Rush to Censor

I thought we’d reached the nadir of the Sandra Fluke thing with Mark Steyn pontificating when he clearly had not bothered to read her testimony (note to Mark: she never talked about her sex life. I mean, at all). But … as always … there is no debate in this country on which the Right can possibly be as stupid as the Left.

First, there is Gloria Allred, who is determined not to let a controversy pass without making a fool of herself. She’s threatening libel lawsuits and prosecution under an obscure law that makes it a crime to impugn a woman’s chastity. Seriously. Remember when such laws were seen as a holdover from a less-enlightened time? There were times in high school when I would have killed for someone to impugn my chastity. Just a little bit. One of the whole points of this debate — and in fact the feminist movement — is that women should not be ashamed of their sexuality.

But — and I am as surprised by this as you — Gloria Allred has not made the stupidest utterance on this matter. No, that took the combined talents of not one, not two, but three raving neo-feminist loons.

Limbaugh doesn’t just call people names. He promotes language that deliberately dehumanizes his targets. Like the sophisticated propagandist Josef Goebbels, he creates rhetorical frames — and the bigger the lie, the more effective — inciting listeners to view people they disagree with as sub-humans. His longtime favorite term for women, “femi-Nazi,” doesn’t even raise eyebrows anymore, an example of how rhetoric spreads when unchallenged by coarsened cultural norms.

Wow. You went for the Nazi reference right off the bat. I might have held back a bit before uncorking that one.

I do want to take a moment to talk about “femi-Nazi”. I was a regular Limbaugh listener for most of the 90’s and still occasionally tune him in. I have never heard him use the word “femi-Nazi”. The only time I am aware, second-hand, of him using it was when he was criticizing feminists for lamenting the decline in the number of abortions and opposing very common-sense regulations. His point was that anyone who saw a decline in the number of deaths of what was arguably a human life deserved such a moniker. I’m not sure I disagree.

But, surprisingly, that’s not the stupidest thing in the op-ed. After calling on Clear Channel to dump Limbaugh, they say:

If Clear Channel won’t clean up its airways, then surely it’s time for the public to ask the FCC a basic question: Are the stations carrying Limbaugh’s show in fact using their licenses “in the public interest?”

Spectrum is a scarce government resource. Radio broadcasters are obligated to act in the public interest and serve their respective communities of license. In keeping with this obligation, individual radio listeners may complain to the FCC that Limbaugh’s radio station (and those syndicating his show) are not acting in the public interest or serving their respective communities of license by permitting such dehumanizing speech.

The FCC takes such complaints into consideration when stations file for license renewal. For local listeners near a station that carries Limbaugh’s show, there is plenty of evidence to bring to the FCC that their station isn’t carrying out its public interest obligation. Complaints can be registered under the broadcast category of the FCC website:

Wow. You will never find a better distillation of the radical feminist mindset. They believe the FCC should be looking over all broadcasts to make sure they fulfill some nebulous “public interest”. Anything that does not meet the public interest — public interest as defined by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan — should be silenced.

They later accuse Limbaugh of “hiding behind the First Amendment”. But that’s what the First Amendment is for. It exists to shield controversial speakers from the heavy hands of know-it-all hyper-moralists like these three. Rush Limbaugh isn’t hiding behind the First Amendment. All of us are standing proudly on top of it, especially the feminists whose early calls for women’s liberation were seen as immoral and dangerous. Do you think any of these women’s early activism would have been seen as being in the public interest? Their view is so radical that it provoked Mark Randazza, who can’t stand Limbaugh, to call them crazy.

I have no problem with boycotts or pressure or calling someone out. The First Amendment does not shield you from the consequences of speech; it merely blocks government action. Calling someone an asshole is not oppression, no matter how much Kirk Cameron thinks it is. Even firing someone for speech is not oppression, no much matter how much Dr. Laura thinks it is. In a free country, people can respond to speech they don’t like by refusing to listen, by firing someone’s ass or by simply saying, “Fuck you, asshole.” But they can not respond by having the government pull the plug on a mic.

Oh, there’s one last note:

This isn’t political.

Like hell it’s not. While it’s true some feminists have called out liberals for their misogynistic statements about conservatives, those call have never come with this kind of furor and intensity. Nor have the radicals had any compunction about lumping even the mildest pro-life law with the worst and calling all of it a “war on women”. So spare me your high-minded calls for civility.

This is not about apolitical cleansing of the airwaves. The substance of the debate matters. What has really fired up these women is that this garbage as been slung at a woman calling for free birth control. If a woman testifying for abortion restrictions were called these names or worse, we would not see his kind of op-ed.

I’ve said before that I think Rush went over the line on this one. But this is not the first time this has happened in American history. It’s not the first time it’s happened this year. The unfortunate side of free speech is that sometimes people say vile and ignorant things. But the alternative is to live under the kind of society these three idiots want: one in which speech has to serve a public interest, one in which lawsuits color the sky yellow, one in which people are afraid of speaking their minds. What Rush Limbaugh said was wrong. But using the government to silence him would be even worse.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    I have never heard him use the word “femi-Nazi”.

    I was when he still had a tv show during the first Clinton administration. Heard it a couple dozen times at most.

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  2. salinger

    Heard it a couple dozen times at most.

    Oh – only a couple dozen times – that’s okay then.

    Here’s another accounting I understand the source is biased – but the dates can be fact checked.

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  3. richtaylor365

    (note to Mark: she never talked about her sex life. I mean, at all).

    I think you misinterpreted what he said:

    Where was I? Oh, yes. The brave middle-aged schoolgirl had the courage to stand up in public and demand that someone else pay for her sex life.

    Isn’t that exactly what she did?

    is that women should not be ashamed of their sexuality.

    Wait a minute, didn’t you just do what you accused Mark Steyn of doing?

    I have never heard him use the word “femi-Nazi”.

    I think Salinger’s MM link is pretty accurate (that whole blind squirrel thing, not Salinger, Media Matters). I remember reading about it’s inception and the purpose behind it in one of his books. Back then it was clever, pointed, and effective for it’s purpose. But I think he made a wise decision early on that the blow back was not worth it’s continued usage, like my criticisms earlier about him feminizing his derisive remarks, so he discarded it. But old habits die hard (this is why I think he is slipping and getting old, he should know better) so he goes to that well from time to time.

    Anything that does not meet the public interest — public interest as defined by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan — should be silenced.

    Not to take anything away form your point, you are right of course, but this is nothing new (like another hugging of a radical in a long history of hugging radicals), this “Free speech for me, but not for thee” , this ,”We will champion your right to free speech, as long as we agree with what you say”, this ,”We demand diversity, diversity of skin color and ethnicity, but not diversity of thought, there can be only one right way of thinking” has been the left’s calling card since I first started getting zits.

    I have no problem with boycotts or pressure or calling someone out

    Ditto, we consumers have the right to vote with our wallets, but just remember, you morality warriors, when I see some old hag boycotting Target because she doesn’t like which Super Pac the CEO gave money to, or when I see CAIR getting all indignant at Lowe’s because they made a business decision about advertising that they did not like, I just might start thinking I need to start shopping at those stores. Yep, my consumer buck speaks just as loudly as yours.

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  4. Poosh

    Mark Steyn, in the article, does state he is not abreast of the issue fully, as he is currently down-under, putting sausages in the barbie. But he does get to part of the key issue underneath it all. Fluke or whatever might have some sort of point about on why she should have to pay in choice-of-education because she’s a woman – but as Mark Steyn would probably have pointed out, you chose to go to that uni at the end of the day, all the women were asked to make a rational choice, and they chose wrong.

    I have no reason to believe much of what she said in her testimony at all. She is conflating the issue, probably intentionally, as no one wants a woman to suffer because insurance won’t pay on religious grounds – but, again, I have no reason to believe her. Maybe she’s right, but the facts can present themselves. If it is true, then stupidity is at play.

    At any rate, I think this just highlights the stupidity of American insurance schemes in healthcare, pretending to be part of a free-market, and the scandalous cost of higher education in America – far exceeding the actual cost of the product, it seems to me at least. I think these two issues have collided here.

    You are right, Hal, that Fluke doesn’t talk about “her” sex life – we must assume at least. But her wording (just after the £3,000 statement) can be easily missread, I have to say.

    The key phrase is this:

    ““And so, I’m here today to share their voices, and I want to thank you for allowing them – not me – to be heard.”

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  5. AlexInCT

    Oh – only a couple dozen times – that’s okay then.

    Rush was correct in labeling the people he called femi-Nazi that way because they acted in the same way Aldred is acting. What better term to use to point out what a disgusting creature these hags are when they hijack feminism to cover for their stupidity? There is a distinction, and it is huge. Of course I do not expect a leftist to want to understand that when there is the opportunity to muddle the water and use these sorts of incidents as a political weapon to club the other side into silence with.

    Also note that the issue here isn’t with feminism and conservative’s dislike of it, like the left wants to pretend, but with the people that hide behind the banner of feminism to demand abhorrent and stupid things – like other people paying for them to be idiots and free of the consequences of their actions – that have nothing to do with feminism at all, then accuse anyone that dares point out how stupid/expensive/insane/destructive/unfeminist the things these imbeciles hiding behind feminism want, of not only disagreeing with them, but hating women. That’s the problem.

    Seriously, if feminism is totally about government mandated freebees, like contraception, or for that matter anything where government takes over the role of “sugar daddy”, so the women can remain dependant on someone else instead of standing on their own as feminism intended, then being a feminist is sham. If this holds true it proves this feminist movement was never about equal rights or freedom, but about passing the responsibility factor to someone else that wouldn’t be able to hold them accountable. Of course, pointing that out means I hate women. Even when I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.

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  6. West Virginia Rebel

    You can find clips of Rush’s TV show on the Youtubes (one of my favorites is the one where he’s wearing all the ribbons that were so popular back then to show that he cared).

    As for Ms. Fluke, it’s increasingly starting to look like she was in cahoots with Team Obama all along. If this was a trap to drag the Republicans into a culture war debate at the expense of the economy and foreign policy, then I have to say I’m sorry to see that it appeared to have worked.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    My first thought after seeing and reading of these three bints was:

    Act 1 Scene 1 of Macbeth.

    ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
    2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good.

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  8. Kimpost

    After seeing her bf, something tells me Fluke’s not gonna be in the need of any sort of contraception…

    I’m not gay or anything, but what’s wrong with him? He looks like a regular dude to me?


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