Thursday, April 12, 2007

MSNBC rules 1st Amendment Unconstitutional

MSNBC announced last night that they'd be pulling Don Imus from their lineup as a direct result of the backlash resulting from derogatory and offensive comments that he had made earlier regarding the Rutgers Women's basketball team.

MSNBC's action came after a growing list of sponsors - including American Express Co. (AXP), Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), Staples Inc. (SPLS), Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), and General Motors Corp. (GM) - said they were pulling ads from Imus' show for the indefinite future.

Now let me preface this by saying that I don't agree with what Don Imus had said. Moreover I do think it's offensive and shouldn't be defended, but that is not my issue with this.

We've seen Rosie O'Donnel speak some pretty offensive things recently. In the last few weeks she's defended a convicted and confessing terrorist, said that the U.S. government has blown up the twin towers, claiming that the British were directly responsible for Iran kidnapping their sailors, and just today she said something sensible.

...Rosie said the next step is the "thought police"...

Later she was quoted as saying,

"... if it impedes on free speech in America, democracy is at stake. Because democracy is based on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. So we really have to worry about that in this country. "
I don't think I'd ever find myself saying this, but I wholeheartedly agree with Rosie.

America is treading down a slippery slope. Limiting even offensive free speech is still limiting free speech.

If we as a nation will allow the censorship of free speech in the name of being offensive where do we draw the line?

I've seen MSNBC's program Imus in The Morning once or twice. Guess what, I couldn't watch him for more than a minute or two because frankly, his program was neither interesting nor entertaining. That's the way it should work. Let the people decide.

Do you all remember when the FCC could only fine you for profanity on network television and the public airwaves?

But like so many other things this is being used by those that don't value the constitution for their own purposes.

Rev. Jesse Jackson took the opportunity to comment on the lack of ethnic diversity at the radio station, "Imus is on 1,040 hours a week and yet they have virtually no black show hosts." Liberal pundits like Keith Olbermann have jumped on the opportunity to fan the flames and have called for the firing of their political opponents. Likewise, conservative bloggers have jumped on the bandwagon calling for limiting the free speech of their opponents, people like Rosie O'Donnel.

My point is simply this: you will never agree with everything you hear, but don't be alarmed it's always been that way in free societies. In fact it's the one thing that makes America great.

We should be very concerned when people think that the 1st Amendment is only valid as long as no one gets offended.

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