Freedom of Speech Hypocrites


Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley

Remember a few months back when all those lefties were moaning and groaning over how poor old Tim Robbins was being mistreated when he tried to speak out against the war in Iraq?  Remember how they all said that the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of speech, no matter how unpopular and that poor old Tim was being denied his Constitutional Right?  Remember how they all put down the Bush Administration, baseball, motherhood and apple pie because no one would pay any attention to poor old Tim, and how he was being so unfairly maligned and discriminated against?  Remember all that?

Well, the Writers Guild of America remembered it.  So they got together and advertised that on May 29 they were going to have a panel discussion on the First Amendment in Times of Crisis, entitled “We’re Fighting for Freedom of Speech so please shut up!”  Cute, eh?

The problem is that this “panel” of “freedom of speech” was stacked.  Instead of having an even number of advocates on each side, the WGA invited seven people, five of whom were wild-eyed, hair askew lefties, with only two conservatives.  Worse, they invited Ramona Ripston, the head of the local branch of the ACLU, a hired gun for leftwing causes and an attorney.  Wouldn’t fairness dictate that an attorney representing the opposing viewpoint also be on the panel?  Sure it would.  That’s why the WGA didn’t invite one.  Oh, but they did find a Sandinista to be on the panel!  Say again?  Yes, you read that right.  They couldn’t find it in their hearts to look for an attorney who might counter Ms. Ripston, BUT THEY FOUND A SANDINISTA!  Well, that sure makes sense.  Turned out the Sandinista was virtually incoherent.

Another member of the panel for the left was Mike Farrell.  You remember him?  No?  Well, not many have seen him in an acting job since MASH went off the air.  I wasn’t sure what Farrell’s qualifications were for the panel, except that he apparently is able to spell UCLA without making too many mistakes.  He certainly didn’t graduate from UCLA or any other university.  But he’s all over the airwaves with his uneducated, uninformed views, even on Meet the Press (but, then, MTP is moderated by Tim Russert, who used to be an advisor for Mario Cuomo, of all people, so, what are you suspecting from MTP, fairness?).

The other lefties were Frank Pierson, a writer-director whose comments reflected that he must be living in a never-never land only seen in movies, and Robert Scheer.  Nothing much need be said about Scheer.  Loony Tunes, Merry Melodies comes floatingly to mind.

Representing the right were David Horowitz, a former leftie who had a Road to Damascus conversion and is now an articulate representative of the right, and Craig Titley, a screenwriter.

Well, five against two.  OK, let’s begin.  Starts off with Mike Farrell crying crocodile tears over the treatment of Tim Robbins.  Next it was Horowitz’ turn.  Farrell got respectful silence.  Horowitz was greeted by catcalls and booing from the vast majority of the approximately 300 in attendance.  In fact, from then on, the lefties and all their absurdities were greeted with respectful silence, murmured agreements, and applause.  Whenever Titley and Horowitz spoke they were instantly interrupted by catcalls and booing.  They could rarely finish what they were saying.

Apparently nobody, including the clueless moderator (Jill Stewart, formerly of the LA Times which should tell you which side she’s on), got the irony of the fact that the point of this panel was freedom of speech and respect for divergent opinions but the audience was not letting Horowitz and Titley speak.  Despite this glaring incongruity, none of the lefties on the panel ever uttered a word to quiet the audience so that Horowitz and Titley could speak.  And when one of the members of the audience, a self-identified liberal who “doesn’t agree with a word Mr. Horowitz says,” chastised the audience during the Q and A, and said that he was embarrassed to be a member of the WGA when Messrs. Horowitz and Titley were treated with such a lack of respect, the moderator jumped on him and staunchly defended the rudeness of the audience as being “feisty.”  So much for Freedom of Speech.

Oh, yeah.  They really never spoke about the topic of the panel, Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment.  No, they bashed Bush and talked about which was worse, rescuing Jessica Lynch or the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (I kid you not!).  When Titley suggested that they were way off point and that they should get back on topic, he was almost booed offstage, …and his suggestion totally ignored by Ms. Stewart. In the end, the lefties spoke for more than 90% of the time, Titley and Horowitz for less than 10%, and then they were fighting the rudeness of the audience.  Ms. Stewart seemed comfortable with this.

What this panel proved is that the vast majority of those in Hollywood are on the left and that they define hypocrisy.  They don’t give a damn about fairness, dialogue of mutual respect, or freedom of speech.  What they want is the ability to harangue, spout venom and bias, and speak without opposition.  And that’s what this panel was all about.  It wasn’t about freedom of speech.  It was about how there is no Freedom of Speech in Hollywood if you’re not on the left.  The B Story is that the Hollywood lefties want to spin everything to their twisted view of the world without any opposition because they're scared witless of the truth.  Plain and simple.

 May 30, 2003