NRO – Not Too ‘Hip’ and ‘Edgy’ for Censorship
Don’t worry about Iran’s nuclear program, but if you meet a tea partier waving some placard about the national debt, try not to catch his eye. By Mark Steyn
Hence, Bill Clinton energetically on the stump, summoning all his elder statesman’s dignity (please, no giggling) in the cause of comparing tea partiers to Timothy McVeigh. Oh, c’mon, they’ve got everything in common. They both want to reduce the size of government, the late Mr. McVeigh through the use of fertilizer bombs, the tea partiers through control of federal spending, but these are mere nuanced differences of means, not ends. …
Will it work? For a long time, tea partiers were racists. Everybody knows that when you say “I’m becoming very concerned about unsustainable levels of federal spending,” that’s old Jim Crow code for “Let’s get up a lynching party and teach that uppity Negro a lesson.” Frank Rich of the New York Times attempted to diversify the tea-party racism into homophobia by arguing that Obamacare’s opponents were uncomfortable with Barney Frank’s sexuality. I yield to no one in my discomfort with Barney Frank’s sexuality, but, with the best will in the world, I find it hard to blame it for more than the first 4 or 5 trillion dollars of federal overspending. Eschewing such cheap slurs, Time’s Joe Klein said opposition to Obama was “seditious,” because nothing says sedition like citing the U.S. Constitution and quoting Thomas Jefferson. Unfortunately for Klein, thanks to “educator” William Ayers’s education reforms, nobody knows what “seditious” means anymore.
So enough with all the punch-pulling about seditious, racist homophobes. It was time to go for broke and bring out Bill Clinton to explain why the tea parties are the new front in the war on terror.
Hah. So he winds his way to Comedy Central and South Park, which I’d heard a little about, peripherally, but not this:
Faced with this explicit threat of violence, what did Comedy Central do? Why, they folded like a Bedouin tent. They censored South Park, not only cutting all the references to Mohammed but, in an exquisitely postmodern touch, also removing the final speech about the need to stand up to intimidation.
Stone and Parker get what was at stake in the Danish-cartoons crisis and many other ostensibly footling concessions: Imperceptibly, incrementally, remorselessly, the free world is sending the message that it is happy to trade core liberties for the transitory security of a quiet life. That is a dangerous signal to give freedom’s enemies. So the South Park episode is an important cultural pushback.
Yet in the end, in a craven culture, even big Hollywood A-listers can’t get their message over. So the brave, transgressive comedy network was intimidated into caving in and censoring a speech about not being intimidated into caving in.
And here’s another thing I’d not heard before:
Fifteen years ago, Bill Clinton set out to hang Timothy McVeigh around the necks of talk radio and, with a further stretch, Newt and the congressional Republicans. It was an act of contemptible but undeniably brilliant opportunism. It worked out so well for him that a couple of years later, after the Princess of Wales’s fatal car crash, George Stephanopoulos enthused to Christopher Hitchens: “Tony Blair’s handling this really well. This is his Oklahoma City.” As Hitchens remarked, this is the way these people think.
So, all terrorism is just a serious enough to be damaging when hung around the necks of Republicans, and anything more serious than that is only pissed off because of Republicans, so a nice reasonable chat with Democrats will bring the threat level down enough that it’ll only be a threat to Republicans again.
I don’t wanna be accused of Reductio ad
Hitlerum Mugabem, but things keep coming back to this book I’m reading. But I’ll save that for a long-winded ramble when I’ve finished it.
Update: Oh how droll. Droll and uncensored.