The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Legitimized Tea Parties?

By Michael Sanborn

Jerry Steinley over at Blogmore has one of the dumbest posts I've ever seen him do.

"I missed the first Tea Party in April and, frankly, don’t know if I’ll be investing several hours on July 4 to catch up with the group. But who knows? Maybe it’s an event the general public needs to get behind? Maybe meeting in the park, waving banners and hearing speeches on socialized medicine and cap-and-trade can make a difference.

If it’s a show of solidarity they’re after, they’ll get it. Tea parties are lined up around the country and the media tends to eat up these kinds of events which further legitimizes them.

These events are fairly new to our political landscape and they’re driven by well organized political groups, simple messages and mass communication."

The comments are for the most part equally stupid. It really makes my ass tired when one side or the other in a political battle thinks they have exclusive rights to free speech and dissent.

Steinley's tone makes it sound like he shouldn't be required to go and watch what happens at one of these events because he can just watch Rachel Maddow and get all he needs. Well, Jerry, that's bullshit. If it takes media coverage to make dissent legitimate then this country is in a very sad place.

It is in an even more sad place that you don't consider several thousand citizens gathering to make their voice heard newsworthy enough to pry yourself away from your July 4th bratwurst and beer long enough to go hear what they have to say.

I'll bet that beyond the notion that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Gordon Howie and I don't agree on two other things. But the fact that these folks are able to gather support from both sides of the political isle is newsworthy. And, if you don't get that, Jerry, you have no business being in charge of anyone's opinion page.

I have sat in the same chair you occupy now Jerry. The moment you think that those with whom you disagree are best dealt with with ridicule, a la MSNBC and FOX News, it is you who are no longer legitimate.


Anonymous said...

Ah, he might have been talking about investing his personal time rather than suggesting what the paper should cover.

Anonymous said...

The idea that "these folks are able to gather support from both sides of the political isle (sic)" is laughable. It's self-love for the righties, pure and simple.