Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Washington Post "Journalist" Decries Free Speech

An 18 year old high school girl tweeted something mildly critical/offensive about Gov. Sam Brownback. Brownback's ever vigilant staff reported the tweet and their displeasure to the girl's school principal, who demanded she write an apology. She refused and an internet brouhaha erupted, with most criticizing Brownback's ridiculously thin skin. Brownback actually apologizes -- then a Washington Post columnist weighs in with a "yeah, but free speech has limits" piece. Really? A teenager write "Brownback sucks" and that's where you draw the line?

You really have to read the original Ruth Marcus/Post piece to believe it. Glenn Greenwald takes her to the woodshed below:

*Thanks to Muldfeld for the correction -- I originally attributed this to the New York Times, not the Washington Post. Thank goodness I'm not a journalist!


OpenID muldfeld said...

Thanks for bringing this story attention; I didn't know about it. It's an understandable mistake, but the Ruth Marcus piece was actually in the Washington Post.

Greenwald was as informative as usual.

I've long doubted the "liberal" credentials PBS' "Newshour" implies in having her substitute for Mark Shields on his weeks off Friday's political panel. Like the typical "liberals" or "moderates" on CNN, who are really conservative, she endorsed the Bowles-Simpson plan, which involved brutally cutting "entitlements" and focussing on the debt; Paul Krugman explains why it's unethical to raise the retirement age because, while the conventional wisdom of rising life expectancy is true for the middle class and up, the poor and working class' life expectancies haven't risen in decades.

Sullivan's mother sounds pretty cool to support her child. I somehow think my parents might not have reacted that way; my mother likes to shout at the TV and engage in debate but hasn't been supportive of my challenging authority, as of late, even though it's on behalf of our shared values! People like Brownback deserve scorn because they and their party are all about ABUSE of authority to which no one should bend. Also, I wonder how vociferous Ms. Marcus was about the Tea Party's threatening antics, arming themselves and showing far greater disrespect. My sense is, like all successful mainstream pundits, they're driven by the false notion that being moderate means being harder on the left than on the right.

The tragedy is that, like most Democrats influenced heavily by big corporations or simply believing the narrative Marcus puts forth, Obama tries to appeal to people like her. He turned down Tavis Smiley to hang out with George F. Will, and I'm sure he takes to heart comments like hers or those of David Brooks more than, say, those of Paul Krugman or true liberal pundits, who don't disguise cheap nationalism as principle.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Mark Verheiden said...

I don't have the time or patience to do the research, but yes, I do wonder if Ms. Marcus raised the same level of hoopla over the tea-party folks with their photo-shopped Obama-as-Hitler images and/or Obama with a bone in his nose "humor." Incidentally, Marcus seemed cheesed off that the tweeting young woman's parents weren't taking her cell phone away... but the young woman was 18, as in "an adult", and free to enjoy the first amendment as much as anyone. (There are some ridiculous exceptions on speech and search and seizure for school aged kids that make no sense but seem to please the authoritarian mob out there.)

7:11 AM  

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