Need more evidence that right-wingers want to shut down all free speech in the U.S., except for the kind with which they agree?
It all started when I received an email from World Net Daily, one of numerous
right-wing Web sites that pollute cyberspace, which I
occasionally monitor when I have time - which is normally between 2 and 3 a.m. The email detailed a campaign to revoke Michael Moore's
Oscar on grounds that "Bowling for Columbine" was fictitious, not Bush, as Moore said in his Academy Awards speech.
So that got me to write a letter to the Academy Awards - you can do so
at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy
Foundation, 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1972, firstname.lastname@example.org or [fax] 310-859-9351. I urged them
not to revoke Moore's Oscar and threw in some choice comments about many conservatives' hateful nature. I made a few wild
accusations, just to put that tactic back in their faces and maybe get some right-wingers to further prove my point that the hypocrites
can dish it out but canít take it.
Sure enough, they took the bait. Liberal Slant, one of several excellent
sites I have contributed to for numerous months, was among those
that printed my letter at http://www.liberalslant.com/jt042603.htm. I then learned that Liberal Slant received the following correspondence from
"Jim K.," apparent Webmaster of a site set up to instruct right-wing followers exactly how to write a letter to the Academy:
"This is absolutely disgusting - http://www.liberalslant.com/jt042603.htm.
'These are many of the same people who called for the murder of Chelsea Clinton after Bush took over the White House
I expect this to be removed from your website immediately, or you will be hearing from our attorney. We have never,
and would never, advocate the murder of a child due to someone's political beliefs. This is in fact libelous, and you should
know better than to publish crap like this. Jackson used the phrase 'hateful, venomous propaganda.' This repugnant article
is nothing but hateful, venomous propaganda. If Jackson Thoreau really wanted to be a journalist, he could have contacted
me personally and asked me who we are and what we stand for.
Now unlike many conservatives who want to stamp out freedom of speech by
people with whom they disagree, I have no problem
with someone writing to disagree with something I wrote. I don't even mind those who insult me - I've developed a thick skin, as you
can imagine. All that crap just slides right off me.
But when a conservative - who more than likely rails against lawyers and
lawsuit abuse - threatens legal action to remove or change
something I wrote, that gets my blood boiling. That just further goes to prove my point that many conservatives want to limit liberals' speech
and stamp out any sign of hope for us, to the point of hate campaigns as the one against Moore and legal threats against what I write.
"Jim K." wrote that he was offended about my saying, "These are many of
the same people who called for the murder of Chelsea Clinton
after Bush took over the White House Click Here
We can argue over whether or not I am not saying these ARE the same people,
though my intention, by inserting the word "many," was to
say these are LIKE the same people. I do not believe I libeled anyone for the simple fact that I do not specifically know who is doing the
Revoke the Oscar Web site beyond some hateful conservative and did not specifically name anyone. How can you libel someone who
does not even identify himself? If you say, "Members of the Skull and Bones Secret Society are evil," you are not libeling anyone because
they do not identify themselves. If you say, "Many of the members of the Skull and Bones Secret Society are evil," you are further distancing
yourself from specifically targeting anyone.
For all I know, some people who write in to revoke Moore's Oscar agree
with Derbyshire that Chelsea Clinton should be killed to keep
her from entering politics. For all I know, some of them could have been involved in the conspiracies that killed JFK and RFK and the
suspicious plane crashes of JFK Jr., Mel Carnahan and Paul Wellstone. But I don't know that for sure, although I want to make it clear
I have strong suspicions. So I find a way to voice my suspicions. So I do so by using wild, general accusations, much the same way
conservatives have done so for decades against Clinton and others they hate.
And for his statement that I should have contacted him before writing anything,
how can I contact someone who is not there?
Should I try a psychic hotline? And why should I contact him? If I want to hear more lies, I can just turn on Fox News or CNN.
Although I do not believe I have libeled anyone because the Webmaster of
this Revoke the Oscar Web site does not identify himself
and I did not name anyone as such, I have no problem with rewriting that sentence to make it clearer. Liberal Slant's editor did that
to say, "These people remind me of the people who attempted to show how someone could be justified in murdering Chelsea Clinton
after Bush took over the White House. They use the same hateful, venomous propaganda. The National Review saw fit to publish
some of this 'crap'. Click Here
I have no problem with that rewrite. My problem comes when a conservative who probably lobbies against attorneys he doesn't like
hypocritically uses an attorney to stifle the free speech of someone with whom he disagrees. My problem comes when a conservative
who has his own Web sites and the mainstream media to dictate to comes over to a liberal Web site and tries to dictate what people
can and cannot say. I have a HUGE problem with conservatives wanting to not only dictate to people in the mainstream media but
in places specifically set up for liberals.
I also have a problem with using less than full names to make a legal threat.
The Revoke the Oscar Web site contains no information
about who is behind the Web site, only a webmaster's email address. A friend discovered that the webmaster reserved the domain name
by proxy out of Scottsdale, Ariz., through Go Daddy Software on March 29. That means he hid his identity even to register the
Web site. And he threatens me and Liberal Slant without giving his full name.
Furthermore, I can't find a single mention of anyone campaigning to revoke
Moore's Oscar in a mainstream news article, except an
AP story on Heston leading the National Rifle Association that barely mentioned that the NRA Ė surprise! - was working on such
a campaign. Some supporters of this campaign have said the mainstream media has covered the issue, but I can't find that evidence.
When Clinton was president, conservatives could say whatever they wanted
against him without being called unpatriotic or being
threatened with legal action. You can't do the same today against Bush, but that won't stop people like me. I'm not afraid of standing
up for what I believe in, even if I'm called a traitor and even if I'm threatened with legal action.
Remember that the majority is not always right - in fact, it's usually
left. Better yet, the majority is usually left out.
Jackson Thoreau is co-author of We Will Not Get Over It: Restoring a Legitimate
White House. The updated, 120,000-word
electronic book can be downloaded on his Internet site at Click Here . Citizens for Legitimate Government has the
earlier version at Click Here . Thoreau can be emailed at email@example.com.
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