In what is becoming a weekly series on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, Reverend Al Sharpton upped the ante yet again regarding his crusade against conservative speech.
Not content with going after people he thinks are racists, Sharpton is now targeting anyone he believes to be sexist or “homophobic”.
This Wednesday, Sharpton told Shultz:
Well, first of all, we’re not talking about censorship. We’re talking about standards. And there are already standards in place. We’re saying those standards ought to include those that in an explicit or even an implicit way practice racism or sexism or homophobia on the airwaves. And can you imagine the arrogance of saying federally-regulated airwaves should not be subjected to federal public hearings, so they should just grant licenses, allow people to say what they want?
In Sharpton’s world, anyone who disagrees with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell could be practicing “implicit” homophobia, and should be silenced, because in his mind, people should not be allowed to say what they want.
Sharpton is calling for McCarthy-like hearings where conservatives would be brought before the FCC to explain their comments and prove they are not racists. He has already met with FCC Commissioners, some of whom have expressed support for his Inquisition. If he gets his way, Rush Limbaugh and others will be forced to defend their opinions before a hostile group of liberal bureaucrats.
Never mind the First Amendment, which says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Sharpton also appeared to target Bill O’Reilly. The Fox News host recently discussed the matter with Megyn Kelly and noted the cable network is not subject to the same rules as over-the-air broadcast networks. The full video of that exchange can be seen at Mediaite.
When asked by Schultz what he thought of O’Reilly’s response to his call for hearings, Sharpton said, “I think that’s a very good question…I think Mr. O’Reilly will have to answer.” So, anyone who disagrees with Sharpton’s jihad against free speech should be hauled before the FCC. One can imagine how large that list would be.
In his interview with Shultz, Sharpton was very clear who he was targeting when he specifically attacked “right wingers” for not “wanting any kind of standards” on federally regulated airwaves.
Besides the major hurdle of this thing known as the Constitution, one finds a huge problem with Sharpton’s approach.
If “implied” speech is to be regulated, who decides what is implied racism, or implied sexism, or implied homophobia? Al Sharpton? Media Matters? George Soros? Ed Schultz? A random collection of radical left wingers pulled off the street?
Given the ever-evolving definition of racism, sexism, or homophobia, millions of Americans could have their speech savagely curtailed for nothing more than not wanting to engage in a homosexual act, or wearing white socks, or wanting to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sharpton says he wants to end “hate speech”. He should start with himself and leave the Constitution alone.
A video of the full exchange can be seen at Real Clear Politics.
There used to be a time when liberals supported free speech. Those days are gone.
Today, our freedom is under assault by the radical left. If liberals like Al Sharpton have their way, America will look more like the former Soviet Union than the free republic envisioned by Jefferson, Adams and Madison.