May 27 2011
Fire Ed Update
If you feel as strongly as we do about liberal radio host Ed Schultz's sexually derogatory remark about conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, please visit Fire Ed Schultz and make your voice heard.
There are a lot of things to be said about this matter. Heather Higgins says one on on Ricochet. Heather notes that, while conservative talk show hosts are turning the other cheek about Schultz, "[W]e all know that had Sean Hannity, for example, said anything remotely like that about Rachel Maddow, no apology would have sufficed, and he'd already be gone."
I want to (politely) take issue with a response to Heather's post. It is from BThompson, who writes:
As a conservative and proponent of making speech more free, not less, I can't agree. People should be encouraged to speak freely so that others can judge the speaker and their words for themselves. I don't need nannies at the FCC telling me what my ears are too sensitive to hear, nor hate speech codes, nor even honor firings to uphold the reputation of a slighted member of the professional windbag class.
I was on a radio show this morning, and one of the hosts raised the very same issue. I believe in free speech, too, and yet I think that Schultz deserves to have the book thrown at him (on the way out the door). This is not a free speech issue. We are not asking Schultz to be fired for exercising his right to free speech. We support his right to say whatever he pleases about the Ryan budget, Obamacare, or any other issue. We may disagree, but we don't want to silence him.
But this isn't about free speech. Movies, radio, and TV outlets have long reflected our society's values. Our collective standards have changed a great deal since the Haysoffice (no kin), the official censor, tried to prevent Rhett Butler from telling Scarlet he didn't give a damn ("Frankly, my dear, I don't give a fig"). But we still have communal standards, and we should hope that we never regard calling a woman a slut on the air as meeting these standards. Ed Schultz went all pro-civility and blamed Sarah Palin for the Tucson shooting. Well, Ed, we want you to be civil.
But there is another paramount issue: double standards. As Heather says, a conservative host who had made a statement of this nature would be toast.