Monday, April 16, 2007

Imus, Iran, and SwanBlog

Please bear with me for a little Spring cleaning.

I have been asked to react to Gov. Huckabee's comment that the firing of Don Imus raises free speech issues. Mahan likens it to the Dixie Chicks complaining that radio stations refused to play their music, following disparaging comments made about the president to an overseas audience. My opinion is that, on the one hand, the result of the controversy is the purest form of free speech. The corporations made a judgment that they did not want Imus on the stations that they owned. The protesters also spoke out on issues they felt strongly about. Since the government is not the one punishing the speech of the shock jock, the First Amendment is not implicated.

Huckabee's comment could be defended on the ground that, although government was not involved, the firing still violates the principle of freedom of expression.

* * *

Another topic is the seeming willingness of the British sailors held hostage by Iran to make disloyal statements. The teaching point in all this is that, if you are forced to make such a statement, you had better have bruises and a look of terror in your eyes. Facts are coming out about their treatment and psychological pressures they endured. It is difficult for any of us to say whether or when we would have cracked under similar circumstances. But at least give yourself a black eye and a few scratches.

* * *

You may ask if there were any posts within my first 500 that didn't exactly work. Well, from the top of my head, I would say the Cityville series, the Boxing Day Truce, and the never-written Daily Show with Jon Stewart post.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Mahan said...

What interests me, as someone who follows military affairs, is how quickly the mood shifted in Britain once details actually came out about the conduct of their fifteen captives; from an overwhelming tone of "We're NOT at war with Iran, Yank, so don't you criticize OUR lads (and lady)", to a deep and abiding sense of "Well, they bloody well might have done SOMETHING other than cried and hugged their captors..."

And I have always been under the impression that the kidnapping of a nation's armed services by another nation was a casus bellum, but I may be badly mistaken.

April 16, 2007 10:54 AM  
Blogger Bill Gilles said...

Maybe this belonged in the open thread - but no one has addressed this yet.

After Imus made his comments he went on Sharpton's show to explain/apologize/rationalize.

A lot of conservatives got very huffy with Sharpton being given the mantle of final arbiter of Imus - a mantle Sharpton accepts and craves.

What I find most interesting, is that Imus CHOSE to go on Sharpton. In effect, the foul mouthed racist got to play king maker and set the crown of "Black Leader" on Sharpton.

Is this mildly ironic or deeply significant?

April 16, 2007 1:19 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home