On Free Speech and Losing Your Job

Laura Ingraham

It has been an interesting week while I was busy with Easter, posting poetry for Clark’s book and visiting my cardiologist.

People have been fired or disciplined at their jobs for comments they have made on social media or broadcasting channels!  Oh the horror!

First we had Laura Ingraham of  Fox News mocking Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg for being rejected by a number of colleges to which he had submitted applications.

“David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.2 GPA… totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”

Ingraham later issued an “apology” in the “spirit of Holy Week” after receiving furious backlash from those who read her tweet.

Hogg had the last laugh.  He responded by listing the twelve largest advertisers on Ingraham’s show and asked those who support stronger gun regulation to contact them and threaten boycott.  Within a week a dozen advertisers fled Ingraham’s show and she took a week off the air  –  a “previously planned” vacation.  She is back on now – probably a bit chastened and wiser.   Besides, I would think that David Hogg could now attend any college he wants; he is however going to take a one year break in order to continue his gun activism.

Parkland kids know – always follow the money.

Ted Nugent

Meanwhile, classic rocker and NRA board member Ted Nugent has attacked Parkland’s teenage school shooting survivors-turned-gun control activists, calling them “mushy brained” and “soulless” liars.  According to Nugent, the Parkland students pushing for tighter gun laws are “poor mushy brained children who have been fed lies” and are “committing spiritual suicide.” As for David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez—two of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High’s most outspoken student survivors—Nugent went so far as to say they are waging a war against ordinary Americans everywhere. “To attack the good law-abiding families of America when well known predictable murderers commit these horrors is deep in the category of soulless. These poor children, I’m afraid to say this and it hurts me to say this, but the evidence is irrefutable, they have no soul,” he said.

“No soul.”  “Spiritual suicide.”   Talk about mushy brained.

The NRA was called upon to disavow the comments and  in response a number of companies have set up their own rules for weapons  – some have stopped selling guns entirely; others have banned assault rifles and many have raised the minimum age for purchase from 18 to 21 and/or instigated a three day waiting period.

Follow the money.

This week we move away from guns for a moment and on to the subject of abortion.

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Kevin Williamson

Atlantic magazine announced last week that it had parted ways with recently hired right wing commentator Kevin Williamson.  Williamson, a conservative “intellectual” and former writer for the National Review had been brought on to Atlantic to perhaps give it a broader perspective – it is a well known left leaning periodical and it was willing to give the right a page or two to express opinion on the issue of the day.

“All of this began late last month after left-leaning activists unearthed several Twitter posts by Williamson from September 2014, in which the former National Review writer stated that he opposed abortion “in all circumstances” and that he believed women who had the procedure should be charged with murder. Although generally opposed to capital punishment, Williamson wrote that he believed that in jurisdictions where wanton killing qualified for the death penalty, women who terminated their pregnancies should be treated just the same. “I have hanging more in mind,” he wrote.”

Williamson was terminated after the progressive group Media Matters published a National Review podcast occurring the day after the abortion tweet controversy in which Williamson vigorously  defended treating abortion as a capital crime.

“I would go along with treating it like any other crime – up to and including hanging, while kind of – as I said – I am kind of squishy on capital punishment in general – but I have a soft spot for hanging as a form of capital punishment.’ He added “If the state is going to do violence, let’s make it violence!”

“Abortion is worse than your typical murder!  It’s absolutely premeditated!”

Several months later in March 2015 he told a group of conservative students at Hillsdale College he would prefer to imprison women when, in his ideal future society, abortion is criminalized.

And so he got his ass fired.

And conservatives are up in arms.  You know.  Freedom of speech.  Those lefties shutting down a conservatives right to be heard.  Yawn.

Instead of asserting that Williamson didn’t really say that women should be executed for having an abortion, they assume that he did and that he was let go from Atlantic because the publication couldn’t handle someone with fierce abortion views.  They should have kept him anyway.  Right.

New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz argued that Williamson’s opinions are not the issue – the issue is that centrist or non-partisan journalists must countenance any opinion no matter how offensive.

“In truth Williamson’s opinions are besides the point” she wrote.  “The message couldn’t be clearer.  Conservative opinion is unwelcome in mainstream media.”   Williamson’s sacking is evidence of “left wing intolerance.”

Talk about whining.  It never occurs to consider that his trollish behavior directly contradicts Atlantic’s stated goal of forwarding high level intellectual discussion. It was not what he said; it was the flippant callous way he said it.

Maybe he would appreciate a trip toAfghanistan where he can watch a stoning of women or Saudi Arabia for a public caning.

Jamie Allman – who once worked as a spokesman for the St. Louis Archdiocese!

In closing for today it is worth noting that Jamie Allman, a conservative commentator at a Sinclair-owned television station, resigned after tweeting that he planned to sexually assault Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg with “a hot poker.”

Allman hosted a show on KDNL, a Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned ABC affiliate in St. Louis, as well as a morning FM radio show. He lost advertisers after the threat.

Asked if Allman had resigned, Ronn Torossian, a spokesperson for Sinclair, told TheWrap Monday: “Yes, his show is cancelled and he is off the air immediately.

Hogg has become an object of derision among some conservatives because of his aggressive arguments for gun control.

On March 26, Allman tweeted: “When we kick their ass they all like to claim we’re drunk. I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow. Busy working. Preparing.”

Nothing but class. Big swinging dick.  Well maybe just a dick.

Allman’s remark came two days before Fox News host Laura Ingraham posted the tweet accusing Hogg of “whining” about not getting into colleges he applied to.

Allman’s remarks also sparked advertisers to exit, including Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, St. Louis’ Palm Health, and St. Louis real estate office The Gellman Team, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The resignation comes as Sinclair is under fire for requiring anchors to read a script bashing the news media and echoing talking points from President Trump. As a result, Sinclair is the target of a #SinclairStrike movement calling for a one-day walkout on May 15. Activists have also called for a Sinclair boycott.

Sinclair has turned into nothing more than a propaganda outlet for real fake news.

Follow the advertisers.  Follow the money.

P.S. – Today Fox News host Laura Ingraham fired back at activists pushing a boycott of her show The Ingraham Angle, saying they were left-leaning “speech czars” who wanted to suppress political dissent.  “Their efforts are Stalinist, pure and simple. Their objective is a total transformation of American society not through rational discourse and open debate, but through demonization and silencing.”

Hehe.  No Laura.  That’s capitalism.  Follow the money.  Thus far 18 advertisers have pulled ads from your show.

.

And for those innocents living in a thermos bottle who have never seen the tripe circulated by right wing commentators, Torritto has been kind enough to find you a relevant sample.  Wash yourself after listening.

(Ha!  Seems the video available yesterday on YouTube  has been taken down!  It was complete right wing trash and deserved to be but I am surprised!)

About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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14 Responses to On Free Speech and Losing Your Job

  1. jfwknifton says:

    Was it Vergil who said “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • toritto says:

      Apparently not according to Wiki –

      “phrase “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” is a phrase spoken by Prometheus in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Masque of Pandora” (1875)

      🙂

      Regards

      Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    I have to say that you do have some genuinely horrible and nasty people in your country, Frank.
    I am very pleased that I have never made the acquaintance of any of those completely moronic bastards mentioned in this post.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. vcroman says:

    Broadcast media speech is not “free speech” as they are all beholden to their sponsors and viewers. Unfortunately, they have too great an influence over their audiences. By the same token, their speech can work against them. If they can tell their sycophants what they want to hear, they also need to face the consequences from those who they offend. By the same token if you cursed out your boss (unless you have a unique relationship), you should expect to be fired or if you scream fault during a serve at Wimbledon you may get thrown out. What troubles me more is the gray area that exists between responsible journalism and opinion/demagogy and the lack of peoples’ understanding of the difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    • toritto says:

      Hi Vic – These comments were not in any sense “news” or intellectual conversation. If they had simply stuck to a conservative viewpoint without going into the gutter I think they would still have their jobs. I can oppose abortion without stating that women who have one should be hanged. And I can be for gun rights without tweeting I am going to stick a hot poker up a teen’s ass. The line here is pretty clear; even the advertisers who supported these programs previously fled. There is only so far one can push the envelope before it breaks.

      Best from Florida.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Lara/Trace says:

    OK, I had a dream last night I met you and your daughter and Clark. And it was at a party in NYC. How really real it seemed! I must be reading you every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. greenpete58 says:

    It’s just sad that it has to always come down to “Follow the money.” But that’s America, I guess. Fringe freaks like Allman, Williamson, and Ingraham (plus Nugent) never used to have such a mainstream forum in America, until a few decades ago. These right-wing media morons were on a par with the KKK and neo-Nazis (some of them probably carry those cards). They’d turn up, every few years, on a show like “Phil Donohue,” then crawl back into the cracks. Now, because they make money, they’re everywhere, including the White House. The 1st Amendment is as misinterpreted as the 2nd. Things have whirred totally out of control.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. GP Cox says:

    Many people in our country have ideals that we find distasteful, but they still have the right to say them. If we walk around checking every thing we say or every word someone says to us and judge it according to how the PC people think we should speak – how is that freedom?

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      Hi GP – Indeed many folks have ideals we may find distasteful. Recently we had a teen who was shot at come out strongly for banning assault weapons and for universal background checks. A lot of people agree with him. Instead of a rational dialogue he was attacked – he was call a paid actor, a “pussy,” a “mushy headed kid,” “soulless” and someone who should have a hot poker shoved up his ass.

      Now you can speak these words on any street corner in this country; carry a sign, post it on most blogs – you just can’t expect that someone is going to PAY YOU to speak thusly. Advertisers support commentators who can draw an audience they want to reach. When others who abhor the statements boycott the advertiser, it sometimes causes the advertiser to flee the controversy.

      These folks didn’t rationally defend the 2nd amendment. They attacked the messenger and tried to kill the message. I can defend the 2nd amendment without calling for a hot poker up a kid’s ass. And I can defend an opposition to abortion without advocating that women be hanged.

      The lesson is keep it civil if you want to be paid. If you want to be uncivil be prepared to pay for it yourself or stick to Twitter.

      Best regards.

      Frank

      Liked by 1 person

      • GP Cox says:

        I don’t see why anyone is paid for their opinion – we have them! The media is a large part of our problem. If idiots and protesters and murders were given less air-time, eliminate their 15 minutes of fame, they may not be so eager to be “Unknown killer”..

        Like

  7. Pingback: Words Have Consequences | toritto

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