Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Free speech does not equal subsidized free speech....

Having several friends who are of the left-ward leaning bent, I often run into a cognitive dissonance when reading their statuses on Facebook or the like.  I had been, as my cousin so aptly puts it, 'biting my tongue until it bleeds' out of respect for them and their right to have an opinion that differs from mine, but when they aren't thinking anymore or are just passing on the party meme, I've started commenting with facts.  Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't.  Maybe I'll lose some friends, but I just can't stand by and watch them mirror the meme of the day.  I have noticed however, that I'm not alone in this since others are also correcting them.

The two that immediately come to mind are the O'Donnell/First Amendment kerfuffle that the press was all over like white on rice.  They tried to paint her as an idiot, when what she was doing was correcting her opponent (the words 'separation of church and state' are not part of the First Amendment (Establishment clause) and don't appear until much later in writings by Adams and Jefferson (and then they were talking about specific churches, not religion in general).

The second one is one I find to be a little more interesting because of the dichotomy inherent in it.  There have been calls to de-fund NPR due to its firing of Juan Williams for saying on another network that he gets nervous when there's muslim folks on a plane with him.  Something that we've all thought.  But NPR seizes a chance to both fire him and insult him later (his feelings should be between him and his psychiatrist according to Vivian Shiller, the CEO of NPR).  So Demint and some other folks feel that since NPR is clearly into stifling free speech, that maybe public dollars ($430 million of them, as a matter of fact) could be better used elsewhere.  But the lefties are saying that de-funding NPR is 'stripping our freedoms', completely ignoring the fact that Williams was fired for not toeing the progressive opinion line, thus seriously crossing the First Amendment line.

The ironic part (there are so many ironic parts to this)....

Another ironic part is that if anyone would have listened to the WHOLE thing, he actually was toeing the line and made a statement about making sure everyone understands the difference between muslim and muslim extremists... yadda, yadda, yadda.

My thought is that with so many other avenues of news available to the populace today, most of them privately funded, that NPR and PBS have both really run their respective courses.  If folks want to privately cough up the $430 million to NPR to keep it up and running, more power to them.  It would be a good litmus as to their true dedication to NPR.  Hell, maybe George Soros could just pay for the whole thing and dispense with any pretense that he's not calling the shots there.  For myself, I think that could be something safely carved out of the federal budget without impacting my life at all.

On the brighter side, as long as I've still got friends on that side of the ideological fence, I'll have a heads-up as to the meme of the day.

ETA:  My friend thanked me for the correction on his O'Donnell meme.  Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit and they are actually thinking--just aren't exposed to other thoughts very often.

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