It’s no secret to even a casual observer of politics that “Reverend” Al Sharpton has made a living as an unscrupulous politician. And just in time for Christmas, he is at it again.
In a bit of irony, he has concluded that the Constitutionally-protected right to Freedom of Speech should be limited by the government if someone says something “offensive.”
Sure, you can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre when there is no fire, you can’t plagiarize the words of another even if those words are true, and you can’t perjure yourself in a court of law. But according to Rev. Shyster, the Bill of Rights only applies if your speech is politically correct.
(Note: What Sharpton purposefully omits is that “Barack the Magic Negro” was the title of a column authored by a progressive, David Ehrenstein)
You know, a couple of Big Al’s buddies have made incredibly offensive statements.
For instance, Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, has made offensive remarks about Jews, Catholics, Protestants and just about anyone who isn’t a Black Militant. And Jesse Jackson has made racist comments about Jews and whites.
I wonder if Sharpton will ask the government to take away their free speech rights too. Yeah, right.
Back to the video. Besides the fact that his request for “standards” is totally ambiguous, his claim that you have a “right” not to be offended is nowhere to be found in the Bill of Rights. In fact, we find the exact OPPOSITE.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The same amendment that protects Rush also protects Rev. Shyster. He has the right to “petition the Government for a redress of grievance,” he just can’t ask them to do so at the expense of the rights of another.
Of course, if anyone should be censored, a case could be made that it’s Sharpton himself that should be shut up. As my friends at HotAir.com so correctly observed:
It’s amusing, in a bitterly ironic way, to see people who make their living off of the space created by the First Amendment demand government intervene to stop speech. It’s even more ironic considering that Al Sharpton paid no price at all for his part in the Tawana Brawley hoax, in which Sharpton falsely accused an assistant district attorney of being one of the supposed rapists in a series of allegations found utterly false by a grand jury.
Steve Pagones won a $65,000 judgment against Sharpton for false and defamatory statements, which Sharpton’s supporters paid instead. If anyone has grounds to be censored for utterly irresponsible and false speech, it would be Sharpton, not Limbaugh — and yet Sharpton has his own radio show and regularly appears on MSNBC.
Now, let’s see. Sharpton uses his free speech rights to lie and defame another, yet Rush should be shut down because Al is “offended.” As HotAir.com so aptly stated, talk about irony.
Sadly, it looks like big Al has a sympathetic ear in the Obama Administration.
As we see on TheBlaze.com, the Chairman of the FCC has stated just about the same thing recently in an interview with the BBC. He not only believes that American media doesn’t measure up, he thinks that part of the problem is a lack of “oversight” by the government.
He goes on from there to describe how he wants to change it, which is basically to make news more localized to communities rather than the large national entities that we have now. And yes, they do want to regulate content to some degree, as one of his gripes is that there isn’t much investigative journalism in today’s media. He seems to believe that Americans have a right to a certain type of news and it’s the government’s job to provide it. (via RightScoop)
The implications of such discussions should be of grave concern to any Constitution-loving American. Although the left doesn’t like the comparison, one of the first things Hitler did to seize dictatorial control over Germany was seize control of the media.
By the way, yesterday was the 219th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.
On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights – the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution – were ratified by three-fourths of the States and became the first Constitutional Amendments.
Will they survive to see their 230th? Not if the Rev. Shyster has anything to say about it.
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