Sunday, March 4, 2012

Limbaugh silenced? Not a chance!

I have to laugh ... really.  Rush Limbaugh followers are beating their chests in fury and claiming  that his 1st Amendment "freedom of speech" rights are being violated because Carbonite pulled its advertising from his show.

Maybe it's time for a bit of Constitution 101.  Here is the 1st Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Okay, do you see the first word in the 1st Amendment?  Congress.  That means government.  It does not mean a private individual or private company.  If you come to my home and I don't like what you say, I can tell you not to say it or ask you to leave.  Simple.  A government entity, however, cannot silence you.  Of course, there are exceptions because with freedom of speech comes responsibility (what a concept, huh?).  Example:  you cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theater and you cannot use speech to incite a riot.

Now let's get to the issue that's causing Limbaugh followers such extreme distress.  Carbonite is a private company.  It may choose to put its advertising dollars anywhere it wishes. That company decided NOT to advertise on Limbaugh's show, but in no way did that silence Limbaugh.

I would bet that Limbaugh is actually laughing his way to the bank.  He'll find other show sponsors (maybe the Koch boys will put in a few million to help the cause).  He'll continue his tirade. His followers will still believe every word he says.  And he will continue to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party.  Limbaugh didn't get hurt - at all.  And his 1st Amendment rights were not violated.

Feel better now?

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