“If they don’t fire the DJ’s, it will be a double standard,” said Vicki Shu Smolin, president of the New York City chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans.

Double Standard

As far as I can tell, Bill Maher is still employed over at HBO and still gets plenty of air time all over the country. This is a man who has described the President of the United States as “not an intelligent man”, compared Bush to Forrest Gump and demonstrated outrage that individuals who showed dismay that Vice President Dick Cheney was not assassinated were censored. In his view it is “a fact” that more people would be alive in the world if Cheney were “not in power”.

Let’s get something clear right from the outset – I don’t think Maher should be censored or fired, nor do I think that the individuals who expressed regret at Cheney’s life should be censored. We need to know there are people out there who think like this. Stupidity should be widely published, not covered up as if to suggest that it doesn’t exist. That’s the general idea of Freedom of Speech. Tocqueville once astutely pointed out that there is less true freedom of thought and speech in America than anywhere else on the planet. He was exactly right. We’re so adamant about speaking our minds in this country – and so afraid to actually do it.

But let’s go back to the shock jocks and Vicki Smolin. My question is, why is it OK to fire these guys for making a broad joke and insulting nobody in particular but it’s perfectly fine to insult an actual person – the elected leader of this country no less? Isn’t this a double standard? And for that matter, why is it that people like Smolin get all worked up to defend “The Chinese” but are silent when the victim is an American with no specific “protected” heritage? As for Imus – he actually singled out individuals but wound up getting the boot for insulting all of “Black America”. Shouldn’t Maher’s statements offend all of America? Presumably, Smolin is an American, though you’d never know it from her comments. She’s more concerned about being Chinese than being American. In my book, that’s a problem. Whether you emigrate to this country or are born here, you’re an American first and foremost. All of these other geographic, ethnic or racial monikers are secondary.

As for Maher, like Bush or not his statements certainly don’t contribute to any credible discussion. They are ad-homenin personal assaults from a guy who wants us to take him seriously as a political commentator. These two DJ’s on CBS radio dont’ expect anyone to take them seriously. They’re joking. And here’s a news flash to the Land of the Offended – jokes are supposed to be inappropriate. Otherwise, they’re not funny.

Nobody should be fired for their opinions in this country. Ever. You have every right to be a racist, a sexist, a nazi, a terrorist or whatever else we Americans find so offensive provided that your behavior is confined to words. Contrary to what is constantly repeated on every major news channel in this country, words don’t hurt. There’s no “healing process” that needs to happen because nobody is injured. If you don’t like what someone says, you can turn them off or ignore them. If you can’t do that, you’re not an adult. Period.

I realize that the censoring is happening in private industry and not from the government. In my mind, that makes it worse. Cowardly executives afraid of the mob (democratic majority, not Italians. Whoops, was that insensitive?) have sanitized the speech in this country and in case you hadn’t noticed, they control the airwaves. Speaking of things you haven’t noticed, these large corporations are run by the same executives who put out crap by people like Eminem, 2 Live Crew, Snoop Dogg, etc. I guess that stuff isn’t offensive to women, blacks, whites or anyone else. We have an FCC in this country and rather than defending people’s right to say what they think, they’re busy trying to censor it. Isn’t there something wrong with that?

I’ll leave this discussion with one more clip:

Michael Irvin

As far as I can tell, Irvin still works for ESPN – the same network that fired Rush Limbaugh in case you forgot. I realize Irvin is black but I’d like to know exactly when he was a slave. What do you think someone like Frederick Douglass would say were he alive today to listen that? What would Jackie Robinson say? I obviously don’t think he should be fired but if Vicki Smolin wants to talk about double standards, there are plenty more out there to be found than coming from two comedians on the raido.