Free Markets, Free People

How times have changed when it comes to free speech – just ask the NY Times

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I’m going to talk about how the left continues to attack free speech by trying to argue that somehow what they consider “hate speech” isn’t a part of it.  We watched CNN’s Chris Cuomo embarrass himself (well he probably wasn’t embarrassed, but he should have been) when he admonished the right to read the Constitution because it clearly didn’t support such speech.  And I pointed out yesterday the totalitarian origins of “hate-speech” exemptions from free speech rights.

That said, I’m fascinated by the attacks on this event in Texas and its sponsor, Pamela Geller.  Agree or disagree with her agenda, in terms of free speech she had every single right in the world to put that on and not expect to be attacked.   The presumption that she would be attacked is just that, a presumption.  It isn’t valid in any terms but apparently the left feels that their presumption that an attack would happen is all that is necessary to condemn Geller’s event as a hate-fest and hate-speech.  You have to wonder what they’d have said if no violence had erupted?

The usual suspects, however, attacked her.  In the particular case I’ll cite, it was the NY Times.  Watch how they set up their editorial “But!”:

There is no question that images ridiculing religion, however offensive they may be to believers, qualify as protected free speech in the United States and most Western democracies. There is also no question that however offensive the images, they do not justify murder, and that it is incumbent on leaders of all religious faiths to make this clear to their followers.

End of editorial.  That’s the crux of the free speech argument.  There are no “buts” after that.  However, there is for the NYT:

But it is equally clear that the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Tex., was not really about free speech. It was an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom.

Pure editorial opinion masquerading as some sort of “fact”.  What is the NYT doing here?  Arbitrarily deciding what is or isn’t hate.  And how dangerous is that?  See the USSR and all previous and existing totalitarian regimes.  They do that every day.

Anyway, in 1999, the NYT wasn’t in such a rush to equate an extraordinarily similar event as “an exercise in bigotry and hatred”.  You may remember it:

The Times in 1999 endorsed the showing at a public museum in New York of a supposed art work consisting of a crucifix in a vial of urine, arguing, “A museum is obliged to challenge the public as well as to placate it, or else the museum becomes a chamber of attractive ghosts, an institution completely disconnected from art in our time.” 

And what happened at that time?

Well, apparently the “image ridiculing” this religion was tolerated to the point that no violence occurred, meaning one can assume that leaders of that religion must have made it clear that it didn’t “justify murder” and none occurred.  That’s as it should have been.

So why, then, if the Times believed in free speech in 1999 when an obviously a large segment of the population viewed the crucifix in urine as offensive, provocative and sacrilegious, does it not believe the same thing in 2015 when the same conditions exist?

Because of the “but”, of course.  A “but” that didn’t exist when it was a religion being ridiculed that was not in favor with the left.

Some of those who draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad may earnestly believe that they are striking a blow for freedom of expression, though it is hard to see how that goal is advanced by inflicting deliberate anguish on millions of devout Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism. As for the Garland event, to pretend that it was motivated by anything other than hate is simply hogwash.

The Times has yet to answer how “inflicting anguish” on millions of Christians who have done nothing to the artist is somehow “striking a blow for freedom of expression” or how that display wasn’t motivated by “hate” (hint: because their definition of “hate” is arbitrary).  It sure had no problem putting it’s editorial heft in support of that “hate” then.  And there’s no argument by anyone who can reason –  it was as “hateful” as anything at the Garland event.  And pretending otherwise is, to borrow the NYT term, “hogwash”.

~McQ

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14 Responses to How times have changed when it comes to free speech – just ask the NY Times

  • People who accuse Geller of being a hater I suspect do so out of two motivations…

    1. She is “pushy” (Rush Limbaugh is hated by lots to people because he is so certain and unapologetic)

    2. She hates Islamism and sharia…but not Islam per se. In fact, what she militates FOR is a secularized Muslim religion that CAN exist in Western culture.

    Instead of dealing honestly with the REAL Geller, the Times…in common with essentially ALL the Collective…creates a monster straw woman and directs the mob to deny her the rights they ALL insist on for themselves.

    This is motivated by an appalling, peculiar cowardice among the Collective respecting Islam.

  • Because they, like the left in general, is utterly and completely deranged?

    It’s explainable, but few want to invest the time and mental effort.

    • Nah, couldn’t be.
      He’s just a regular muslim guy living in Plano, wearing his Texas shirt.

      I see these all the time -not. And when I do generally worn by people who aren’t from around these here parts.

      We, on the other hand, no doubt have an agenda
      (I have my copy…it’s here someplace…it’s a little messy I might have gotten chocolate on it from the donuts when I used it to carry them into the meeting).

    • Aniconism in Islam is a proscription in Islam against the creation of images of sentient beings. The most absolute proscription is of images of God in Islam, followed by depictions of Muhammad, and then Islamic prophets and the relatives of Muhammad, but the depiction of all humans and animals is discouraged in the hadith and by the long tradition of Islamic authorities, especially Sunni ones.

      I question the man’s Muslim credentials assuming he allowed his picture in a newspaper.

    • “Oh, and – do you have like, a Texas shirt or something you can wear for the photos?”

      I’m surprised they didn’t ask him to wear a Stetson and get up on a horse too.

  • Get drunk and get raped .. not your fault.
    Draw a cartoon and get killed .. your fault.

    I see the truth of it

    • Only if the New York Times doesn’t like you.

    • Be two guys or two girls and make out on the street or the cafe, and you’re dead meat. Like the guy said yesterday, will they ALSO have to apologize for being “provocative”? Buy their own stones?

  • Oh please please PLEASE adopt this standard the NYT and the left is pushing.

    Because I can see some things suddenly becoming VERY offensive, bordering on hate:
    -Gays asking for wedding cakes
    -Abortion
    -Certain works of art

    Yeah…..I definitely see the upside here.

    Soon enough, you’ll see the first law proposed at making these events illegal and impossible.

    • I assure you anything less than the Left controlling the goal posts on each specific issues is tyranny.

      • I also should add an expectation of consistency or equal application is inherently racist.

      • That’s all right, they’re clearly on their way to “stupiding” themselves out of existence.