Great comment by “hit and run” at this HotAir Headlines post regarding David Letterman’s tasteless, sexist jokes about Governor Sarah Palin and her 14 year-old daughter Willow.
You know, I feel sorry for Don Imus. It’s like he was used for a specific, time-limited, politically-driven purpose — and has no more value as a lesson in how ill-chosen, sexually-charged and hateful words directed at young women are intolerable in our society.
He was used this way by people like, oh, I don’t know, say, Barack Obama:
There’s also another kind of violence though that we’re gonna have to think about. It’s not necessarily physical violence but that the violence that we perpetrate on each other in other ways. Last week, the big news, obviously, had to do with Imus and the verbal violence that was directed at young women who were role models for all of us, role models for my daughter. I spend, along with my wife, a lot of time making sure that my two young daughters, who are gorgeous and tall and I hope will get basketball scholarships, that they feel good about who they are and that they understand they can do whatever they can dream might be possible. And for them to be degraded, or to see someone who looks like them degraded, that’s a form of violence – it may be quiet, it may not surface to the same level of the tragedy we read about today and we mourn, but it is violence nonethesame.
The verbal violence of Imus degrading the Rutgers women was enough for Obama to call for Imus’s resignation.
Oh, and yeah, Obama certainly does NOT consider Bristol to be a “role model for [his] daughters” because she decided to accept her “punishment” and carry, deliver and now raise precious little Tripp.
hit and run on June 13, 2009 at 11:00 PM
I wait with baited breath for the Left to use the same standard as their messiah and call what David Letterman said about Sarah Palin and her daughter Willow “verbal violence”, as well as call for his resignation.
I agree with the ‘morons’ over at Ace of Spades HQ probably 90% of the time, but here is a prime example of that 10% where I part ways: Going Alinsky on Letterman
Okay, “going Alinsky on Letterman” I can definitely support. It’s the way they are “going Alinsky” which I cannot support: boycotts and “Fire Letterman!” rallies.
I’m against boycotts, as I have stated previously with regards to The View, HERE and HERE. I’m one who advocates “if you don’t like something, DON’T WATCH IT”. Don’t like Limbaugh? Don’t listen to him. Don’t like Letterman, don’t watch him. Don’t like the vapid dopes on The View, don’t watch them. Don’t like Hannity (which I don’t), don’t watch him.
I left this comment on a Facebook discussion of this:
Seriously, the Left is MUCH more active at this crap. Do people like when the Leftist tools organize to complain to Facebook to have conservatives kicked off Facebook? The answer to that is not to start practicing that immature crap ourselves. Same thing applies here. I know there are a lot of Glenn Beck fans on my Friends list. Would they like the Left organizing something like this to kick him off the air, simply because they didn’t like what he said?
What happened to free market principles where a business or product succeeds or fails on its own merit? If Letterman gets an audience for his crap, more power to him. That says more about the sorry-ass state of the attitudes of Americans than it does about CBS and David Letterman.
Personally, I think American Idol — and basically any other “reality” TV show — is crap and want it off the air. But instead of being an ass and organizing against it, I simply don’t watch it and mock anyone who does. (heh) Very simple, see. 🙂
Seriously, I can’t stand this boycott crap. Boycott by changing the channel.
Ya know, someone (not the Ace of Spades HQ “someone”, but just someone in general) needs to explain to me how using mob-rule tactics to bully a business into firing someone we don’t like is any different than the tactics of the Lefty anti-Prop 8 mobs. They didn’t like how a business voted, so they advocated boycotts of their businesses. How is this any different? Don’t like a joke, so we grab our pitchforks and organize to destroy them? What happened to standing up for Americans to have the freedom to watch and listen to anything they so choose, even when it’s tasteless crap.
Also, how is this any different than what the Left did to Don Imus? He should NOT have been fired. His comments should have been exposed, he should have been condemned or defended on the merits of those comments and then left to have his career live or die based on people deciding he was worth listening to anymore. Same thing applies here.
Call out Letterman LOUDLY and OFTEN and expose him and the Left for their tasteless crap and their utter hypocrisy. But, then leave it up to the American people to determine Letterman’s future success or failure. If Letterman continues to get good ratings, then that just shows that our society now accepts tasteless sexism and hypocrisy towards Conservatives. That is depressing and despicable, but not grounds for wielding pitchforks to deny the American people the right to listen to or watch such things.
Geez, this is sad. The only one making any sense over there is the stupid liberal douche troll:
this is sad… and pathetic
I thought conservatives snubbed their noses at the liberal PC culture that infests America today…
and now, you’re advocating the tactics of those you hate?
when you don’t have principles, then you have nothing. you may get rid of letterman, but you lose the greater war (by bringing this country into a censored, PC frenzied environment).
let’s blackball anyone who says anything that offends anyone… fuck free speech and 1st amendment!
Posted by: palin steele at June 13, 2009 01:02 PM
Okay, the last part is stupid, since “free speech” does not come without consequences and the 1st Amendment does not protect anyone from boycotts. But the rest is spot-on. This crap is about using the tactics of the Left. In other words, “the end justifies the means”. That is the logic of the Left. Yet, now conservatives are advocating it. As the douche troll stated, “this is sad and pathetic”.
go ahead, go blackball a comedian for making a tasteless joke (btw, I dont give a fuck about letterman just to be clear… I’m more worried about the longterm implications for certain ideals conservatives hold)
but you don’t ever get the right to feign outrage in the future when all different groups get their panties tied up over being offended by the most harmless un-PC verbal attacks… in this fight against letterman (a mere pawn of the left), you have strengthened the actual arsenal (PC correctness) of the left
if you successfully get Letterman off, it WILL be used against you in the future.
Posted by: palin steele at June 13, 2009 01:11 PM
Exactly. If this were the Left going after a conservative media member or comedian for a joke or statement they didn’t like, my bet is there would be outrage over the bullying tactics.
And then there’s this false analogy offered by a conservative:
Seems like getting Dan Blather booted worked out ok.
Posted by: cumulonimbus at June 13, 2009 01:15 PM
So now we’re comparing rightly working to cause the firing of a media member who is supposed to be objective, but instead blatantly passes off lies as facts to the American people in the effort to undermine a Presidential Election… to working to cause the firing of a comedian telling a tasteless joke? Come on, guys. You’re much better than this.
“Free speech doesn’t mean free of consequences, you stupid f*ck.”
no it doesn’t. but boycotting companies and such is the tactic of the PC-loving left… its always been denigrated by conservatives because it goes against their principles. Now conservatives want to adopt the tactic because one of their own is being attacked… its hypocritical. Stand on your principles and you will be stronger in the long-term, go for short-term gains and you will be weaker for it.
Posted by: palin steele at June 13, 2009 01:15 PM
I can’t believe the liberal troll is still making the most sense. Ugh.
And then there’s this:
That’s the point of this whole exercise. PC outrage is primarily used as a weapon against the right. Reid can say the war is lost with no consequences. Actors can kiss a maniacal dictator like Castro on the ass with no consequences. Movies can mock Christians with no consequences. But if a conservative violates the PC code, usually his career is over.
Posted by: Matt at June 13, 2009 01:22 PM
Right, and you know what the answer to that is? You do the exact same thing as them. Letterman tells a tasteless joke about the “Right” and gets away with it? Then you have one of your own go out there and loudly and proudly tell a tasteless joke about the “Left”. (For example, to make a point, start making tasteless jokes about Letterman’s wife and their child, and see how he likes it when the shoe is on the other foot). Then, when the “Left” cries about it, you point out that you were just taking their lead and if they don’t like tasteless crap like that, then they should shut their own f*cking mouths and live up to their own standards.
The answer to free speech we don’t like is not less free speech, but MORE free speech. Recall the Mohammad Cartoons. Our answer to Muslims taking offense to that was not to join with them in boycotting, but to tell to STFU and deal with it, that’s how free speech works. But now all of a sudden, the rules have changed for conservatives?
Sorry, but I just cannot support this and I am very disappointed in seeing this advocated by one of my favorite conservative blogs.
Should a Person’s Facebook-ing, MySpace-ing, Tweeting and Blogging be Protected akin to “Sexual Orientation”?
As a continuation on the discussion regarding anonymous blogging, this thought comes to mind, since it affects me personally, considering I am currently looking for work and have been talking with recruiters and employers since I was laid off in December.
If I am 100% qualified for a job, a great fit for the position and have impeccable references from previous employers attesting to my teamwork and great attitude in the office, but the employer ‘Googles’ me, finds my blog, doesn’t like my political and social opinions and then decides not to hire me based on that, who is in the wrong? Is it my fault for expressing myself in a public forum or the employer’s fault for discriminating against me based on personal opinions having nothing to do with my qualifications for the job and my great teamwork?
Also, should a person’s personal website — MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog — and the things they choose to post on it be allowed to be taken into consideration by an employer for a job… especially if they have nothing to do with the aptitude of the person for the position?
Afterall, everyone knows that people act differently when in the office, when with friends, when with family or when with only people of their own gender, etc.
Also, if it is none of the government’s — or a business’ — business what a person does in the privacy of his/her own bedroom, then shouldn’t it also be none of their business what a person does in the privacy of his/her own computer room, office, laptop, etc?
A simple legal disclaimer should eliminate any trouble for any employer, with an employee simply stating on their blog somewhere “The opinions and content of this blog are of the blog owner only and reflect not in any way on the blog owner’s place of employment, which shall remain nameless. But this disclaimer remains in case some douchebag decides to try to smear my employer and ruin me in the process for petty personal reasons.”
[Part I is HERE]
Some outstanding comments left at Ace’s post regarding the GOP not standing up for conservative principles. I actually thought about the Israel-Palestine analogy earlier and forgot to write about it. Spot-on.
I see a lot of this battle for our ideology in terms of what’s happening in Israel.
How often do we hear people suggest that Israel offer land for peace? And how effective is it?
Likewise, we cannot cede any ground in this battle at all. How can we on these issues? Nationalization? Centralized government? National security? Oppressive taxes? Protection of the innocent? Rising energy costs? Freedom of religious expression? Freedom of speech? The right to bear arms?
These are core values and they are not negotiable.
If the general population of this country seems to be leaning toward socialism, it is not a sign for us to move our goal posts.
It’s a sign that we have to do a better job of communicating these essential principles and values to people and to nominate candidates who can do the same.
We don’t follow Rush or any other person…we follow ideals…and Rush is the most prominent man on the front lines. It’s extremely insulting to refer to conservatives as cultists because they’re defending a conservative who’s being pounded on both sides. But then I’m sick to freakin’ death over the labeling anyway.
People need to stop wasting time trying to come up with cutsie shorthand labels to isolate those who disagree with them and need to start looking at the bigger picture of what’s at stake and focus on developing a plan of action to fight the agenda of the left.
Posted by: Mary Beth at March 10, 2009 05:11 AM
I am sure that there are plenty of Americans who did not vote in the last election or have never voted yet are very unhappy having to live under the failure just elected; these are the Americans Newt and Steele have forgotten while Rush Limbaugh reaches out to them.
These are the Americans who will change the next election, the ones never involved politically yet are forced into paying attention because now their personal wallets are being heavily affected in a negative way.
Those 10 million new Rush listeners are most likely Americans who were never politically involved; these are the potential new voter who see Dem politicians looting and pillaging their wallet yet hearing Rush Limbaugh say we must stop the looting and pilliaging.
Newt and Steele do not the reach those new voter, they are stuck on stupid tyring to get moderates who already voted for the failure; if those moderate voters need more proof that what they empowered in the last election is failure what is the point of reaching out to them.
If Steele, Newt or this Patterico character are still stuck on stupid stuff then they they should continuing empowering Democrats.
Personally, I am following the guy who is saying that it is wrong for the government to loot and pillage my wallet.
That aside, the fiscal conservative-libertarian, moderate social liberal must be livid now that they are PAYING for abortion around the world while PAYING for embroynic stem cell reaearch which in the end, turns out is less effective than adult stem cells.
It is funny; socially-liberal, fiscal-conservatives want less government however at the end of the day they end up empowering bigger Big Goverment; these social liberal, fiscal conservatives are no longer fiscally conservative rather they’re insane and stuck-on-stupid.
All you fiscally conservative, socially liberal voters my question is…what are you going to do about the Big Government you empowered?
Blaming Rush is not the answer.
Posted by: syn at March 10, 2009 06:31 AM
The reason I as a conservatives am angry is not because Rush is being attacked, it is because Rush is being attacked for articulating a conservative message: we hope socialism fails. The GOP, who heretofore represented conservatism on a de facto basis, refuses to defend this straightforward statement on the merits, instead engaging in cowardly triangulation and hedged statements.
On two occasions since CPAC (First, the speaker who questioned Obama’s citizenship; and second w. the Rush flap), ace has sought to browbeat conservatives from using such “unhelpful” language. The reasoning applied has been that Republicans (vice conservatives) need to broaden their appeal; to broaden their appeal, they need to get more people, especially ignorant people, to like them; to get people to like them, they have to avoid saying “mean” things, or even things that can be misinterpreted by the media as mean. For this reasoning to hold, one must, among other things, accept the meme established by the media and argue on the basis of that meme (rather than on the basis of true facts). The argumentation employed by ace to prove this point has been to raise strawman after strawman (e.g. “You guys are saying all criticism of Rush is off limits” or “Since when did hoping for failure become a core conservative value”), and then argue against that which was never raised as an argument. Devoid of any of his posts have been an appeal to conservative principle, and this is because his position cannot be sustained on that basis.
The Gingrich/Steele wing of the party seeks to depict themselves as “rational” intermediary between the far right wingnuts and white shoe republicans to the media and the fictitious focus group demographic their consultants tell them the GOP needs to impress. To do this, they attempt to tell conservatives not to argue about this, that this is small potatoes, and we need to keep our powder dry. But, the GOP does not dictate to the conservative wing of the party which controversies are important and which are not. This internecine argument has illuminated the longstanding fault lines between those in the GOP who wish to be Democrat Lite and those who want a return to CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLE. It would be useful to remember who cannot win without whom.
Throughout, the pro-Rushbos have been told that Rush is hurting the party by responding to these “distancing” remarks by GOP party spokespeople. We are told that we are walking right into Rahm Emmanuel’s trap by rising to the bait. No consideration is given to the blatantly obvious that, in fact, it is those who attack Rush who are giving aid and comfort to our ideological enemies, at this critical juncture when the Dems seek to silence conservative talk radio. But, the important thing in the GOP’s consideration is to justify w. a response the media’s characterization of the meta-message of Rush’s statement (that Republicans are mean); rather than defend the substance of the message on principle. It is that much more egregious because, as has been emphasized many times, defending Rush’s statement on the merits would be a very simple thing to do.
GOP delenda est.
Posted by: mjhlaw at March 10, 2009 08:23 AM
Looking at this from Ace’s purely pragmatic viewpoint, the message that the mushy middle takes home from Steele and Gingrich’s comments will NOT be, “Hey, Limbaugh’s not the leader of the GOP. Rational guys like Steele and Gingrich are.” Even the mushy middle knows this talk of “party leader” is largely irrelevant boilerplate. No, the take-home from Gingrich and Steele’s comments will be, “That substantial proportion of the GOP whose views are in accord with Limbaugh’s actually are an incendiary, ugly, irrational horde. Even Steele and Gingrich said so. No matter how badly Obama fucks up, I can’t get down with a party that includes a substantial cohort like that.”
That’s why, from the purely pragmatic viewpoint, Steele and Gingrich’s comments were flat-out stupid, and completely unnecessary overkill in “distancing”.
Posted by: ashowalt at March 10, 2009 09:42 AM
So, let me get this straight. The media takes a Rush comment out of context and makes a big story of it. Republicans and other pundit types (Gingrich) feel compelled to distance themselves from Rush’s ‘divisive’ and ‘irrational’ comments. How about option (b): Pull you balls out of your purse and put Rush’s comments back into context when you are asked about them and explain that you agree that Obama’s policies are not going to help ecnomic recovery etc. If Rush had actually said something that a conservative would disagree with then, sure, distancing yourself is the proper way to go but Gingrich isn’t distancing himself from what Rush said – he’s distancing himself from the phantom Rush created by the media. The media can be counted on to twist anything someone says to be unpopular and if our instinct is to give into this then we might as well never say anything.
Posted by: Bald Ninja at March 10, 2009 09:54 AM
And that’s my real gripe with much of the conservative assault on Limbaugh. If the liberal attack was craven and hackneyed, the conservative attack is pointless. Again, I don’t mean the substantive disagreements, even though you can have those arguments without dragooning Rush into them. But, with all due respect to David Frum, nobody who likes Rush Limbaugh is going to dislike him because David says they should, particularly when David’s arguments descend into comments about the man’s cigars and waistline. In fairness, no one who dislikes Limbaugh will start liking him on his defenders’ say-so either. But the defenders weren’t trying to make people like Limbaugh, they were simply trying to defend him against nakedly strategic or vindictive attacks from friend and foe alike.
In short, my advice to everyone (assuming anyone cares one iota): Move on. This is played out. It’s tired. If you squint real hard and look over your shoulder, you can see the shark swirling in the water behind you. Get back to arguing about family tax credits or something. We know where everyone stands already.
Posted by: KingShamus at March 10, 2009 09:55 AM
My final word: To agree with the media’s conflation of Rush’s desire to see Obama fail with a hope that America fails is to implicitly recognize that the socialist policies Obama is advocating will both work as intended, and consistent with America’s interests. Neither of these is true. By conflating the arguments, you allow the media to establish the terms of the argument which, BY DEFINITION, you cannot win. They have structured it such that any argument against Obama’s socialist policies is an argument against America.
Posted by: mjhlaw at March 10, 2009 11:39 AM
Absolutely brilliant post by Jeff Goldstein at HotAir: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the F-Bomb
[ … ] Because even were Republicans to begin winning elections based on their newly found ability to negotiate a hostile media bent on misrepresenting them, they’d be compelled to maintain the practice of carefully parsing their words, which means they’d always be at the mercy of those looking to attack and discredit. And such has the effect both of chilling speech and of determining in what way a message must necessarily be delivered.
And when your opponents are making the rules, you are necessarily playing their game.
To put it more forcefully, it is a fact of language that once you surrender the grounds for meaning to those who would presume to determine your meaning for you, you are at their mercy.
Bingo. Exactly what I have been trying to say, though much less eloquently than Mr. Goldstein.
He also added to his post what he stated back when Bill Bennett was ridiculed and smeared by the Left in the same way they are doing now (and always do) to Rush Limbaugh. Perfectly spot-on as well. And I echo his wondering why people on the Right are too quick to surrender to the Left and the mass media.
First, [certain conservatives are making the claim] that it is standard business and political doctrine that communicators be aware of how they are likely to be interpreted, which conflates the idea of practice with rectitude. And the fact is, being aware of how your utterances may be interpreted by those who are looking to maliciously misrepresent them in a soundbite culture is a fool’s errand — one that is shown up by the very issue at hand: Bennett was careful to note that the hypothetical in question was morally reprehensible — and in fact used it to argue against utilitarian rationalizations for moral problems (a stand that implicitly rejects statistics-based racialist arguments) — but that important qualification was left out of many media representations of his quote, which allowed those who wished to embarrass Bennett to call him out. In this case, Bennett clearly was aware of how his words might be used, but that awareness could not prevent misuse. For Bennett to have avoided the “major failing” [some conservatives identified] he would have had to avoid the subject altogether. And to do so is to trade intellectualism for the kind of circumspection that has the practical effect of chilling free speech.
Linguistically speaking, we have but two choices: either insist language be ground in the intentions of its utterers, or else conclude that we must each be responsible, in perpetuity, for whatever might be done with our utterance once it leaves our control. [Some conservatives] it seems to me, [are] choosing the latter — an unfortunate choice, in that it will forever codify a use of language that demands of its users the kind of overly-self-conscious self-censorship that is anathema to the free exchange of ideas. And if our goal is to hash out policy or to discuss potentially controversial issues, we simply must be able to do so without worry that parties invested in maintaining the status quo are allowed to silence us by assuming control over the terms of debate.
[The political pragmatists’] thesis here is straightforward — and it matches the theses of many of those (including the White House and the Corner’s Ramesh Ponnuru) who’ve taken Bennett to task for his “impolitic” remarks. Bennett, the argument goes, is a seasoned political operative and a professional communicator, and so he should have known that certain people — from the perpetually aggrieved to those in whose interests it is to try to smear what they take it he represents — would use his remarks against him. Which is certainly true.
But why must an awareness of such dictate a surrender to it?
Descriptions about how communication can be made to function are no substitute for the insistence that it be made to function as it should — in a linguistically coherent way that is dependent on appeals to the utterer’s intent, and so therefore refuses to give equal weight to the whims and motivations of interpreters who wish to use their interpretations as a rhetorical cudgel (in this case, quite disingenously) against the utterer. Each time a conservative makes such excuses for linguistic surrender in the guise of world weary linguistic pragmatism (which it is not; it is a feint toward relativism and certain pernicious post-modern ideas of language that undercut its moorings), they cede a bit more control over future debates to their opponents.
I refuse to do so. And while I can understand why many on the left wish me to be cowed by their linguistic presumptuousness, what I can’t understand is why so many on the right allow them to get away with it.
Mike at Cold Fury is absolutely spot-on as well:
[ … ] The time for tailoring our words out of significant concern over whether our enemies might be able to distort them is past; they will find a way, always, and there’s absolutely no reason to think otherwise. The discussion going forward, it seems to me, ought to be about how we’re going to go around the liars and speak directly to honest people of good will — while revealing, every chance we get, the craven dishonesty the shameless Left has no qualms about employing as a political tactic.
Here is my response I left to give kudos to Jeff Goldstein in the comments at HotAir:
Here, here, Jeff. Spot-on. Spot-f***ing-on. I have been getting sick and tired of the passive crap from Ace, Gabriel Malor and AllahPundit and this was an absolutely brilliant piece. Let’s hope these passive “pragmatists” get their heads out of their asses and understand this simple point that we have to stop playing the game by the rules of our enemies. Because in case these geniuses haven’t been paying attention, as soon as we prostrate ourselves and figure out the rules, the enemy changes the rules and f***s us all over again, even worse.
It’s well past time to stop this passive, victim sh*t and go on the offense against these lying, corrupt bastards and not apologize for anything.