"Y'know, free speech in America is non-negotiable, no matter what the perceived consequences, no matter the worry about retribution from Islamic extremists. Period. End of the story."Except for Pirro, that's just the beginning. She offers a little "primer" on the 1st Amendment, explaining how various court rulings have held it prevents government from outlawing the burning of the American flag, the burning of a cross and the protesting of the funerals of dead soldiers by the Westboro Baptist Church.
"Pam Geller's 'draw the prophet' contest in Garland, Texas pales in comparison to those examples but because of her, many in the politically correct class want to rethink free speech because of the sensitivities of some. Like the New York Times editorial board who said '[Blatantly Islamophobic provocations like the Garland event] can serve only to exacerbate tensions and to give extremists more fuel.' Now I, for one, am sick and tired of liberal apologists who believe in free speech unless they don't."The MRC's writers have spent the past week advancing this same Orwellian notion -- that if one criticizes Pamela Geller, one doesn't believe in free speech (or worse, is with the terrorists). The Times editorial Pirro cites -- a piece that was also attacked shortly after its publication by the MRC's Clay Waters -- neither offers nor argues in favor of some sort of "rethink" of free speech. Its position on that matter, which Pirro declined to quote, is unequivocal:
"There is no question that images ridiculing religion, however offensive they may be to believers, qualify as protected free speech in the United States and most Western democracies. There is also no question that however offensive the images, they do not justify murder, and that it is incumbent on leaders of all religious faiths to make this clear to their followers."As indicated by the plain words Pirro did quote, the editorial makes the argument that hate-fueled events like the Mohammad art contest are counterproductive. This isn't offered, as Pirro later claims, "to shut us up"; the argument is that such events spread mindless hatred against the adherents of an entire religion, most of whom have no connection to terrorism at all, that it threatens to alienate Muslims for no reason and that it provides fuel to the far-right pro-terror elements. Numerous conservative commentators have made this same point in the past week, many of them on Pirro's own Fox News. Because their views render rather absurd the effort to slam others as "liberals" for saying exactly the same thing, Pirro follows the MRC gang in simply declining to acknowledge their existence, just as she refuses to address the substance of the argument they, like the Times, have advanced, opting instead to misrepresent it as some argument for reworking the 1st Amendment. Though the assertion forms the foundation for nearly everything she says, Pirro fails to cite a single person, "liberal" or otherwise, who is actually arguing for any sort of "rethink" of free speech because of the "sensitivities" of Muslims.
For the Pirros and the MRCs of the world, the sum total of the right of free speech seems to be the right not to criticize Pamela Geller's hate. Except when it doesn't. Later in her rant, Pirro exempts herself from her own rule, saying, "Now I don't agree with what Pam did -- it was probably a dumb move." Exactly the same sentiment she was condemning those "liberals" for offering.
And the longer Pirro raves, the more irrational she becomes:
"Since when are we willing to surrender our constitution to keep peace with those hell-bent on killing us anyway?Uh, never?
"It's never been more clear. On one side, free speech. On the other, the sharia blasphemy law. Which will prevail? They cannot co-exist."Since Muslims, who make up only 0.6% of the total U.S. population, are a powerless minority and those among them who would favor the imposition of sharia law a micro-minority of that micro-minority, some -- say, the sane -- would recognize this as a non-issue. But Pirro knows better; that
"I have long predicted this administration will cut back our speech if it offends Islam... I don't care if you like Pam Geller, ya' don't like her or what her motives are. She has the right to say whatever she wants... She opened our eyes and teed up the discussion about whether free speech in America survives the pushback from sharia law... For the first time, I'm worried about whether or not the so-called politically correct climate will restrict our free speech in line with sharia requirements."Is this really what the Media Research Center has come to? Pimping as "Judge Jeanine's must-see fiery opening remarks" the demented fantasies of someone who, but for the existence of Fox News, would more appropriately be filing her monologues from a rubber room in some mental health facility?
[This article was written for MRC Watch, a blog that frowns upon the MRC's loving citation of loons.]