CNN talking head Michael Smerconish recently stated on his radio show that those he deems to be racists, bigots or anti-Semites are sorely in need of being “reined in”.
Unfortunately for self-purported political independent, being a racist or a bigot or an anti-Semite isn’t against the law. And they certainly aren’t worthy of locking someone into a cage for.
Further pointing out the flaws of the CNN host’s logic, he fails to define what exact words constitute racist, bigoted or anti-Semitic speech. Or are we to understand that Smerconish and Smerconish alone is to be the sole arbiter of any future virtuous utterances?
The catalyst for his rant was the rather cartoonish internet video sensation of Donald Trump giving an epic (staged) beat down to WWE honcho Vince McMahon, who happened to have the CNN logo superimposed over his face and head.
As just about the entire civilized world is already aware of, CNN is being accused of leveling a non-too subtle threat at a private citizen who posted on social media the original offending video.
Or as Town Hall’s Glenn Greenwald qualified the CNN threat: CNN Engaged In ‘Corporate Bullying And Creepy Censorship’ On Pro-Trump Reddit Story
Greenwald re-told the whole sordid tale of how CNN;
“…decided to search for the Reddit user that created the video of Trump ‘beating up’ CNN right before the Fourth of July holiday. The user is not someone to be defended aggressively. He’s admitted to posting racist and anti-Semitic material on the site. He’s apologized, but here’s where things got controversial [emphasis mine]:
CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.
CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
As to the specifics of Smerconish’s call to publicly expose those he accuses of hate speech, as recently reported by the Breitbart.com news service;
CNN host Michael Smerconish is doubling down on the network’s decision to publicly threaten to out an anonymous Reddit user who created a WWE-themed animated image mocking the network, a variant of which was tweeted by President Trump.
Speaking on his radio show earlier this week, Smerconish said that if he “continues to be racist, if he continues to be a bigot, if he continues to be anti-Semitic” that CNN should reveal the Reddit user’s identity.
Smerconish went on to attack internet anonymity, saying “anonymity gives people beer muscles for bad behavior.”
He also linked the newsworthiness of revealing the Reddit user’s personal information to the allegation that his animated image was tweeted by the President.
“When you promote hate in the blogosphere … you attract the president … you’re now a story, and you sacrifice any right to privacy that you otherwise would have had.”
“They need to be reined in” concluded Smerconish. “The hate speech, the coarse dialogue has had a disastrous impact on our political conversation, and our ability to elect individuals who are willing and able to get along and get things done.”
“It’s time to rein in the bad behavior, and nasty anonymous comments are a big part of the problem — but they’re one that we can address and one that we can solve. So, in this case, I think this individual sacrificed his right to privacy. That’s my view.”
The CNN personality certainly is in need to make himself more familiar with an argument made recently concerning the real purpose of the First Amendment – “To protect speech that people regard as intolerable or outrageous or offensive…”
“The First Amendment really was designed to protect a debate at the fringes. You don’t need the courts to protect speech that everybody agrees with, because that speech will be tolerated. You need a First Amendment to protect speech that people regard as intolerable or outrageous or offensive — because that is when the majority will wield its power to censor or suppress, and we have a First Amendment to prevent the government from doing that.
And who was it who stated such during an interview with the notoriously liberal NPR (National Public Radio)?
None other than Steven Shapiro, the legal director of the equally notoriously liberal ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). That’s who.
If it should help Smerconish or any of his CNN brethren better understand the English language, I offer up the following primer:
- Racism is when a person or group believes all persons of a different racial group is inferior to him or her based on nothing more than race. “I don’t care if that black guy has a Ph.D. in quantum physics… he’s not the same color as me, and that makes me superior to him.” Albeit rather stupid, racism isn’t illegal. People can feel whatever they want.
- Bigotry is when a person or group believes all persons of a different race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, cultural background, religious belief or profession is inherently evil and/or a lesser person than themselves. “So what if she just saved my child’s life? She a cop, and I hate cops. Especially white ones.” Albeit rather stupid, bigotry isn’t illegal. People can feel whatever they want.
- Anti-Semitism is being against Semites. Pretty cut and dry, huh? But the problem for Smerconish is that Semite is correctly defined as “a member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs.” Hmmm, does this mean that Smerconish considers Jews to be the only real Semites? By the way, personally not liking Jews or Arabs isn’t illegal.
Now when it come to race, religion and all that good stuff, discrimination based on race, religion, etc. most certainly is illegal in many cases, especially when it comes to government employment.
So if someone wants to hate on me for being an All-American Mutt (German, Irish, Dutch, Pacific Islander, and as I recently found out, Oriental), guess what? I don’t care. Hate all you like. Folks like that just aren’t all that important to me, and also I don’t look at life through the lens of me being the perpetual victim.
Sorry Mr. Smerconish, unlike Western Europe, the Thought Gestapo isn’t calling the shots here in good ol’ United States of ‘Murica. Thank God.