Last month Congressman Stark from California, while speaking on the House floor, chastised George W. Bush for his vetoing of the child health care bill because of economic concerns. Congressman Stark pointed out that there certainly would be enough money for these children if we weren’t spending a trillion dollars in Iraq on a senseless war. Unfortunately for Congressman Stark he finished his speech by stating something to the fact that George W. Bush has us in Iraq with the accompanying deaths for his amusement.
No one could rightfully say that George W. Bush is amused by what is going on in Iraq. Rather, he might be unaware, unconcerned or even unsympathetic, but the term amused was inappropriate. Other than that inappropriate term, what Congressman Stark had to say was valuable and on point.
However, once again the Republican right and their spin machine has changed the debate from the war in Iraq and its costs both there and at home to how dare someone speak that way of our President. It is amazing to us, that these Republicans, these conservatives, these people who pride themselves on being so tough and chide the Democrats for being so weak, keep on getting their little feelings hurt by comments from the left.
First, there was the advertisement in the New York Times that questioned whether it was General David Petraus or General Betrayus. Then there was this comment about George W. Bush and immediately the right wing spin machine took flight and changed the debate from the serious topics to how could Democrats speak this way. What is more ironic, is that the right wing conservative sound machine seems to think that a four star general and the President of the United States can’t have anything bad said about them and they need to be protected while that same sound machine attacks and takes on the vulnerable.
The hypocritic right, seems to not care when Bill O’Riley comments that he was amazed that people in a black restaurant in Harlem didn’t express the term mother fucker when ordering ice tea or that there was polite conversation going on there like in any other restaurant. Nor, did the right wing propaganda ministers, find it offensive that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell’s office leaked the address of the poor boy who had the audacity to ask Congress to pass the health care bill so that other children like himself would have medical treatment. This boy, suffered brain damage along with a paralyzed vocal cord.
Rather than that outrage from the right that how dare a boy 12 years old be attacked like this, the patriarch of the right wing talk shows, Rush Limbaugh in fact on his show mimicked the poor boy’s speech. Apparently, one may attack a 12 year old boy, but not a four star general or the President.
To add insult to injury, Limbaugh on another show called soldiers who do not support the war any longer “phoney soldiers”. This comment on their patriotism because they disagree with his viewpoint, was sickening, however there was no outrage from the same right wing media.
Bill O’Reilly who during Christmas times, makes a cottage industry out of complaining how Christmas is being taken away and how the liberals are anti his religion, found no problem in having the obviously anti-Semitic Ann Coulter on his show. This was just days after Ann Coulter commented something to the affect that the Jewish religions and Jews are seeking perfection i.e. Jesus Christ. On a later talk show when confronted by this outrage by many non-bigoted people, she explained that Jews do not believe in her savior and dismiss him, and that it is she that should be offended. Of course, instead of right wing outrage, she found herself sitting across from Bill O’Reilly who did not even mention the subject.
Whether Congressman Stark’s comment was over the edge, it is up to you to decide. Whether Bill O’Reilly’s comments about black eateries was bigoted, it is for you to decide. Whether Ann Coulter’s comments are anti-Semitic, it is up to you to decide. Whether Limbaugh’s comments about the 12 year old boy were over the top is for you to decide. Whether Limbaugh’s comments about phoney soldiers was too much, again is for you to decide. However, the right wing media does not believe that it should be for you to decide. They have been selectively targeting comments by anybody who is anti-war or affiliated with the Democratic party in any manner. They have intentionally glossed over and made allowance for despicable comments coming from their side of the aisle. It is they on a daily basis that get up there and expound how the airways must be cleaned up from attacks on George W. Bush and General Petraus. It is they who claim that there needs to be decorum and professionalism on the radio and TV. Yet, it is they that are the biggest hypocrites.
Either we live in a country with free speech, no matter how repugnant that speech is or we live with the alternative, censorship. What cannot occur is what the right is trying to do. They are trying to set up a two-tier system of communication. If they say it, it deserves to be said. If their adversaries say it, it is offensive and should be stopped. Freedom of speech requires the hearing of things that one does not want to hear. We certainly do not want to hear anymore from the conservative right, but nothing will stop us from defending their right to say their garbage. With the garbage that they throw, they should be the last to clamor about what people say over the air and how it offends others. Luckily, the more they speak, the more they attack, the easier it is for all to see what hypocrites they are.