I support free speech, but, however, and except...
After Pamela Geller’s free speech event in Texas and the terror attack that followed, it has been stunning to hear one journalist after another ask Ms. Geller why she held the event, question the wisdom or need for such an event, and go so far as to insinuate that she was somehow to blame for the violence.
Just as the media’s coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas said that of course Israel had a right to defend herself, buuuuuuut…, these same journalists interviewing Ms. Geller start out by saying that of course we support free speech and that there’s no excuse for violence, buuuuuuuut…
Alisyn Camerota, CNN, said: “There’s always this fine line between freedom of speech and being intentionally incendiary and provocative.” (Alisyn, please do share exactly who determines the location and nature of this fine line that you speak of.)
Jake Tapper, CNN, said: “Nothing justifies the violent attack…but…” and “Who do you think was offended by your event last night?” as he opined about whether peaceful Muslims might have been offended. (Hey Jake, how do you like enforcing the sharia?!)
Carol Costello, CNN, was also concerned about offending Muslims when she said during an interview with a Muslim guest: “… you talk about poking in the eye, there are many in the Muslim community that might say Pamela Geller is certainly guilty of that[.]” (Carol, my dear, are you just as concerned about things that might offend Christians or Jews? I thought not. And anyway, that’s beside the point. The whole point is that being offended is not a litmus test for free speech.)
Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, said: “It’s always cause and effect, okay? Because they did it [held the conference], two jihadis are dead. Now, I know a lot of people aren’t feeling sorry for them, and I’m certainly not, either, because they were trying to kill other people. However, this is what happens when you light the fuse. You get violence.” (Billy, Billy, Billy, you do realize that you’ve blamed the truth-teller for the violence that occurred, don’t you? In your inverted universe, was it Paul Revere’s fault that the British attacked?)
Donald Trump even got in on the act during an interview on Fox & Friends, saying: “I watched Pam prior, and it looks like she’s just taunting people[.] … Why are they drawing Mohammed? Isn’t there something else they can draw? ... What is she doing, and why is she doing it? I’m one that believes in free speech probably more than she does[.]” (Donald. Where to begin? I’d ask you to please be quiet, but our First Amendment affords even those who ramble on insufferably and ignorantly to do so.)
Pamela Geller deserves our support, respect, admiration, and thanks. She is an American citizen doing extraordinary things.
Shame on the media for being, or acting, deaf, dumb, and blind on such monumental issues as free speech and the growing threat of Islam. Every day they set a new low, and in so doing, they commit professional malpractice. It would be loathsome, and in some cases laughable, if it weren’t so dangerous.
Thomas Lifson adds:
Have any of the people cited above spoken out against the multiple Tony-, Grammy-, and New York Drama Critics Circle award-winning Broadway musical The Book of Mormon? New York swells have been yukking it up over mockery of scared texts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since 2011, and the show has had two road tours and a production in London’s West End.
When I hear people express their sense that it is wrong to offend Muslims, I wonder why it is OK to offend Mormons. Of course, the answer is twofold: first, Mormons are not likely to kill you, and second, Mormons are very wholesome, almost stereotypically American, and in general an extraordinarily successful and prosperous group with extremely low rates of social pathologies, while Muslims are regarded as oppressed. In the twisted world of contemporary elite sensibilities, success must be mocked and pathological behavior lionized.