Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The New Right: Freedom Of The Press, Ew

So, WorldNetDaily, that delightfully kooky rag, has roused the ire of the stuffy Right; Jon Henke finds them "just hideously embarrassing for the Right" and wants them boycotted, comparing them and himself to the John Birch Society and William F. Buckley.

(Clarification: I should have been more clear; he's not calling for a reader boycott, but a boycott by "Republican and Libertarian organizations," some of whom have made use of WND's mailing list. I can only speculate that he thinks the GOP and LP are well shut of the votes and support they would get from the publication's readership. I guess with all the free, positive coverage they both get in the MSM, it's no real loss?)

Oh, grow a thick hide, sweetie; people are gonna utter a whole lot of things that sound just crazy or even treasonous, like Teddy Kennedy wantin' to sell us out to the USSR or anything Paul Helmke ever whined, and in addition to the "obviously wrong" people (who don't look that way to their own partisans) on the Other Side, your own side has no shortage of far-out opinions.

This is what the inherent right to self-expression (as protected by the First Amendment) gets you. It isn't respectable, it's not especially nice and it isn't even pretty. It's people speakin' their own minds.

That same freedom extends to your boycott but listen up: WND wouldn't be singin' their present tune for long if there wasn't a readship for it. Ah, you say, but that's your point? Really?

You've got two choices: you can either assume WND's readers are poor, innocent sheep, led to the slaughter by the shrill piping of WND's shills and who You Must Save, in which case go sit down over there next to Paul Helmke and Vladimir Lenin, who espouse the exact same idea; or they are free adults who made up their own damn minds and may change 'em again tomorrow.

But if you are out to "protect" adults from exposure to wrongthink, you are not on my side and I am not on yours.

That whole Respectable Republican thing, where they turn off the lights to change into their jammies and never, ever admit they might excrete and adopted, as near as I can tell, so their supposed cultural betters on the Left won't sneer down at 'em, is annoying to me. I think it is complete and utter bullshit. Look, it's nice to stick your pinky out when drinking tea but I will take one competent, unpolished individual with a functioning brain and an independent will for every ten nicely-civilized "New Right" types you can muster. Nobody cares who's in your damn bridge club.*

I think the Birthers are wrong and some of them are a little crazy, too. So what? They're free wrong and eccentric folks. Free. Try that word on for size. They're not you and they're not hurting you.

Politically, I'm offsides. I always have been. I am aimin' to stay that way and this effete inability to accept one's own warts is one of the biggest reasons why.

Link found at Sebastian's, who does not agree. I love 'im anyway.
* Someone's gonna mention my whole neo-Victorian schtick as counter to this and I suppose it is; but there is a difference to being marginally polite to people you think are ijits -- I wrote Jon Henke a nice note explaining why I think his boycott is a bad idea and asking him to reconsider -- and being so blame worried someone will think ill of you because your mad uncle is wearing a lampsade and singing "The Ballad Of Rangy Lil" in public that you cut the poor, drunken sonovagun cold. There was a fellow asked to ban himself from my blog for being a jerk to one of my friends, even though, politically, I agree more often with the rude dude than my friend. I have a code; perhaps it's incoherent and immoral but I'll stand by my friends. Doesn't mean I won't brook disagreement.


Tam said...

I'm trying to figure out how I'm supposed to boycott a site I never read anyway...

stranger said...

Just a footnote: Considering RAH's Bates County, MO, upbringing the original for "Rangy Lil" was probably one of the jillions of unexpurgated verses of Frankie and Johnny. She was rangy and all of them are - well!

Although a couple of the sweet potato and nose flute players cite the mores of TEFL and are holding out for one of the versions of "Shye was Poor but Shye Wars 'Onest" as closer to the spirit of the time.

Singing either in public will get you a concrete cot in the crossbar motel, though.

Speaking of freedom of the press, try on the Hot House plan to harvest personal data from social networking sites. Reminds me of Munich, 1922.


Anonymous said...

Bravo, Bobbi. Well said. There must be poetry in the air in Indiana these days.


Roberta X said...

That's good to read, considering after I wrote it, I was thinking, "Well, there go my last few loyal readers."

The thing that appears to irk Jon is that the GOP and some other oganizations -- even FIRE have made use of WND's mailing list. I'm not sure if he's more squicked that WND got bux, or that the icky-poo WND readers might actually get out and vote (or even do campaign work) for the GOP, but it seems an intolerant and short-sighted view. If he hopes to see the elephant in the victory circle, he's sure picked a poor way to go about it.

Tango Juliet said...

Both sides of the fence have their intolerant wings. No harm in pointing that out.

Caleb said...

I swear to god, I honestly thought WND was a parody rag the first time I read it, because it was just so ridiculously over the top and retarded. Then I realized that people actually believe this shit, and I died a little inside.

That being said, I both agree and disagree with Jon's stance on boycotting WND. My concern with major/legit conservative groups getting into bed with WND is that I don't want to lend those nutcases at WND any sort of credibility. It is difficult enough to explain conservative ideals like limited government in this day and age without also having to explain that "no, I'm not a birther and no, I don't believe that the government is going to hire Brightfire/Blackwater/Xe to come take my guns".

So when legit groups like FIRE hop on in the sack with WND, it creates a negative mental association for my liberal friends, people I'm ultimately trying to convert.

Plus it's just so embarrassing. WND is like that crazy uncle that always takes his pants off at family gatherings or something.

Larry said...

I would be honeoured to have someone belting out "Rangy Lil" at one of my parties.....

LabRat said...

No alienation here, especially on the score of valuing the ability to conduct oneself in a civil fashion while in another's parlor over political agreement.

BobG said...

I have to go with Tam on this one.

Word verification: wilties
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