Love him or hate him: There really isn’t any middle ground when it comes to Rush Limbaugh and his EIB Network. So there is no reason to debate his actions, words, or show at this time. If possible, remove him from this whole issue for a moment and remove Bill Maher and Louis CK as well.
Ask yourself if you believe in free speech.
If you believe in the 1st Amendment, then consider why you or anyone would support a boycott of a citizen exercising this precious right. It is a dangerous slope to be on when we begin to call for economic intervention against individuals who say things that are off-color or outside the box of politically correct barriers. In a world where we worry so much about safety, we often neglect the safety of our constitutional rights. Consider that when we call for companies to boycott an individual or a network for language used or comments made, we are saying that the accused stepped outside the bounds of their right to free speech.
Does free speech have a limit? Certainly, when it causes direct, indisputable physical damage to others, it can be curtailed to a degree. Yet, with every boycott demand, the dissidents out there are saying that they believe that the word “slut” is beyond the acceptable bounds.
Is it possible that such individuals only believe in free speech when it agrees with them? Is it even remotely possible that this freedom protects people who use inflammatory word?
Don’t misunderstand me; people are exercising their right to voice their opposition to comments as well. I support their right to call for boycotts; and I even support the right of Bill Maher to call Sarah Palin a c***. Yet, one can use a constitutional right to inhibit others’.
Public discourse is what was intended to be protected by the founding fathers, even if in the most outrageous terms. Why? Without it, the walls of our freedom close in. We become silenced by the fear of repercussions of our words. There are multiple examples throughout history of nations that limited their citizen’s freedom of speech and they all have at least one common denominator: they all had significantly less free societies than the United States has today.
Instead of using our right to free speech trying to restrict others’ speech through boycotts and advertiser complaints, let’s exercise our right to voice our opinions for and against those who speak publicly.
Unless, of course, you believe that the 1st Amendment applies only when you agree.