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I can't believe I'm actually having to say this, but it's time for a vocabulary lesson.  You see over the last month a bunch of conservatives have either lost their jobs, been suspended, or lost advertisers for saying racist, homophobic, or sexist things.  In each case the cry has gone out that they're being censored.

Here in Southern California, it's Sean Hannity claiming that the John and Ken Radio Show is being targetted after they were suspended for making racist jokes after Whitney Houston died.  Pat Buchanan blames a cadre of homosexuals and minorities for trying to blacklist him by going "after the network where you work, the newspapers that carry your column, the conventions that invite you to speak. If all else fails, they go after the advertisers."  And of course there is now a conservative movement to "Stand with Rush Limbaugh" against liberal censorship after he's lost more advertisers than I was actually aware he had in the first place.

Here's the the problem with that:  Absolutely no one is saying that the Rush Limbaugh's of the world don't have the right to spew hateful garbage.  Everyone has a right to freedom of speech in this country.  And no one is in fact trying to take that away from them.  The "right" that is being taken away from them is to be paid millions of dollars and be given a national platform from which to speak.  And guess what, no one actually has that right.

For people who express a love of capitalism, these right wing pundits seem to have forgotten that they've been hired to do a job.  And that job isn't to bash women, gays, and minorities.  It's not even to talk about politics per se.  They're being paid to get their viewers to watch the advertisements that go with their programs and increase their sponsors sales.  That's it.  And when their hateful rhetoric causes a backlash against those sponsors, they can and should be fired for failing to perform their job.

And that's not censorship, it's business.  Censorship would be if we stopped them ranting on street corners with all the other lunatics.  Until then, we'll keep exercising OUR right to free speech and they can live with the consequences.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    I'm a Political Organizer. I'm Easily Entertained.

    by Entertained Organizer on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 01:03:27 PM PST

  •  Censorship is when a government entity (4+ / 0-)

    decides what you can and cannot say. Like the old Maryland Censor Board. Advertisers--even when acting under pressure from citizen consumers who complain--is not censorship.

    Then there are attempts to avoid potential government censorship, like the MPAA or the old Watch and Ward Society in Boston (long since defunct, thank goodness, but it's what gave rise to the phrase "banned in Boston").

    Then, of course, there is "self-censorship" which--contrary to popular myth--was the greatest limiter of free speech in the Soviet Union. Yes, some artists and writers and journalists and composers were "banned", that is, their works were not performed or published publicly, but by far the most pernicious form of censorship in the USSR happened in the heads of writers and artists and journalists before the word ever hit the page, in anticipation of what is and is not acceptable to the Party.

    Kossacks, by the way, routinely practice self-censorship. If you ask yourself before you post a comment or diary "will expressing this opinion and doing so in this way get me banned? Will someone hurl pastry?", you're practicing self-censorship. We all do it all the time in all walks of like, both public and private. (I am NOT criticizing Kos or this blog in that statement, by the way.)

    These guys don't know what they're talking about.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat

    by commonmass on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 01:15:31 PM PST

    •  Yup, self-censorship (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Tonedevil

      I wonder if Rush is actually suffering from what Eric Cartmen had happen in the episode "Le Petit Tourette". Eric faked having Tourette's Syndrome and basically said whatever hate-filled comment he wanted. Near the end of the episode he found it impossible to control his words, he'd lost the ability to "self-censor" and started revealing things he didn't want to. I think that's partially true for Rush, he's been able to say anything and everything his warped, hate-filled mind has wanted for so long he doesn't see why people are upset with what he said about Sandra Fluke. But much like Eric the condition was self-inflicted and I don't pity him for it, not one bit.

      "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

      From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

      by ontheleftcoast on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 01:53:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  rush is the biggest censor-by-threat in the US (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eru, Tonedevil

    for years he's been intimidating people and politicians by shouting names from his giant call-screener-protected soapbox, pointing and sending the dittohead/teabaggers after them . that's what he was doing to sandra fluke.

    unfortunately, unless americans can get him off, he'll continue.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 01:31:44 PM PST

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