Monday, April 28, 2003

Jonah's right on today

In today's G-File, NRO editor Jonah Goldberg slam dunks the ridiculous claims coming from Hollywood about censorship and the (alleged) infringement of free speech rights viz. the war in Iraq. The entire column is worth reading, but to try to give a sneak-peak, here's one paragraph:
    Now, I don't want to belabor this point, but there is something remarkably obvious that needs to be said. In countries where actual free speech is threatened, where fascism or Orwellian thought control are the order of the day, the victims of the backlash don't typically go on to pose naked on the cover of a magazine, mock their critics, and score exclusive primetime interviews on national TV as well as, literally, thousands of write-ups in magazines and newspapers across the country. It's just not the way it works in … hmmm I dunno, let's say, for example's sake, Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Over there people who criticized the president received different treatment. Over there, if I were to mention at the local bazaar, for instance, that Saddam Hussein dyes his mustache, I might expect a knock on the door later that evening from some men. One of them might grab my tongue with a pair of pliers and then, without anesthetic, slice my tongue off before I was carted off to jail for an unknown and unknowable period of time.
Right on, Jonah... stars who complain about the fact that a large swath of the American public don't like their views and then act on that -- e.g. the boycotting of the Dixie Chicks -- are being hypocritical: they have the right to criticize the President, but apparently no one has the right to criticize them.

Here's another good passage:
    [Martin] Sheen and his defenders want to be simultaneously saluted for their "courage" to speak out while at the same time believe they there should be no risks for those who do speak out. Well, if there are no risks, where's the courage? And why should movie stars have a right to risk-free political speech when no other profession has anything close?
You got it, brother.

I like President Bush's take on this phenomenon, referring in his interview last week with Tom Brokaw to the Dixie Chicks:
    Of the singing Texas trio, who have been outspoken critics of the U.S.-led war, Bush said, "The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind."

    At the same time, Bush added: "They shouldn't have their feelings hurt just because some people don't want to buy their records when they speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street."
Bingo. If you can't take it, don't dish it out.

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