Hogan's Alley

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Their Blood Is Up

Now that Don Imus has been taken down, the folks over at Media Matters a "progressive" operation designed to harass and document the sins of conservative talk show hosts, have smelled the blood in the water. They have now listed the collected sins of the biggest talk show hosts on the right.

Read the list carefully, it seeks to be impressively long, but it includes charges such as this one against Bill O'Reilly:

On the July 12, 2006, edition of his radio program, during a discussion of the development of ethanol-fueled vehicles in Brazil, O'Reilly stated that "they still have people in Brazil running around with their little darts, hitting you in the head with the poisoned darts, with the loincloths."

Clearly there are such tribes in the Amazon region of Brazil. I see no assertion by O'Reilly that all Brazillians are primitive. It is, however, factually the case that some are.

Their charges against Neil Boortz include the following:

On the August 17, 2004, broadcast of his radio show, Boortz, in response to reports from Florida that looting was occurring in Hurricane Charley's aftermath, said: "If they see someone looting, shoot him. They go up there, they just spray paint an 'L' on him and get about their business, and then after everything is over, they can go collect them all and bury them in a mass grave."

That may be a very harsh prescription, but "looters will be shot" is the classic tough police approach to looting. It is an arguable position, not outside the bounds of proper political argument.

It appears that Media Matters is trying to leverage the Imus affair to bolster their campaign to silence, by hook or crook, the right wing media types. If you can't beat them at their own game, see the failure of Air America, then perhaps you can brow beat their sponsors into submission. This is precisely the kind of campaign that tells us that we should be afraid, be very afraid, of left if we value free speech.

I find O'Reilly and his ilk silly and wrong most of the time. But the only proper response to any political statement, from the left or the right, is to make the soundest possible argument to convince listeners that your opponent is just plain wrong. The left in this case, and often, seems to have abandoned all hope that their point of view will ever persuade a majority of Americans and they therefore opt for silencing the other side through the use of coercion. It looks like nothing so much as a failed political philosophy that has been given over to the lawyers for resolution.