Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hooray for free speech

So far, this has been free speech week. In an 8-1 decision, the US Supreme Court upheld the right of people like the Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals. They're the ones who believe they have a mission from God to make the rest of the people in the US hate them so we'll all go to hell and God's righteousness will be upheld. (I'm not making that up.) Both liberals and conservatives on the court (with the strange exception of Justice Alito) agreed that this is the price we have to pay for living in a free society.

Then there was the story I shared this morning on Facebook. In case you missed it, Fox News tried to open up a franchise in Canada. It turns out, though, that they had a significant hurdle to clear that doesn't exist in the US. In order to bring his friends at Fox across the border, Stephen Harper, Canada's right-wing prime minister, had to ask the Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission to reconsider an inconvenient restriction that they have so far managed to impose on Canada's broadcasters. Apparently, in Canada, news organizations are not allowed to lie on the air. That's why Fox won't be moving north.

There is something so blatantly shameless about a head of state appealing for the right of broadcasters to lie to the public that there's really little more to say. But I'll say it anyway. To quote Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., "Harper's attempts to make lying legal on Canadian television are a stark admission that right-wing political ideology can only dominate national debate through dishonest propaganda."

Got that? Fox lies. Everybody knows that Fox lies. "Since corporate profit-taking is not an attractive vessel for populism, a political party or broadcast network that makes itself the tool of corporate and financial elites must lie to make its agenda popular with the public." THE. PRIME. MINISTER. OF. CANADA. HAD. TO. ASK. HIS. OWN. REGULATORS. TO. ALLOW. FOX. TO. LIE. Otherwise he knew perfectly well that he had no hope of setting up a similar propaganda service north of the border.

Where is Justice Alito when we need him?


  1. No, sorry, we don't need Alito. No one does. He couldn't get right an apparently easy decision on Free Speech. Sounds like a dummy to me.