Skip to comments."Ban Ann Coulter": Free speech for me but not for thee?
Posted on 03/09/2007 12:57:28 PM PST by SmithL
The Chronicle's story today on the ongoing furor over Ann Coulter and the 'F-word', reports that the backlash includes a campaign initiated today by a gay rights group and media watchdog to persuade mainstream media outlets to dump her for good.
The organizations in question, GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, are seeking to get rid of Coulter from the airwaves and from being syndicated to newspapers.
Is all this a step too far?
Ironically, GLAAD itself is the target of a campaign by the American Family Association to get the Ford Motor Co., a development noted by the gay web site, Queerty.
Taking a leaf from HRC's book, should other organizations petition to take Bill Maher off of HBO because of his off-color remarks on the possible untimely death of Dick Cheney. That happened to Maher once before, when "Politically Incorrect" was summarily dispatched from ABC after he made comments perceived to be politically incorrect about Al Qaeda.
So, how far might, or should, this erosion of offensive speech go?
Is there a difference between activist organizations pushing to boot Ann Coulter off the air, and, say, the government of Turkey banning You Tube because of perceived undignified references to Kamal Attaturk (since lifted by a Turkish court). Or schools and libraries banning literature considered "dangerous." Or New York City banning the "N-word", no matter how much it is part of the vernacular (as is the "F-word"). Or, for that matter, Europe criminalizing Holocaust denial.
All terribly offensive, of course, but so are Klan marches, and neo-Nazi marches through Skokie, which the ACLU defended
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
I agree with your basic argument that everyone else has the right to object to what she says. But that is not the case. Yes, they object to her use of the term faggot, but they are taking it one step further, and therein lies the problem.
They demand censorship of her. In the case of the Dixie Chicks, I decided simply to not listen to their music or purchase their albums or listen to the stations that played their music. That is my response to their objectionable comments on foreign soil. I did not decry their right to continue singing nor did I want them banned from the airwaves. People demanding banning are somewhat silly given the fact that they don't have to listen to a particular radio station. That will hurt the station far greater than trying to get someone banned.
The same applies here. If these people do not want to read what Ann says, simply do not buy the newspaper that she is printed in. But they don't want that, they want all newspapers to stop carrying her column. That is what I have a problem with.
I missed your reply earlier. And it is probably a waste of time to respond to you at all.
But, let's just take one highly relevant instance of someone being deprived of their right to freedom of speech -- and not by the government.
I give you Isaiah Washington. Mr. Washington faced losing his job -- and for all intents and purposes his entire acting career -- because of something he said.
If you don't think that Mr. Washington wasn't being deprived of his right to free speech, then that phrase has no meaning.
And, irony of ironies, you are trying to do pretty much the same thing to Ann Coulter for mocking the utter injustice and insanity of PC run amuck.
What a world.
But that's different. We don't like the Dixie Chicks, but we like Ann. Don't you understand that one must discern.
"You personally may not have, but a whole bunch of people here did. Clear Channel eventually decided to quit playing them because of the number of complaints they received. That's not censorship. If the government took her off the air, that would be censorship. Giving your readers/listeners what they want is merely good business practice."
Your ignorance on this issue is unbounded.
Again it is a childish myth that only governments can censor.
Churches censor. Newspapers censor. Film commissions censor.
People censor themselves all the time. Which is probably a good thing, or I would say something about your resorting to idiotic arguments to try to destroy someone that might get me banned.
And, yes, even Free Republic censors.
I've seen and heard so many spins as to what she did, even she probably no longer knows what, how, why and even if she did it.
What do gays have to do with Ann Coulter sort of, kind of, intimating that John Edwards might have a f----y quality to him?
I don't get it?
Was sorta calling Edwards an F-word an insult to gays?
Maybe it was.
Censor:1: a person who supervises conduct and morals: as a: an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter b: an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful.
Don't confuse normal montoring, selection, and/or elimination of speech and writing by indiviuals with the censoring by government officials.
Reminds me of the government employee who used "niggardly" in a meeting and had to resign because the blacks weren't familiar with the meaning of niggardly and were offended. Disgusting!
Let's go to the unquestioned authority on the English language, the Oxfored English Dictionary:
censor, n. Forms: 56 sensour, 6 sensor, 67 censour, 6 censor.
1. The title of two magistrates in ancient Rome, who drew up the register or census of the citizens, etc., and had the supervision of public morals.
2. a. transf. One who exercises official or officious supervision over morals and conduct.
And here are the ciations they give for this second -- and modern meaning:
1592 Greene Upst. Courtier in Harl. Misc. (Malh.) II. 224 A severe sensor to such as offend the law.
1622 Massinger, etc. Old Law v. i, Cleanthes..for his manifest virtues, we make such judge and censor of youth.
1776 Gibbon Decl. & F. I. xx. 564 The bishop was the perpetual censor of the morals of his people.
1818 Scott Hrt. Midl. xxxiv, Regarding his father as a rigid censor.
1871 J. Duncan Colloquia Perip. 118 Punch is a censor, but not censorious.
Note that not one of them refer to a government official.
And if the OED isn't authoritative enough for you, there is always Wikipedia:
Censorship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Censorship is the removal or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body. Typically censorship is done by governments, religious groups, or the mass media, although other forms of censorship exist.
And they go on to list the numerous others non-government ways censorship works.
But honestly, did you really think when you saw the naughty bits covered with a black bar in some magazine or newspaper that it was being done by some government worker?
Or when the sex scenes are cut from movies broadcast on TV?
Or when dirty lyrics are blanked out from songs?
It is so hilarious that this junior high school debating point has survived, let alone thrived around here.
Explain to the moderators how they don't censor.
Somebody is presently conducting a denial of service attack of some sort on anncoulter.com, Ann's home website. It's been nearly impossible to get to since the furor over the F word.
Not sure it's a denial of service attack...actually, the site is just getting a lot of visits and their server is probably locking up. If you try refreshing your browser (that is, try reloading the page) you should eventually get to the site. Please don't ask me why I know this; I'm nobody of any importance in the grand scheme of things.
If you can't get through to the site, her homepage has a commentary titled, "Shooting elephants in a barrel." The commentary goes over the recent history of absurd prosecutions (or should that be "persecutions"?) against "conservative" people as opposed to the lack of prosecutions against others who have allegedly commited far more serious crimes.
It's actually quite interesting because she makes no mention in the commentary about the situation with her comments at CPAC, yet clearly there is a similarity with how she--and those around her--have been treated and how other "conservatives" have been treated in the past. I find this interesting because usually Ann Coulter is definitive in specifically drawing out analogies.
I'm using "conservative" in quotes because I'm new to FreeRepublic and I wasn't sure if it was okay to use that term or if "conservative" is considered a dumb word. Or maybe I'm just timid.
The newspapers carrying Anne are probably having profitability issues the same as all papaers these days...they may lose a few customers if they keep Anne but they'll lose a whole bunch more of their paying customers if they ditch Anne.
So let them ditch Anne, and let them pay the consequences for it!
One that I fear is going to get much worse.
The left has imposed fascist control over free speech. The left has created stalinist suppression of dissenters.
How about for the same reason that our nation would choose to defend a vulgar Larry Flynt.
I'm not sure how much of my article you read - but you seemed to have missed the point.
My concern is not about whether or not you agreed with a "word" that Ann Coulter used or whether or not you find her indecent.
My concern is that "the line" (standard) on what is to be considered hateful or bigotted is moving lower and lower to the point where Americans are now finding themselves having to practice self-censorship, which I consider to be the worst form of censorship.
I closed by asking a question - Where does it end?
Today we find the single "word" 'faggot' offensive - how many more words will we find offensive in the next few years and where does it end?
More Center-Right politicans and pundits should realize what Ms Coulter Knows, Conservatives want people who fight the Left, not spend all their time trying to get along with them.
The Left is at war with us 24-7-365. It would be nice if a few more of our pundits would fight back.
It will only get worse if y'all let it. Go to a restaurant and a homo is serving you, never go back. Same with any service. The gay agenda is emboldened by the overwhelming tolerance for their type of buggery. The best way to combat (without pure barbarism) it is through economic means. Just like we do with Cuba and the like.