Homemade Egg Nog with whiskey. Happy Holidays.
Gratuitous Picture of Your 2008 Self Sharing a Laugh with the Future Republican Presidential Nominee
I feel like I go on this rant every six months or so, but until people start understanding the difference between protected speech under the First Amendment and getting to say whatever you want in any situation with no consequences whatsoever, I guess I’ll have to keep repeating it. We all have our crosses to bear.
After noted legal scholar and historian Hank Williams, Jr. made his rumhamfisted analogy about President Obama and Adolf Hitler, and ESPN subsequently pulled his “All My Rowdy Friends” song from its October 3rd Monday Night Football broadcast, he had this to say:
After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.
In the interest of being incredibly lazy and shameless, I’m going to block quote a few relevant paragraphs from a post I wrote a while back for Uproxx about the Bill of Rights. The references are a little dated, but I think it holds up:
One important note on free speech: the freedom of speech does not mean you can say whatever you want in any situation without facing consequences. Example: f-ck, assh-le, c-cknose. Had I not censored those words, I’d have been in deep sh-t with the Uproxx bosses, and might have lost my sweet sweet stream of blogging income. Rather, the freedom of speech only means that the government can’t punish you for speech (except in extreme circumstances, like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, or speaking ill of The Sandlot once I’m in charge).
So when Dr. Laura Schlessinger threw the N-word around on her radio show like butter in a Paula Deen recipe, and the resulting uproar led to her leaving the show, that wasn’t her First Amendment rights being infringed. Technically, that was her precious free market distancing itself from unpopular ideas. Likewise, people protesting the construction of a Muslim gathering center near Ground Zero are perfectly within their rights. Just as the people are to build it. No one’s freedom of religion or assembly is being violated unless the government steps in and take action.
I guess what I’m really saying is this: you have the RIGHT to say what you want, but maybe you SHOULD shut up a little more.
So, sorry Bocephus. No one stepped on the toes of your Constitutional freedoms. (I must have missed class the day we talked about our rights having feet.) We are incredibly lucky to live in a country where you can go on a widely watched news program and compare our nation’s leader one of the most horrific monsters in the history of mankind and have the most serious consequence be that your tired song about your buddies gets pulled from a football pregame show. The are places in the world — now, in 2011 — where doing that would get your shit thrown in jail. In the middle of the night, with no questions asked. So it’s insulting as hell when you don’t even understand what that right entails.
In conclusion, knock it off and you are welcome. Sing it, Ray.