Bloody Double Standards
Though I try to avoid particularly controversial subjects in this forum, I can’t keep quiet about the efforts of some groups to censor and remove Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl Ad featuring Tim Tebow’s mother discussing her decision to carry her son to term and raise him, against the advice of doctors. The ad is certainly pro-life and makes an attempt to appeal to the remaining two things that most Americans hold in common: hyper-emotionalism and the love of celebrity. Reuters reports that Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center has asked CBS to pull the commercial stating,
“We are calling on CBS to stick to their policy of not airing controversial advocacy ads … and this is clearly a controversial ad.”
CBS no longer follows this policy, by the way, and has thus made the decision to run the ad for the agreed $3.2 million during the Super Bowl.
What bothers me about Womens Media Center and other groups that engage in this sort of behavior is that there is an implicit double standard that is at the heart of why I usually stay out of this debate. Mind you, Conservative groups engage in this type of behavior as well but this is the story that made me want to finally write something down. Liberal and Conservative groups both pay lip service to the First Amendment and the importance of the Market Place of Ideas, but will then try to use courts, legislation, and (in this case) the market to root out any speech which merely disagrees with theirs. Bullying and censorship have no place in a free society and all those who engage in such activities are greater enemies of liberty than any man armed with explosive underwear.
In particular I recall the many protest rallies over George W. Bush speaking at university grounds across America and the flurry of protests that seemed to follow him. Fast forward a few years later and we see President Barack Obama speaking at Notre Dame with equal public protest and pundits on the left call for a greater understanding, openness to debate, and Notre Dame resorts to even arresting non-violent protesters. What I am thus advocating in these examples is that debate must be open and whatever standard we choose for a debate ought to be a standard we can apply at all times. If liberty means only hearing the thoughts which are in conformity with your own, what sort of state are we then living in?
Pardon me, my dear reader, I do believe I have ranted enough. Please feel free to post your anger back at me.