Archive for Censorship

Shouldn’t it Be Called a “Girlcott”?

Hey, I’m just asking!

“Start listening to Rush Limbaugh.” That was the message representatives from Media Matters for America and the National Organization for Women delivered to NOW chapter leaders in a secret, narrowly focused strategy session Wednesday night.

In audio of the NOW/MMFA strategy webinar obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller, the liberal organizations plotted the best ways to get the radio giant and veritable burr in their collective saddles off the air.

The key, according to Media Matters online outreach director Jay Carmona, is to target Limbaugh at the local level — specifically advertisers in local radio markets — but with an eye on his national sponsors.

“I will say, just going by the numbers, getting local stations to drop Limbaugh is actually a hard, more long-term campaign than just looking at getting local sponsors to drop,” she explained, adding that they do not need to get the conservative talker off every local station to make an impact.

The catch, however, is that women who are active with NOW and the men who support them — whom Limbaugh often needles as the NAGs (National Association of Gals) and the “new castrati” — are actually going to have to listen to his radio show in order to identify and target those local advertisers.

“The first thing you want to do is, I say, start listening to Rush Limbaugh,” Carmona advised.

Watch out, ladies. I started listening to Rush about three years ago, and I haven’t stopped learning since. Maybe you should just listen to the commercials—I highly recommend Rush’s line of tea: Two If By Tea!

It’s wise, Carmona added, to take mental health breaks from the show.

“Make sure that you also, just in general — if something is freaking you out and you are feeling really bad listening to Rush Limbaugh — take a break. Give yourself the time and the space that you need to listen to the stuff because it can be difficult at times,” she said.

I believe Dennis Prager broadcasts at the same time as Rush. By all means, give Dennis a listen. He’s much gentler than Rush, but you will be a committed conservative for life after listening for two weeks.

PS: And don’t let the stereotype of the old biddy stop you. Just because womens’ temperance unions and morals societies succeeded in banning everything from decent booze to literature doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go right ahead and handbag that beastly man, Rush Limbaugh, who gives you the vapors.

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The Vapors

I’ve been sitting on this story for a couple of days because, while I knew it bothered me, I couldn’t quite articulate the breadth, depth, and height of my objection.

I think I got it now.

Ironically, the misogyny Rush Limbaugh spewed for three days over Sandra Fluke was not much worse than his regular broadcast of sexist, racist and homophobic hate speech:

–Women cabinet members are “Sex-retaries.”

–”The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

–The National Organization for Women is “a bunch of whores to liberalism.”

–[Said to an African American female caller]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”

These are just a few samples from the arsenal of degrading language Limbaugh deploys on women, people of color, lesbians and gays, immigrants, the disabled, the elderly, Muslims, Jews, veterans, environmentalists and so forth.

Limbaugh doesn’t just call people names. He promotes language that deliberately dehumanizes his targets. Like the sophisticated propagandist Josef Goebbels, he creates rhetorical frames — and the bigger the lie the more effective — inciting listeners to view people they disagree with as sub-humans. His longtime favorite term for women, “femi-nazi,” doesn’t even raise eyebrows anymore, an example of how rhetoric spreads when unchallenged by coarsened cultural norms.

First, a hat tip to Best of the Web’s James Taranto:

[Y]ou have to marvel at [Jane] Fonda, [Robin] Morgan and [Gloria] Steinem’s chutzpah in comparing Limbaugh to Goebbels and then, in the very next sentence, denouncing him for using a Nazi analogy. The technical term for this sort of thing is “comedy gold.”

I left in the worst of the accusations against Rush because I don’t want to hide anything—and because they are irrelevant. Oh yeah, at least one of them is spurious, too.

How many years has feminism been set back by these three stalwarts of the women’s movement asking, nay, demanding, to be protected from the opinions of this beastly man? And to what depths has journalism sunk when a news organization (correction: CNN) publishes calls for censorship?

Limbaugh has been Limbaugh for years—I guess I have been a fairly regular listener for about three—and to demand his broadcasting execution for his admittedly and intentionally offensive terms like femi-nazi and sex-retary plays into the worst stereotypes of the humorless feminist. (How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb? That’s not funny!)

The race-baiting is more troublesome, but as referenced above, is largely made up—another problem I have with this piece. I had always dismissed Rush on the basis of these allegations, but in all the hours I have listened, I have never heard anything remotely like it. Rush opposes the organizational liberalism of most black and women’s groups, as do I. Slavishness (not funny, BTL) to political dogma leads to silence when Sarah Palin is called the c-word or Herman Cain the n-word. Rush has never wished to cut off Obama’s “nuts”, as Jesse Jackson has; has never said Obama should be serving coffee, as Bill Clinton has; has never commented on his “Negro dialect”, as Harry Reid has; has never called him “clean”, as his Vice President has.

What’s more, this amounts to piling on. This piece appeared almost ten days after his original comments and more than a week after his apology. It’s not as if Rush wasn’t roundly criticized for what he said about Sandra Fluke. It’s not as if he hasn’t lost sponsors and stations. I get the sense that these feminist celebrities just wanted ink.

I offer no defense of Rush Limbaugh, except to say that I enjoy his show and learn a lot from it. When I don’t like what he’s saying, I switch the station. I recommend that solution to this problem—and repeat my disgust with CNN and these three women.

PS: Now, this is how you handle a jackass and a bully:

RUSH: Here is Terry O’Neill. She’s the NAG president, National Organization for Women, the NOW gang. (We affectionately call ‘em the NAGs.) It was in New Orleans Saturday at their convention. All this outrage, all of this outrage that they have been spewing for a week — how horrible it’s been, how uncouth — listen to her describe it.

O’NEILL: The work we have ahead of us is not gonna be easy. Right now it really seems like, you know, we’ve got this godsend named Rush Limbaugh –

NAGS: (giggling)

WOMAN: Wooo!

O’NEILL: — who has, like dropped this thing in our lap, which is just wonderful.

RUSH: Hey, it’s been dropped in our lap! It is “just wonderful.” This Rush Limbaugh thing was just wonderful. I thought they were outraged. I thought they were offended. I thought it was the worst thing they ever heard anybody say. It’s “wonderful.” What a political opportunity!

A godsend! The NAGs called me a godsend. So not only am I God’s gift to Obama, I’m God’s gift to women.

Eighty percent of the people in the CBS/New York Times poll are not better off. That has to be worse than it was under Carter, folks. And what the women of America want is jobs. They want an expanding economy, so we don’t have to beg the government for their birth control pills.

When life gives you Limbaugh, make Limbaugh-ade. Terry O’Neill gets it. And Rush gets it too.

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Dershowitz On The Mishandling Of bin Laden’s Body

The White House blew it.

The president’s decision to withhold photographs of the dead Osama bin Laden is only the last in a series of terrible mistakes in the handling of his body. Although there should be no doubt that bin Laden is actually dead, there are grave doubts as to the circumstances surrounding his death. Was he shot in cold blood? Was he shot in the back or in the front? Were his hands raised in surrender? Was he actively resisting?

Many of these doubts could have been resolved if bin Laden’s body had been subjected to the usual investigatory techniques routinely employed in homicide cases. His body should have been subjected to an autopsy, to forensic testing by an experienced medical examiner, to extensive photographing of entrance and exit wounds, to paraffin testing for gun-powder residue, and to other such forensic examination.

Burying his body at sea constituted the willful destruction of relevant evidence, which naturally gives rise to suspicions that there was something to hide. I fully credit the administration’s explanation that the reason for the hasty burial at sea was the desire not to offend religious Muslims and not to create a shrine to a dead mass murderer. But many reasonable people around the world will wonder whether the decision may also have been based on a desire to suppress the whole truth.

I’m one of those reasonable people. The story just doesn’t compute.

- Aggie


Competing Narratives About The Death Of OBL

A tongue-in-cheek guide to what really happened.

Osama bin Laden tired of his cave-like existence rather quickly. The food sucked. No cable TV. Not easy to attract beautiful young people to such a trailer park lifestyle (with apologies to people who live in very nice pre-fab communities).

He approached the Bush administration about some sort of witness protection program in return for a cessation of calls to violence against The Great Satan. Bush would have none of it. During the Bush/Kerry campaign, he pleaded with Americans to vote for John Kerry. That’s true; he tried to elect a liberal democrat. The public wouldn’t do it.

Two and a half years ago, Obama took office. The mood in the country had changed. Through trusted intermediaries, OBL proposed the witness protection program again.

Osama bin Laden is now a handsome, well-dressed, clean shaven Arab businessman loving the Paris spring. Boy is he ever glad to be rid of that scratchy beard! At this very moment he is enjoying a fine meal and a wonderful glass of red wine, perhaps a rich cabernet. And Al Qaeda is history.

It’s a win-win.

It is an absurd fantasy, but I think that the government should release the photos rather quickly, because if I can come up with something like that, so can lots and lots of people. Osama sightings will become more common than Elvis sightings.

On a serious note: Alan Dershowitz gave an interview in which he stated that we have entered into self-censorship, and that is not hopeful for our future.

- Aggie



No, that’s not a dirty word. Well, I guess it is to some:

The word “Egypt” was censored Saturday by several micro-blogging sites in China, where the ruling Communist Party is wary of issues of political reform, demands for democracy and disturbances to public order, including overseas.

On the and sites, the Chinese equivalents of Twitter, which is censored in China, a query with the word “Egypt” returned the response: “According to the laws in force, the results of your search cannot be given.”

What a coincidence: that’s what they say in Hawaii too!

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NPR Attempts Its Own Special Brand Of Censorship

Our tax dollars at work

Executives at National Public Radio recently asked the network’s top political correspondent, Mara Liasson, to reconsider her regular appearances on Fox News because of what they perceived as the network’s political bias, two sources familiar with the effort said.

According to a source, Liasson was summoned in early October by NPR’s executive editor for news, Dick Meyer, and the network’s supervising senior Washington editor, Ron Elving. The NPR executives said they had concerns that Fox’s programming had grown more partisan, and they asked Liasson to spend 30 days watching the network.

At a follow-up meeting last month, Liasson reported that she’d seen no significant change in Fox’s programming and planned to continue appearing on the network, the source said.

NPR’s focus on Liasson’s work as a commentator on Fox’s “Special Report” and “Fox News Sunday” came at about the same time as a White House campaign launched in September to delegitimize the network by painting it as an extension of the Republican Party.

One source said the White House’s criticism of Fox was raised during the discussions with Liasson. However, an NPR spokeswoman told POLITICO that the Obama administration’s attempts to discourage other news outlets from treating Fox as a peer had no impact on any internal discussions at NPR.

I believe that, don’t you? The White House had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision of NPR management to suggest to an employee not to appear on Fox, despite the fact that the White House had just tried to discredit Fox. Why is that difficult to believe?

Liasson defended her work for Fox by saying that she appears on two of the network’s news programs, not on commentary programs with conservative hosts, the source said. She has also told colleagues that she’s under contract to Fox, so it would be difficult for her to sever her ties with the network, which she has appeared on for more than a decade.

Liasson did not return phone calls seeking comment on the meetings. In an e-mail message, she declined to be interviewed for this article.

NPR spokeswoman Dana Rehm declined to discuss Liasson and her work on Fox.

All together now:

Oh, the Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round
Round and Round
Round and Round
The Wheels on the Bush Go Round and Round
All Through The Town.

NPR thinks we have the life experience of a typical three year old, apparently.

- Aggie

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The David Blaine of the Blogosphere

You want to see a neat trick?

I can make disappear. All I need is my magic words.


Tiananmen Square. Poof!

Pretty cool, huh? If you didn’t notice anything, it’s because you don’t live in China. There, however, we just dropped off a billion computers.

Chinese authorities blocked popular Web sites like Twitter and Flickr on Tuesday after forcing dissidents from Beijing in a clampdown ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

Exiled former student leader Chai Ling, meanwhile, issued a rare public statement before Thursday’s anniversary of the bloody crackdown, calling for the release of political prisoners, an independent investigation into the events and permission for former student leaders to return home.

“The current generation of leaders who bear no responsibility should have the courage to overturn the verdicts” on the protests, said Chai, in a statement distributed by the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy.

China has never allowed an independent investigation into the military’s crushing of the protests, in which possibly thousands of students, activists and ordinary citizens were killed. The subject remains taboo on the mainland, with officials routinely countering questions about Tiananmen with remarks on how much China has developed and prospered in the years since.

You want to see it again? Okay.

Here’s another phrase sure to do the trick: pro-democracy.

That should get us censored faster than you can s

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Free Speech: If You Can Afford It

We apologize if we can’t keep up with every decision by the Canandian Human Rights tribunals. But this one we think you should know about:

Some 900 days after I became the only person in the Western world charged with the “offence” of republishing the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, the government has finally acquitted me of illegal “discrimination.” Taxpayers are out more than $500,000 for an investigation that involved fifteen bureaucrats at the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The legal cost to me and the now-defunct Western Standard magazine is $100,000.

The case would have been thrown out long ago if I had been charged in a criminal court, instead of a human rights commission. That’s because accused criminals have the right to a speedy trial. Accused publishers at human rights commissions do not.

And if I had been a defendant in a civil court, the judge would now order the losing parties to pay my legal bills. Instead, the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities won’t have to pay me a dime. Neither will Syed Soharwardy, the Calgary imam who abandoned his identical complaint against me this spring.

Both managed to hijack a secular government agency to prosecute their radical Islamic fatwa against me — the first blasphemy case in Canada in over 80 years. Their complaints were dismissed, but it is inaccurate to say that they lost: They got the government to rough me up for nearly three years, at no cost to them. The process I was put through was a punishment in itself — and a warning to any other journalists who would defy radical Islam.

First they came for Mark Steyn. Then they came for Ezra Levant. Later still for Kathy Shaidle and Kate McMillan. Each time they were beaten back (they like that), and each time they retreated, laughing, knowing that while they were stepping back, the world was slipping forward, inexorably forward, to the cataracts ahead.

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The Satanic Purses

Mrs. Mohammed—well, one Mrs. Mohammed—is off limits. Big surprise:

Starting in 2002, Spokane, Wash., journalist Sherry Jones toiled weekends on a racy historical novel about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Ms. Jones learned Arabic, studied scholarly works about Aisha’s life, and came to admire her protagonist as a woman of courage. When Random House bought her novel last year in a $100,000, two-book deal, she was ecstatic. This past spring, she began plans for an eight-city book tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of “The Jewel of Medina” — a tale of lust, love and intrigue in the prophet’s harem.

It’s not going to happen: In May, Random House abruptly called off publication of the book. The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world.

Random House feared the book would become a new “Satanic Verses,” the Salman Rushdie novel of 1988 that led to death threats, riots and the murder of the book’s Japanese translator, among other horrors. In an interview about Ms. Jones’s novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it “disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now.” He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received “from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment.”

If shari’a can make it to Spokane, where can’t it go?

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