Shock and awe
campaign routs liberals
April 10, 2003
are no longer a threat to the nation. The new media have
defeated them with free speech - the very freedom these
fifth columnists hide behind whenever their speech gets
them in hot water with the American people. Today, the truth
is instantly available on the Internet, talk radio and Fox
News Channel. No wonder liberals accuse Matt Drudge of absurd
sodomic acts, call Rush Limbaugh a "big fat idiot,"
and say "really stupid people" watch Fox News
Channel - as anti-war actress Janeane Garofalo said between
assuring us that Saddam Hussein has no weapons of mass destruction.
After the Dixie Chicks' lead singer, Natalie Maines, informed
a concert hall on foreign soil that "just so you know,
we're ashamed the president of the United States is from
Texas," the New York Times reported that for several
days there was not "a ripple about the remark."
Then Matt Drudge posted it on his website. The Drudge Report
has been getting 11 million hits a day recently. In response
to the instant uproar, including radio boycotts and public
CD burnings, Maines was forced to issue a written apology
for the remark. Then Maines explained it was a "joke,"
which is only slightly less enraging than being told to
"chill out." At the Country Music Television awards
last Monday, the very mention of the Dixie Chicks prompted
Weeks after the Dixie Chicks imploded, Pearl Jam singer
Eddie Vedder showed he's still got a way with words by repeatedly
smashing a George W. Bush mask against the stage during
a concert. Predictable heckling and booing broke out - robust
even by Pearl Jam concert standards. Vedder asked in astonishment:
"You're booing the story, right? You're not booing
me?" Published claims that dozens of fans walked out
at this point seem dubious, since that would require Pearl
Jam's fan base to still number in the dozens.
Vedder continued with a rambling diatribe against the free
speech of his audience, during which he announced - in a
worldwide exclusive - that next year Americans will no longer
be allowed to speak. When someone yelled at him to shut
up, Vedder shouted down the dissenters with a microphone
and 50,000 amps, saying, "I don't know if you heard
about this thing called freedom of speech, man." This
qualified as one of the most profound public statements
ever punctuated with the term "man."
Soon, Vedder was backpedaling faster than a Dixie Chick:
"Just to clarify... we support the troops." To
prove it, he cited his short haircut: "How could we
not be for the military? I mean, look at this [expletive]
haircut." Vedder said his remarks had been "misconstrued."
The band issued a statement saying Vedder was just talking
about "freedom of speech."
Also celebrating "free speech" recently was Columbia
University professor Nicholas De Genova. Speaking at a "teach-in"
a few weeks ago, he said patriots were white supremacists
and that the "only true heroes are those who find ways
that help defeat the U.S. military." Most charmingly,
De Genova said: "I personally would like to see a million
Mogadishus," referring to the dismembered bodies of
American servicemen being dragged through the streets of
Somalia in 1993. De Genova was given rousing applause from
the college audience when he said: "If we really [believe]
that this war is criminal ... then we have to believe in
the victory of the Iraqi people and the defeat of the U.S.
The speech by this esteemed member of our nation's higher
education system was followed by other Columbia professors,
such as Eric Foner, who tepidly took exception only to De
Genova's description of patriots as white supremacists.
(Has anything good ever come of a "teach-in"?
Even the promisingly titled "die-ins" always fail
The university initially responded to complaints about De
Genova by issuing the usual traitors' dodge: free speech!
But the uproar continued, eventually propelling the president
of the university, Lee Bollinger, to say that De Genova's
"million Mogadishus" comment "crosses the
Most auspiciously, Peter Arnett was fired from NBC for pinch-hitting
for Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's minister of information.
Consider that Arnett has retailed propaganda for the Iraqi
regime about a "milk factory" being bombed by
the Americans in 1991 â€“ and that didn't get him
fired. He has bragged that he would allow American servicemen
rather than reveal enemy war plans he had acquired as a
journalist - that didn't get him fired. Arnett once falsely
reported that the U.S. military used poison gas on American
defectors - and then hid behind his producers' skirts when
CNN was forced to retract the report and fire the producers.
That didn't get him fired.
Like Columbia University, NBC initially tried to stand by
Tokyo Pete this time, issuing a statement that called his
reporting "outstanding" and saying simply that
his interview with Iraqi TV "was done as a professional
courtesy." By 7 o'clock the next morning, deluged with
thousands of e-mails demanding Arnett's head, NBC fired
Freedom of speech isn't working out so well for liberals
now that they aren't the only ones with a microphone. It's
not so much fun when the rabbit's got the gun.
Ann Coulter is host of AnnCoulter.org, a TownHall.com member
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©2003 Universal Press Syndicate