Saturday, January 21, 2006

Playing Hardball with Free Speech

The left is in a lather because Chris Matthews on “Hardball” mentioned the fact that Osama bin Laden in his latest message sounds like Michael Moore. Daou writes:

"Bin Laden sounds like Clint Eastwood" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Ron Silver" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Rush Limbaugh" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Bill O'Reilly"-- "Bin Laden sounds like Mel Gibson" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Bruce Willis" -- "Bin Laden sounds like Michelle Malkin"... Imagine the outrage on the right and in the press (but I repeat myself) if a major media figure spat out those words. Well, on Hardball, Chris Matthews just blurted out that Bin Laden sounds like Michael Moore. Simple: Matthews should apologize. On the air. This has NOTHING to do with Michael Moore and everything to do with how far media figures can go slandering the left.
Tom Maguire has more on the flap.

I must point out that leftists often compare Christian fundamentalists to the Islamic fundamentalists who are our enemies. They are right to make this comparison -- fundamentalists of the two religions do have similarities. Is it acceptable to compare the religious right to the enemy, but unacceptable to notice when Osama sounds like a leftist critic of Bush?

Matt Stoller writes:

This is not about Michael Moore, this is about what it means to be an American. Are we a country of strongmen who thrive on bullying and accusations of treason, or can we tolerate divergent views?
Chris Matthews did not accuse Michael Moore of treason. He did not suggest that Moore does not have a right to express his anti-American opinions. All he did was point out that Osama sounds like Michael Moore.

Stoller asks: Can we tolerate divergent views? We do tolerate them. Leftists are not persecuted by the state for expressing anti-Bush opinions. But that is not what they mean by toleration; they want the media to abstain from criticizing the left. The left holds toleration to mean freedom by the left from criticism of their criticism.

When Clinton was president, many of his critics found themselves audited by the IRS.

…the IRS audited Klayman's group and a long list of organizations and individuals critical of Clinton, including Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, former White House travel office head Billy Dale, and Katherine Prudhomme, who during an open forum asked Vice President Al Gore about Broaddrick's rape accusation against Clinton.
Also audited were:

…the Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women for America… the National Rifle Association, Oliver North's organization and dozens and dozens of other individuals and organizations that crossed the administration or threatened to do so.

The list is a virtual who's who of Clinton "enemies."

Coincidence? Or did Clinton use state power to persecute those who spoke out against him?

And remember the White v. Lee case in Berkley, in which HUD threatened a $50,000 fine against citizens protesting a homeless shelter?

The left is acutely aware of the importance of free speech because it is working against them. Now they use the banner of free speech to stifle speech they don’t like. Any speech they cannot tolerate, they label as "intolerant." It's a neat trick.

You want “Hardball”? If the Democrats ever get back in power, we can expect them to use the full panoply of government agencies -- FCC, SEC, HUD, IRS, EPA and countless others -- to crush dissent. Today's Democrats are to the left of what they were just 20 years ago. Leftists take to power like fish to water. They will see nothing wrong with using the power of the state to silence evil right-wingers. They’ll make Clinton’s use of the IRS look like softball.

UPDATE: Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House looks at this flap.


Blair said...

I also recall Hillary "borrowed" FBI files on all Republican members in Washington. Kept them for years before she finally capitulated and returned them. I bet she made copies before she did return them, but that's a guess on my part.
Probably a good guess, but a guess nonetheless.

Rick Moran said...

Interesting that you bring up Clinton's use of the IRS since the Barrett report showed Bill manipulating the agency for his friends by keeping them from prosecuting Henry Cisneros for tax evasion.

"You're free to speak your long as you agree with me" was a favorite saying of the left about Nixon during Viet Nam.

How things have changed.

Rick Moran