I’m sure you’ve all heard now about Juan Williams and his thoughts on the ideal airline passenger. As we all could (should) have predicted, his fearmongering remarks were immediately rewarded by Fox News, to the tune of $2.0 million. I guess I’m thankful to know the running rate for bigotry. How much money could I make if I wore a headscarf in an airport, holding a sign that says “God hates fags” in a faux-Middle Eastern accent, with a picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache? Hey, gotta protect those first amendment rights!
Which is exactly what forgotten right-wing nutjob (there are so many these days, you really gotta go off the deep end to stand out) Eric Cantor is out to do. I discovered when I woke up this morning that he is pledging a full-on assault on the federal NPR funding process. Because, you know, Americans have been wronged, I guess.
It looks like Eric Cantor has graduated from the Dr. Laura School of Constitutional Law. You’ll remember that after she was canned for her cogent social analysis racist tirade, she began a media crusade decrying “censorship” and claiming she just “wants her First Amendment rights back.” Sarah Palin came to her defense, of course, because if someone is spewing offensive bigotry, Sarah Palin is THERE. Palin, herself the victim of cruel gotcha journalism (“Why didn’t anyone tell me she’d ask about newspapers?!?!”) and other forms of media oppression, seemed to spark this recent spate of wrongheaded constitutional analysis.
[Can we just talk a second about how a grown woman runs around using the phrase “lamestream media”? And people still somehow take her seriously–nay, are fighting to elect her president one day? Not that I understand or sympathize with the Bush II-era anti-intellectual bent, but this has to be a new low. I guess Jon Stewart is a “dumbface” and NPR really is National Poopy Radio.]
The most troubling aspect of the Right’s embrace of any type of offensive speech is two-fold. First, no one seems to consider the consequences of any remark made. “So I said n—– 27 times on air. Black people say it all the time! I’m just trying to keep it real with my peeps, yo. What’s the problem?” (Yes, that is the best way for you to connect to your white, middle-aged housewife, Laura.) Secondly, they respond to these consequences not with an apology or genuine contriteness–no, they claim an assault on their rights!
Insane. Did Dr. Laura get arrested after she ran off at the mouth? Was Juan Williams detained for getting the willies around brown people? (Uh, Juan?) If only. Think about how many life sentences Rush Limbaugh would have right now. But this right/Tea Party shift to consequence-free action has reached a crisis point. They’re equating consequence with government oppression. You mean I can’t run anywhere I want with my gun? Oppression! I can’t reveal to the world Barack Obama’s deep hatred for babies and kittens? Censorship!
I’d say in the cases of Juan Williams and Dr. Laura, however, we saw perfect examples of the market correcting itself.