"This is the place where all ideas, pro or con can be expressed without the use of personal attacks on judgment, intelligence, or motive. We all agree to disagree without being disagreeable."
In this yahoo group many members were putting forth what I considered nothing short of absolutely CRAZY conspiracy theories about how terrorists didn't behead Nicholas Berg, rather our own government had staged it...you'd have to ask them the reason our government would want to stage a beheading of one of its own citizens, it's beyond me and I paid little attention to their insane ideas other than to recognize that they were insane. If you question that this sort of thing goes on, one click on this link: Nicholas Berg MetaFilter, will prove my case.
I only mention Nicholas Berg's beheading to set up the timeline. The reason Freedom's Forum came to mind was because with the recent call from Democrat leader's Reid and Durbin and others Requesting the Cancellation of “The Path to 9/11,” the ABC mini-series, my mind naturally returned to the days and weeks prior to the opening of the Michael Moore mockumentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. Many of the members of Freedom's Forum, which was stacked overwhelmingly with rabid left wing ideologues, were convinced that our government, under the leadership of "Dubya" would make some effort to stop it from opening at theaters across the country and that's the point. For all the liberal gnashing of teeth about Republicans marching in "lock-step," for all of the Hitler comparisons and charges of fascism and authoritarianism, for all their charges against the Bush administration's supposed treading on civil (sic) liberties (sic), the Bush administration and the Republican party did not call for Fahrenheit 9/11's opening to be canceled, did not issue a letter from Republican leaders to stop its opening. I waited, I watched, it didn't happen.
Fahrenheit 9/11 opened in theaters across the country and our President had little to say, it was as though he hardly noticed. Did some Republicans point out misrepresentations and outright lies promoted as fact in the film? Yep, but no one challenged Michael Moore's right to make the film or its distribution. Jeff Shannon's review at Amazon.com has this to say:
"Rarely has the First Amendment been exercised with such fervor and forthrightness of purpose...with the singular intention of toppling the war-ravaged administration of President George W. Bush. It's the Bush presidency that Moore, with his provocative array of facts and figures, blames for corporate corruption, senseless death, unnecessary war..."
The Bush Administration and Republicans failed to make a concerted and unified call for F-9/11 not to be aired, not to be allowed to show in theaters.
Before I was censored from sharing my views at Freedom's Forum by being cast out and BANNED from ever returning (*ahem*), the DNC held its Convention in Boston. In a Common Dreams story: Free-Speech Zone? Democratic Convention Plan Puts Protesters Blocks Away it is reported that:
"The disappointment in the preliminary plans is likely to be the start of a protracted battle that has the potential to end up in court, as did a similar dispute at the 2000 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. Relegated to a parking lot blocks from the convention arena, protesters sued, and less than a month before that convention began, a federal judge ruled that the designated area was unconstitutional. Organizers were forced to move the area to a parking lot directly across the street from an arena entrance, in keeping with earlier federal court rulings that any legal demonstration be allowed within "sight and sound" of its intended audience.
In New York City, where the Republicans will hold their convention this year, police are anticipating tens of thousands of protesters. No plans have been made for where protests will be allowed, but civil liberties groups have already raised concerns about potential police tactics."
In a link found here: Republican National Convention Blog NYC 2004, following is the protest schedule map permits demonstrations, and I quote:
"Permits for marches, demonstrations, and sound devices have been issued to 19 organizations and 20 venues by the New York City Police Department and Parks Department for a variety of separate events before and during the Republican National Convention.
Since this list was last issued, five additional permits have been issued to a total of 19 organizations at 20 venues, including the National Organization of Women for a rally of approximately 50,000 in the East Meadow of Central Park and United for Peace & Justice with a march and rally for approximately 250,000 north on 7th Avenue past Madison Square Garden and west on 34h Street to the West Side Highway.
Permits have been issued during the period of the RNC for the following concerts: Summer of Love, Rock the Vote, and the New York Pops. While the Convention itself begins Monday, August 30th and continues through Thursday, September 2nd, permits have been issued for demonstrations and other events beginning Sunday, August 22nd."
I'm sure all of us can remember the media coverage of the streets of NYC, full of protesters in the days before and the day of the RNC in 2004. There was no Republican leadership calling for them to be caged blocks away from the RNC site.
Further, liberal Democrats across the country united to condemn the airing of "Stolen Honor" because they feared the adverse effects on voters should those *ignorant masses* view it, as documented by Media Matters.
Broadcast Engineering and Digital Television reports here: Beyond The Headlines - Oct. 18, 2004 that:
"As waves of controversy continue over Sinclair Broadcasting’s decision to air an anti-Kerry film on its 62 stations only days before the presidential election, the FCC’s Michael Powell said last week that the commission has no power to stop it....
...Nineteen senators wrote to Powell asking him to investigate Sinclair Broadcast Group’s plan to run the program only days before the Nov. 2 election. The senators termed the 90-minute program an “attack ad” against Sen. Kerry.
Separately, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission contending that Sinclair’s airing of the film should be considered an illegal in-kind contribution to President Bush’s campaign. The DNC said the program was “written, produced, and funded by extreme right-wing activists” and that the station group is going to broadcast "a blatantly political—and false—message while disguising it as ‘news.’"
The FCC’s Powell, contended the FCC does not regulate editorial decisions by media companies, and said the only federal regulations that might come into play in the wake of a broadcast is an obligation that broadcasters provide equal time to candidates in federal election campaigns. According to media reports, an offer has been made to the Kerry campaign to appear on TV after the program has aired."
PressThink advised: John Kerry Should Accept Sinclair Broadcasting's Offer:
"Kerry should accept.
If he takes the deal it sets up an historic broadcast. A final confrontation with the Right. Isn’t that what the Right wants too? A chance, indeed, to clear the air about Vietnam, and a lot of other things. Will America watch? America will watch. And if he can’t win that broadcast, he does not deserve to win the prize.
But the main reason he should take the deal is that his advisors are gonna say: are you nuts? And that’s the point: to create Kerry unbound. Alone with the camera. Let him prove himself right there and make the election about even more than it is now.
Take the deal and get someone really smart to negotiate it. The program must be live, and air unedited. Sinclair must use its own people on the panel— no hiring Britt Hume. No adding Bush to the panel. The closer to election day the better."
Kerry didn't have to accept, however, because as this Online NewsHour Update shows: Sinclair Pulls Back from Airing Anti-Kerry Film. Sinclair caved to the pressure of Democrats to not air the program.
What does all this suggest? Simply that Democrats like to portray Republicans as treading on their civil liberties when it comes to fighting against terrorism, that when there is actually something of importance like the war on terror and National security at stake they are unwilling to make the smallest of sacrifices to aid in the war against Islamic fascism, but by Jeebers, don't call attention to any shortcoming by any Democrat, past or present!!! Everyone knows that National security, or the lack thereof, is the sole and singular responsibility of George W. Bush!!!
The ACLU opposes profiling of Arabs at our airports, opposes sections of the Patriot Act, takes our government to court over their right to prosecute Al Qaeda affiliates, see ACLU Urges Supreme Court to Declare Guantánamo Bay Military Commissions Illegal and fearmongers about public library records, but the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
When we examine which party most vocally calls for censorship of news, movies, mini-series, or documentaries intended to inform the public of historical FACTS pertaining to the lead up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks or, in fact, any promotion of any material which might cast either party in a bad light it has been consistently a Democrat trait to call for censorship, to demand the cancellation of the airing of certain possibly politically charged media pieces.
Why should it be any surprise that now Bill Clinton and his past administration is in a snit fit over the airing of the mini-series about "The Path to 9/11?" The Chicago Tribune reports that the Clinton team protests `9/11' film...:
"A mini-series about the events leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks is "terribly wrong" and ABC should correct it or not air it, former Clinton administration officials said in letters to the head of the network's parent company.
But in a statement Thursday ABC said, "No one has seen the final version of the film, . . . so criticisms . . . are premature and irresponsible...."
...Former President Bill Clinton told reporters Thursday that HE HADN'T SEEN THE MINI-SERIES but said "I think they ought to tell the truth." (emphasis mine)
...and Reid and Durbin have sent a Letter Requesting the Cancellation of “The Path to 9/11.”
In Senate Bill Silences Freedom of Speech, I exposed Bill SB 1437, introduced by Senator Kuehl, Democrat, California. To quote myself:
"We keep hearing cries from colleges and institutions of higher learning about the importance of hearing different viewpoints, about "academic freedom," and as long as they are defending the likes of a Ward Churchill or even high school geography teacher, Alan Bennish or the burning of "Old Glory," liberal Democrats are all for freedom of speech and expression, but if you are traditional-value minded it appears they want to make your viewpoint a criminal offense."
Democrats talk tough about free speech when it advances their own agenda of bashing George W. Bush and/or the Republican party. They like to dish out rhetoric but before a mini-series has aired, before Democrats have even seen it they have more or less threatened ABC with veiled repercussion if they air this mini-series. The fact of the matter is that no one has yet seen the mini-series in its entirety and I trust the "ignorant masses" to view and form their own opinions regarding the series. Now I hear that there has been some editing done since Clinton and his cronies raised such a stink, editing due to political pressure has been CONFIRMED by the WRITER of the mini-series. Is this a free press? No. This is what the Democrats would like to do to our free speech rights. The Democrats have reminded ABC that their licensing would be coming up for renewal in the future (hint, hint). I sincerely hope Democrat voters are paying attention to their leadership. I sincerely hope that they can see the hypocrisy at play in this episode and the others I outlined in this post. Republicans have some problems, but problems with free speech is a Democrat problem, not a Republican one.