Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Re "In defense of Rush Limbaugh" by Ted Rall

Which is Here. I like Ted Rall, and have been following him for years, however, I disagree with his point here.

"Not his words. Nor his publicly-stated political opinions (which, I have excellent reason to believe, are purely for marketing purposes).

Calls for economic censorship are dangerous. Whether they’re from the Right against the Left (as when various right-wing pundits called for me to be fired, jailed or shot after 9/11), or from the Left against the Right (as in the current calls for Limbaugh to be fired for calling a Georgetown Law student a “slut” and a “prostitute”).

You know where I stand on Limbaugh. And where he stands on me. We despise one another. And I doubt he would defend my right to speak, or even live. But whatever.

When you call for censorship you open up your own partisans to similar calls in the future. Hard as this might be to fathom, my politics are just as objectionable to right-wingers as Limbaugh’s remarks are to those of us on the Left. Call for Limbaugh to be canned and you make it more likely that I’ll be canned for saying or drawing something that pisses them off. You just don’t want to go there.

Don’t like Limbaugh? Ignore him. Or declaim him as the fucked-up sexist shithead blowhard that he is. Calling for his sponsors to drop him is just a lazy substitute for a powerful counterargument.

P.S. Spare me the idiotic comments that only governments can censor. The dictionary says otherwise."

I think that with Limbaugh a lot of the arguments for sponsors to drop him are about parity in response, not about censorship in general. If anyone else but these ideologically subsidized blow hards on the right were to say the things they do, they'd lose their sponsors and be off the air. It takes loads and loads of misconduct by them, for instance the trail of dead left by Glenn Beck in his wake, to actually make them lose enough sponsors to create change, in that case to lose his job. If other journalists or commentators have to live up to those standards, with the fair skinned and fair minded folks at NPR, for example, having to quiver about appearing to favor liberalism, why shouldn't conservatives?

The difference between Ted Rall, who (like myself) says outrageous things from a left wing perspective, and Rush Limbaugh is that Rall has problems even getting through the door in order to get his stuff published, while Limbaugh gets air time on station after station after station. People always apply double standards to alternative and left wing material, but if they're going to do it to us, the least we can do is to ask for some consistency in treatment.

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