Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Grade-A, First-class Moron: Sometimes it seems like nothing can occur to upset the insular worldview of the coastal elite without it being a revival of McCarthyism. Witness Renee Graham in the hypersensitive Boston Globe:
It's been a good long while since I've had a sit-down with the US Constitution ...
Watch carefully while she proves it.
but if my junior high school memories serve me correctly, I don't recall the Bill of Rights guaranteeing free speech only to those who espouse one particular opinion. Yet that seems to be the disturbing interpretation preferred by those encouraging a backlash against some celebrities who have been outspoken opponents of the US-led war against Iraq.
Let's take a look at that. Is it the government encouraging the backlash? No, private citizens are. Now that we have that straight:
One of those singled out is Janeane Garofalo. The passionately antiwar actress and comedian has become the target of a campaign to convince ABC to drop plans for a proposed series starring her.
Certainly, in this case, Congress passed a law making it illegal for Garofalo to have a weekly series. No? Hmmm. Let's finish up, then. Here's the closer:
As the United States prepares to guide Iraq toward democracy and a new political future, it must not slip back into its own dark past of McCarthyism, which ruined dozens of lives and careers in the 1950s. The Bill of Rights guarantees free speech to everyone, including celebrities who flash peace signs at awards shows or release music denouncing war. And to believe otherwise, or contend that their dissent is dangerous, may be the most treasonous, anti-American act of all.
I thought that to be a Boston Globe writer meant an IQ at least equivalent to one's hat size, but Ms. Graham has enlightened me by squeezing a record amount of faulty logic and misguided Constitutional interpretation into one column. It used to be McCarthyism if the government systematically stifled your right to speak and associate. Now you're a McCarthyite if you don't personally support Janeane Garofalo's latest banal attempt at sitcom humor. A boycott, long beloved of the left, is now an unfair way to register your disagreement with a person or product. How many dime-store editorialists have to have this explained to them? The Bill of Rights protects citizens from the intrusion of the government. It does not, however, guarantee Janeane Garofalo an income. If she shoots her mouth off, then gets hired by ABC, I have my own rights, one of which is to take my viewership elsewhere -- and to let ABC know why. It is not McCarthyism; it is not injurious to the Bill of Rights. It is simple economic freedom. Go back to junior high, Ms. Graham. It appears you didn't meet the requirements to graduate.

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