The progs, led by Media Matters, are playing a dangerous game with Rush Limbaugh. I suspect cooler heads in the mainstream and liberal leaning media know the “Facebook” Left is juggling hand grenades . Whether they’ll speak up remains to be seen.
Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute was obnoxious and out of line. The blow back has been harsh and deserved. Other than the Facebook Left’s glaring blind spot around sexism, I have little issue with how this drama has played out. Limbaugh exercised his right to be a jackass. Others exercised their right to respond. Advertisers exercised their right to drop Limbaugh. Conservatives pointed out cases in which liberal darlings used revolting language against women, which is their right. Media Matters has every right to campaign against Limbaugh. It’s all been loud and ugly. Loud, ugly and entirely within the realm of open democracy.
Without a doubt Media Matters is now upping the ante. They are not interested in refuting Limbaugh. They want Limbaugh drummed off the air. It’s hard to imagine they’ll succeed, but they might. If Limbaugh’s ratings go south over his comments and the backlash to them then he’ll get cancelled. Oh well. That’s the way it works. However, it’s doubtful Media Matters’ campaign against Limbaugh is about ratings. Nor is their selective rage against certain examples of overt sexism a believable reason. There’s no Media Matters campaign urging subscribers to drop HBO over Maher’s vulgarities.
This is about silencing opinion they don’t like. (I don’t like Limbaugh either, this, of course, is beside the point entirely.) Media Matters’ tactics are not Fascism and we should refrain from misusing that word. But it is a stance that invites the thought control aspects of Fascism. Media Matters is too immature to realize that while they’re ginning up the mob against Limbaugh they are also changing the ground rules for themselves and those they believe are on their side.
Bill Maher knows this. It’s why he told the Facebook Liberals to turn down the volume. My hunch is that Louis CK knows it too. The mercurial David Brock is amongst the most destroyable persons in public life. Is he deluded enough to believe that he and Media Matters can’t be annihilated with the same rules of engagement his organization is using against Limbaugh? Or that the Right won’t happily knee cap him, adding a smug “You started it!”
The most alarming possibility is this: Brock and his fellow travelers don’t care if they go down with the free speech ship because, in the end, it’s not that they don’t like Limbaugh’s opinions, it’s that they don’t like free speech. They’d prefer that discourse remain contained and easily manipulated. Civility is desirable. But often pleading for civility is merely an excuse to control the conversation. Politicians whine about a lack of civility whenever they can’t refute a valid argument. Obama did it on this very issue, throwing in “concern for his daughters” as bonus manipulation. Note to Mr. Obama: Refusing a million dollars from a man who uses “cunt” as a punchline shows concern for your daughters and every other daughter.
Both the Far Right and the Obama Brain Damaged Left show signs of early onset fascism. At this moment in our history the Obama Brain Damaged Left is more open with its attempts at thought control. Cults usually are. In 2008 they exploded with rancid denunciations of anyone who questioned their Dear Leader. They’ve spent weeks frothing about “slut” while rationalizing away “cunt”, “twat” and jokes about children with Downs Syndrome. When contradictions are pointed out their synapses short-circuit. Most are no longer capable of seeing their contradictions. With these people Alinsky has completed his mission. Cognitive ability has been diminished. They are a mob. Most mobs are unsuccessful after one or two kills. Those that are successful become thought police.
Limbaugh may have finally done himself in. He’s a jackass and has been a jackass for decades. If his time is up and people stop listening, so be it. Good riddance. However, allowing Media Matters to go beyond expressions of disgust and boycotts and into attempts to silence someone they detest is dangerous. Media Matters may not care that it’s dangerous but the rest of us ought to. Ugly speech is protected too. So is responding with force to ugly speech. It’s called “more free speech”.
If one doesn’t like Limbaugh, Maher or any other blowhard the best response in a free society is to change the channel. I’ve not listened to Limbaugh much at all in my life (One or two shows was plenty) and I turned off Maher years ago. I recommend this. Your world will be a better place. However, our world will be a far worse place if we allow resentment addled, unconscious, immature mobs to dictate who gets heard.