Ignorant Speech Inciting Violence Hardly “Free”

4 06 2009

. . .much less godly or patriotic. More like “punished by rewards.”

Continuing from ongoing discussion of Nance’s post, A Sad Day, here’s the latest of doughy white male conservatives (Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh e.g.) who barely finished high school and did not serve in the military or government, yet made their fortunes with withering and relentless incitement against extraordinarily well-educated and high-achieving American leaders (the Obamas, Powell, Sotomayor) who are of color and/or female.

Editorial cartoon from the Oklahoman, June 3, 2009

Editorial cartoon from the Oklahoman, June 3, 2009

From HuffPost’s story on Hannity interviewing Limbaugh:

Limbaugh claimed that Obama was doing such a good job of destroying the country that: “If al-Qaeda wants to demolish the America we know and love, they better hurry, because Obama is beating them to it.”

Limbaugh prefaced those remarks by saying that he had thought carefully about that statement in anticipation of his interview with Hannity.

He also bashed Colin Powell, who bucked the GOP to endorse Obama and criticize Limbaugh, by asking rhetorically: “What has Colin Powell ever done for the Republican Party that makes him so valuable?”

Limbaugh repeated his claim that Sotomayor is a racist over her 2001 comments about the unique perspective of a Latina woman – “It’s a racist thing to say and it’s bigoted,” he said. Limbaugh added that if she comes down on the “right side” of the abortion issue, “he might look past this racism” and support her nomination.

Whoever said free speech isn’t free, had it right. This speech is coming at the cost of everything it claims to value.

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13 responses

6 06 2009
JJ

From Ignorance:

Context is everything. . .

Forget evolution, Ken Ham’s Creation Museum and the public school science teacher burning crosses into eighth-graders’ flesh for Christmas. Ignorance isn’t just about failing to master the rigors of science and math; ignorance in the liberal arts and humanities might be even more dangerous.

And what I am furious about today isn’t even about school kids and their stupid parents, teachers or principals.

This news is about The Racially and Rationally Challenged Real World, out in grown-up free America where all the scary ideas and words and human differences are right there on every street corner and no one is in control of the script. . .

6 06 2009
JJ

What does it take to actually prosecute incitement? It CAN happen . . .

Talk Radio Host Facing Charges for Incitement to Violence Against Officials

6 06 2009
Crimson Wife

Not to be too nitpicky but Bill O’Reilly has a master’s from Harvard, Ann Coulter has a law degree from Michigan, Laura Ingraham has a law degree from UVA, Glenn Beck attended Yale, and Sean Hannity attended NYU. Limbaugh’s really the only one of the conservative talk radio blowhards whose education did not include an elite university. Perhaps it’s a case of “familiarity breeds contempt”?

6 06 2009
JJ

I didn’t mention any women, did I? Or Bill O’Reilly among the (straw) men.
I specifically said, “doughy white male conservatives (Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh e.g.) who barely finished high school and did not serve in the military or government. . .”

I’ve personally heard Limbaugh and Beck talk ad nauseum about their lack of interest in academics (and distrust of government and intellectuals) and according to wikipedia via media critic Howard Kurtz, Hannity was a Catholic schoolboy and then a drop-out, not a graduate from NYU. So what on earth do you mean by “familiarity breeds contempt?” Whose familiarity with what? If you mean my familiarity with them, you’ve got that right!

And I stand behind this as “barely finished high school” especially for a self-described “rodeo clown”:

Beck began his radio career when he won a local radio contest to be a DJ for an hour, and was eventually granted a part-time job. He hosted Christian radio on Saturday, rock on Sunday and country on weeknights. . .

After graduating from high school, Beck pursued his career as a Top 40 DJ. . . . He graduated from Sehome High School in Bellingham, Washington in 1982, and took a single theology class at Yale University.

A 2009 profile in GQ magazine states that Beck was admitted to a special program for non-traditional students at Yale University at some unspecified point in time while he was working for a New Haven-area radio station.

Elaborated elsewhere as this:

Mr. Beck has long been a performer. His roots are in comedy — he spent years as a morning radio disc jockey — and continues to perform comedy on stages across the country.

He got into the radio business to “share my opinion in a humorous way,” but the times “are so serious now that I find myself sometimes being the guy I don’t want to be — the guy saying things that are sometimes pretty scary, but nobody else is willing to say them.”

6 06 2009
Crimson Wife

I’ve heard Glenn Beck blame dropping out of college and the demise of his first marriage on alcoholism. It’s part of his whole Mormon schtick- look at the evils of alcohol, yadda, yadda, yadda. Even though I know a boatload of people who drank way, way too much during college and still managed to graduate with respectable GPA’s (about 75% of my sorority sisters and about 95% of my DH’s fraternity brothers were like that).

I say “familiarity breeds contempt” because exposure to an elite university can have the result of pushing certain folks to the right. I saw this happen to my DH. He started college only a bit to the right of center but got disgusted by all the political correctness around him and by the time he graduated he was a strong conservative.

6 06 2009
JJ

Ah.
No wonder I didn’t get the reference. College for me was anything but disgusting. I wholeheartedly tried on at least a half-dozen ideologies and personae (across the spectrum including conservatism and even Ayn Rand believer) from age 17-27 or so.

6 06 2009
JJ

So I’m still confused what it is YOU think about Glenn Beck then. Well-educated and intellectually worth engaging, or not so much?

6 06 2009
COD

I thought drinking too much and still graduating was the point of college 🙂

6 06 2009
JJ

True, most high schools have an excellent college prep program for this . . .

7 06 2009
kmk

I find all the talk of traditional educational institutions very interesting for an unschooler.

7 06 2009
JJ

Actually for so many unschooling parents, talking that talk comes from having walked that walk. John Holt for example, first articulated and advocated radical unschooling after a traditional education career much like mine.

7 06 2009
JJ

Although hmm, even at that I don’t think Holt was raised by teachers and professors on college campuses, in love with academics and ivy towers as I was and still am. 😉

From wikipedia:

After many years of working within the school system, Holt became disillusioned with it. He became convinced that reform of the school system was not possible because it was fundamentally flawed. Thus, he became an advocate of homeschooling.

It was not helpful, however, to simply remove children from the school environment if parents simply re-created it at home. Holt believed that children did not need to be coerced into learning; they would do so naturally if given the freedom to follow their own interests and a rich assortment of resources.

This line of thought became known as unschooling.

This is good too, for showing some parallels in how Holt and JJ came to unschooling.

7 06 2009
JJ

Oh — and to the original post’s wording, did y’all know John Holt served in the Navy? — another way he is imo superior to the trinity of talkers but not walkers I criticized above.

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