The Battle for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press
My introduction to liberal intolerance came 30 years ago when, still wet behind the ears, I went to New York City for a college journalism internship. The university I attended required an internship for graduation. I remember there must have been about 70 seniors in my journalism class that year. Somehow, the journalism Gods looked kindly upon me that year because I found favor among the professors and I was given my choice of one of four internships the university had arranged for students in New York City. That was fine with me – it meant I didn’t have to debase myself with the local media by begging for the opportunity to work for them for free.
One of my professors came to me and offered me first pick among the available internships. The choices were the Associated Press, United Press International, a magazine (I can’t remember which one it was), and Newspaper Enterprise Association/United Features Syndicate. Bored with the idea of working for a wire service I decided to do something radical and chose NEA/UFS.
Wow, did I ever get an introduction to liberal bias in the media.
The Monday I was first to report for work I ascended from the depths of the subway system underneath Grand Central Station and then took the escalator from the train station to what was then called the Pan Am Building but is now known as the Met Life Building. The little slip of paper I was carrying instructed me to take the elevator to the 6th Floor – so far so good. Then it got a little weird for a snot-nosed kid from the Rocky Mountains. The 6th Floor, as far as I could discern, consisted of nothing more than an oval hallway with tons of unmarked, locked doors. It was a little like “I’ll take Door Number 3, Bob!” I had no choice but to go door-to-door, trying each of the door knobs in hopes that one would be unlocked. I had visions of barging in on gangsters in the midst of dividing up their loot. I kept an eye out for submachine guns and bootleg whiskey. I never did find submachine guns, but the truth was stranger than fiction. I finally found an unlocked door and entered the reception room. The room was empty…except for the receptionist safely ensconced behind bulletproof glass. I figured NEA/UFS must really write some inflammatory stuff. Once I got past the receptionist and was ushered into the inner sanctum of liberal journalism, my view of my chosen profession was forever altered.
“What exactly would you like to do here?” asked the Senior Vice President of Editorial Operations while I nervously sat in the guest chair facing his desk. I had always dreamed of becoming a sports writer so I told him I would like to write sports feature stories. “No problem!” he replied. “But we can’t let you do that until we clear you with the union first.” What the Hell? Yup, sure enough, I wasn’t going to be allowed to write material in The Big Apple media until the journalism union vetted me for political correctness. So for the first three weeks of an eight-week internship I was relegated to the copy desk. There I was assigned to carefully read the words of all of Charles Schultz’ Peanuts cartoon strips. It seems my job was to make sure old Charlie didn’t try to slip any four-letter words into his cartoons. I still envision Snoopy saying “What the $(@# happened to my food bowl? I’m happy to report that Schultz was a class act and never attempted anything that nefarious. I was bored. I begged for something more substantial to do. So they let me sit in on business meetings for new product development. Yes, it is true, I witnessed the launch of Garfield the Cat to the American public. I recall sitting in the boardroom as internal presentations were made to the staff, informing us that management was confident that Garfield was going to be one hot commodity. They were right, of course. Garfield hit it big.
But I was still bored, waiting around for the union aristocracy to let me write. So management, in its wisdom, assigned me to edit the columns of a certain Julian Bond – Yup, THAT Julian Bond. It didn’t take me long to figure out Bond’s brain was hard-wired in a way I had never seen before.
I quickly became convinced that Bond was from another planet. Turns out he was nothing but a hard-left political activist from Tennessee by way of Georgia. Bond was instrumental in the formation of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). When I started my job of editing his left-wing rants, Bond had recently completed an eight-year stint as President of the SPLC. Every week Bond would fax me his latest diatribes. Reading his columns gave me a tad of insight into the minds of radical leftists. Like I said before, I thought he was from another planet. I got the feeling that Bond had never been taught common sense as a child. I’m still convinced I was right on that point. When Bond was only 20 years old he became a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and he served as the communications director of that radical group from 1961 to 1966. During those same years I was attending elementary school in Backwater, USA and I am proud to say he never communicated to me at all, not once. I guess he didn’t quite have the job down, yet. In 1965, having failed to communicate with me, Bond tried something else and went and got himself elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. He made quite the impression on his colleagues in the Georgia House of Representatives. On January 10, 1966 the Georgia state representatives voted 184-12 not to seat him because he publicly endorsed SNCC’s opposition to the United States policy in the Vietnam War. In other words, he was certainly influencing people but he sure wasn’t making friends. It seems Bond just couldn’t keep his mouth shut as he also expressed his views publicly that draft dodgers were right and the Draft Board was wrong. Finally, later in 1966, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in his favor and forced the Georgia House of Representatives to seat him. Bond was a political opportunist. At the time I burned out both my eyeballs and my brain by reading his rants, he had graduated to the Georgia Senate. He used his relationship with NEA/UFS to spread his Gospel of socialism to the unwashed masses – and boy did I ever want to wash once I was through correcting his grammatical errors. I made it a habit to run for “The Editorial Wee” just as soon as I had finished working on his copy. This wasn’t quite the internship I had anticipated.
Finally, word arrived that the writer’s union had approved my application to construct sentences for pay. It seems that they couldn’t find any indication of conservative thought in my limited examples of previous works. You know…inflammatory pieces about basketball, hockey, and the occasional fluff piece on college softball. I was in! Now, if I had spent my time covering politics on my student newspaper I am sure the union would have rejected me. But at that time, it appears, sports writing hadn’t yet been politicized to the point that Big Union Brother was going to come down hard on an obscure little college student for his writings on college basketball. That’s what saved me.
On a more serious note, to this day I take offense that the union had the power to decide if I was to be given to right to write professionally. I’m no lawyer but I seem to remember something about Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. And I can’t find anything in the U.S. Constitution that conveys the power to unions to decide who will be allowed to write for a news organization. But idealism met reality. No wonder to this day there is a liberal bias in the media!
It was amazing how my opportunities changed the moment the union gave me its blessing.
Almost instantly I was taking Julius Erving, “Dr. J.” to lunch at the 21 Club. I was interviewing Grete Waitz, then the world’s top-ranked long distance runner. I was meeting and greeting with the likes of Hank Greenberg of Cy Young Award fame and Wilma Rudolph – star of the 1960 Rome Olympics. I was meeting and writing stories on the Olympic swimmer John Nabor…and on and on… I had been accepted into the club. I can now easily see how members of the national media consider themselves part of the political “Elite.” Access to the truly famous and powerful is an intoxicating drug. Somehow, the political elites in the media think that, by association, they too are just as “elite” as those about whom they write.
It makes it easy to see how the liberal masters at National Public Radio (NPR) gave Juan Williams the boot. I mean, here was a guy who was one of them. He had also been given the union blessing. He was one of the “elite.” So how could a guy who had been given so much have the temerity to actually diss the kind, misunderstood Muslim terrorists? It was a betrayal of all that is sacred to the liberal media. Liberals, famous for their tolerance, aren’t quite as tolerant as they would have you believe.
For example, Tammy Bruce, a gay, reformed liberal, writing in The Guardian in Great Britain, recently said”
“The real story of bigotry and intolerance is the fact that it lives and thrives on the left. As a gay woman who spent most of her adult life pushing the cart for liberal causes with liberal friends in a liberal city, I found that sexism, racism and homophobia are staples in the liberal world. The huge irony is liberals spend every ounce of energy promoting the notion that they are the banner carriers of individualism and personal freedom, yet the hammer comes down on anyone who dares not to conform to, or who dissents even in part from, the liberal agenda.
“Think about what would happen if you did act up? If you dared to say you like Sarah Palin, or admire Margaret Thatcher, or think global warming is a hoax, or think Bill Clinton is a sexual predator, or that George W Bush isn’t to blame for everything, or that Barack Obama has absolutely no clue what he’s doing, you know there would be a price to pay. Odds are that your “liberal” friends would very liberally hate you. At the very least, being shunned would be your new experience, condemning you to suffer that horrific liberal malady called social death.” – Tammy Bruce
Well, Juan Williams certainly knows now what happens to liberal journalists that betray the faith. They get canned.
Oh yeah, and betrayers of the faith also get their sanity questioned by their former employers. The smear campaign starts immediately. Journalists are kept in line through intimidation the same way politicians are kept in line. Say or write something that doesn’t pass the liberal smell test and anyone; even professed liberal journalists and politicians will get smeared. And if the journalist or politician is a conservative the smears will be unrelenting for the rest of the target’s life. Just ask Sarah Palin about that.
It is instructive that from Barack Obama on down, conservatives are being smeared as extremists, racists, homophobes, and as embarrassments to the country. It’s the pot calling the kettle black. Have you noticed that those who process membership in the Tea Party are labeled Tea Baggers? And any street wise kid can tell you the meaning of the words “Tea Bagger.” So what is the Tea Party anyway? Why, it is nothing more than another word for conservatives! It is conservatism that is being attacked. It is happening everywhere.
Ari Berman, writing in the New York Times, is advocating that Blue Dog (Conservative ) Democrats be given the boot from the Democratic Party. Remember, it was the flaming liberals who seized control of the Democratic Party. It was the liberals who carped incessantly about the need for the conservative Democrats to tolerate their presence and to welcome liberals into the big tent that was the Democrat Party. But now that the far-left radicals have taken complete control of the Democratic Party the tent isn’t quite so big any more. Here’s Berman, writing just last weekend in the New York Times.
“Republicans have become obsessed with ideological purity, and as a consequence they will likely squander a few winnable races in places like Delaware. But Democrats aren’t ideological enough. Their conservative contingent has so blurred what it means to be a Democrat that the party itself can barely find its way. Polls show that, despite their best efforts to distance themselves from Speaker Pelosi and President Obama, a number of Blue Dog Democrats are likely to be defeated this November. Their conservative voting records have deflated Democratic activists but have done nothing to win Republican support.
“Far from hastening the dawn of a post-partisan utopia, President Obama’s election has led to near-absolute polarization. If Democrats alter their political strategy accordingly, they’ll be more united and more productive.” – Ari Berman
Did you catch what Berman is saying? He claims that Democrats are lacking in their intensity of ideology. In other words, if you aren’t a fully loaded Marxist with a Joe Stalin fetish, it is time for you to hit the road. There’s not room for you in the Democratic Party. All Hail, Obama! For what it’s worth, I’m sure Berman has full approval of the writer’s union. He’s elite, don’t you know!
Rest assured that union control over professional journalism is alive and well. Freedom of Speech continues to be under attack from the left. Freedom of the Press also continues to be attacked by the left. In the eyes of the progressive/socialist/communist media, Freedom of the Press can only be achieved in a political environment exactly like that which gave us Pravda. The progressives are nothing but communists (little “c”, not the big “C”). They may not actually be card carrying members of the Communist Party, but their thought processes are exactly alike. In their minds there is only room for one line of thought in the public arena – theirs. That is why they completely lost their cookies when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Corporations have Freedom of Speech and can spend money on election financing just like the unions can. And that’s why you see Obama, David Axelrod, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid hammering away at the meme that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is taking foreign funds for the purpose of purchasing TV advertisements that favor conservatives. Naturally there is no evidence proffered to support their charges. Why? – Because evidence doesn’t matter – only the seriousness of the charges matter. This is merely an attempt to perform an end run around the Supreme Court decision.
If the day ever arrives that you and I truly have lost the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press, we will have lost the war. We will become like Cuba, China, the citizens of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the former East Germany. We will be slaves. So stand up for your Freedom of Speech. Hit back at any attempt on the part of the left to restrict Freedom of the Press. Remember that Freedom of the Press applies to anyone who publishes political thought – not just the media corporations. So individuals choosing to blog on their political beliefs are granted Freedom of the Press just as much as that enjoyed by The New York Times. It isn’t the scope of influence or the size of the organization that matters – it is the free-flowing of speech that matters.
The Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs in this country have every bit as much right to express their views as to the elitist masters at NPR and Newsweek Magazine. You and I share those rights. If the day ever comes that wannabe dictators such as Obama succeed in depriving us of our rights, our nation will be doomed.
So take to the polls on November 2nd. Stand up for what is right, regardless of the intimidation tactics that will be employed against you. Better to endure some intimidation now than to live under tyranny later. America, turn out November 2nd in a wave of righteous protest the likes of which this country has never seen before! Sweep the liberal, progressive, socialist, communist, environmental wacko, tree-hugging filth from public office. It is time for common sense to return to office and for the Julian Bond clones to leave the governing to those who respect individual liberties, personal freedom, and heroic sacrifices on the battlefield and in the public arena. May a thunderous wave of decency and righteousness wash over our land, reclaiming it for all the patriots among us.
The true heroes of this country are not Van Jones, Michelle Obama, and Steny Hoyer. The true patriots are the countless mothers who quietly go about teaching their children the difference between right and wrong – and give hugs and all the love they can hold. The true patriots among us are the moms and dads who sacrifice everything they have to give their children a bright future. The patriots among us are the workers in this country – not those who would suck off the welfare teat. The patriots among us are the businessmen and women who create jobs as they chase the American Dream. The patriots among us are the soldiers who give their lives in battle, making the ultimate sacrifice so that we might remain free. The patriots among us are the working poor – they may be down but they are not out. The patriots among us are the rich – who stretch forth their hands and share their wealth freely and charitably to lift those in need – voluntarily and not forced upon them by government redistributive wealth edicts. In short, the patriots are us, for we are who make this country work.
If you want to remain free, vote. If you want your children to be free, vote. If you want to freely express your opinion, vote. If you want to defeat our domestic enemies, vote.
A servant of the Israelite prophet, Elisha, fearing that the forces of Israel were insufficient to achieve military victory, and fearful that freedom would be lost, got a lesson from the Lord. For the Lord opened his eyes to the Heavenly Host, an unseen army arrayed against the forces of darkness.
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his aeyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and bchariots of fire round about Elisha. – 2 Kings: 6: 15-17
Have faith, America. The forces that are with us are greater than the forces that are with Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Alan Grayson, and Barney Frank. They are attempting to dispirit us now. They are manipulating the press, which I have spoken of here, for the purpose of getting us to believe that the pendulum is swinging back their direction. But that is a lie. They always speak in lies. The truth is that the freedom-loving people of America can hardly be restrained – we are chomping at the bit, eagerly waiting November 2nd.
November 2, 2010 is going to be a day that will be remembered long after we are gone and buried. The sleeping giant that is the Silent Majority has been awakened. The giant has come to do battle. The victory on November 2nd is upon us. Bless you all as you go into battle on that day. We fight for our freedoms and the freedoms of our families, our friends, and for each other. The forces that are with us are greater than the forces that are with them.
The battle is joined. God bless America.