help my confusion here? When two government reps start an official campaign using their public offices in which they are TELLING retail stores to take a specific action, is that not a specific enough action for you?
If they simply condemned Coulter's book, then THAT falls under your "expressing an opinion" banner. If they, using their public bully pulpit, initiate an action-oriented public campaign, then that goes beyond "expressing an opinion."
Martin Luther King was not simply "expressing an opinion" when he "encouraged" citizens not to ride the Birmingham busses. No, he was launching an action-oriented public campaign--which is the right of all citizens, including government reps. But if they are speaking as government reps, then (1) they have the obligation to represent their constituency; and (2) they need to weigh what their official actions amount to...
Number one, this joint statement is on the Web. It was released by James Sverapa IV, Press Secretary for the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office. Go ahead, call him (609/292-7065) and ask if this was a taxpayer-billed press release (it was). This release clearly is tied to the official capacities in which the following titles and (taxpayer-paid) phone numbers are listed: The press release advises media, etc. to "Contact: Assemblywoman Quigley (201) 217-4614 Assemblywoman Stender (908) 668-1900." What? Do you think Quigley and Stender fund their own offices? Do you think Quigley and Stender pay themselves for being state legislators? They think this is part of their taxpayer job description.
So are you defending them?
BTW, a reference to the pols' joint statement was posted on the front page of the "Assembly Democratic Majority" of New Jersey.
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