Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Who owns the presses? Mainstream liberals be careful what you wish for

I say that ironically, and the reason for the irony will become clear in the context of the title link and this excerpt. The link is to a post on Orcinus by Sara about conservatives trying to portray the firing of Imus and the suspension and potential firing of Opie and Anthony as signalling a new McCartyhism. So far so good. I seem to remember people on the Ann Coulter right arguing that McCarthyism in fact wasn't such a bad thing. But the problem comes in when the piece moves from talking about how conservatives are overstating what's happening to how to justify it. Specifically, Sara of Orcinus uses exactly the same argument that's kept people who like progressive causes, have dissenting opinions in a leftist way, like anarchist ideas or like Marxist ideas out of the big publishing houses:

"Note, however: Not one of those people [in the McCarthy era] got on the public airwaves and made ugly sexual comments about black women -- which is the common thread that connects Imus with Opie and Anthony. (That and the fact that, also like Imus, Opie and Anthony were repeat offenders -- CBS booted them in 2003 for similarly offensive remarks.) But, as Dave has already explained, when you're standing on a public platform that belongs to somebody else, you're subject to having the plug pulled on you if you say things that either the owners or the listeners find offensive."

Indeed. Which is why people on the Left have had to arduously build an alternative system of production of literature from scratch while Regnery press can put out shitty book after shitty book by extraordinarily conservative authors and get them into any bookstore immediately after their release.

Yeah, seems that the 'Public Square' argument is the same thing that Rupert Murdoch used to try to stop Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men" from being released.

I agree with Ted Rall on this one. Rall has been very critical of the urge just to get rid of all the shock jocks just for saying offensive things, basically arguing that anything like that which is passed will be used against us in the future. It establishes a precedent for hiring and firing people based on ideological preference that, if established, will be used by Republicans as business as usual once the balance of power shifts again to a place where they can do whatever the hell they like.

There's an old saying that goes something like Freedom of the Press is for those who own the presses.

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