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October 24, 2003 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Shut Up, They Explained

THURSDAY,

OCTOBER 30TH

ries about minorities into print. In
he Consti-
many
cases, the promotion and pay
tution only
of
executives
are based on how well
protects us
they
implement
them.
from gov-
Any writer with the intelligence of,
ernment curtailing
say, a fourth-grader quickly learns
our right of free
how
the game is played. If he can
speech. It doesn't pro-
come
up with a strong piece on a
tect us from each
minority,
chances are he will get bet-
other.
GEORGE
ter
display
in the paper and might
But when one voice
CANTOR
even land on the front page. More
is removed from tele-
Reality Check vision because he
than that, he will make his bosses
very happy.
makes some people
Anyone who denies this happens is
uncomfortable, you can be sure that
being
disingenuous — which is a
someday the silencers will come after
polite
way
of saying that he is lying.
1 a voice you want to hear.
So
there
is
just enough fact in
I Over the last month, I have read
Limbaugh's statement to make it
I and listened to countless commen-
worth discussing.
taries on Rush Limbaugh's remarks
Or maybe not. What can be said
I about quarterback Donovan -
on
talk radio cannot be said anymore
' McNabb._Almost unanimously they
on network television
I say that Limbaugh was
or in many newspa-
.. I wrong and offensive.
pers. This is a hot
, I don't know if that is
wire. Touch it and
really the point.
your career is toast.
I Limbaugh had built a
I don't think it is
I. career — or he did until
coincidental
that
I his recent drug addic-
Limbaugh
rose
to
I tion problem — upon
prominence
just
as the
I being offensive. It is
nation's press adopted
I what the man does.
mainstreaming and
Everyone should know
other forms of political
I that by now.
correctness as their
I don't especially like
daily fare. I also don't
.: I what he has done to
think
it is a coinci-.
I talk radio. I preferred
Once a Rush Limbaugh
dence
that newspaper
I the more cerebral and
is righteously silenced,
circulation overall in
respectful approach taken
where does it end?
that same period has
I by a David Newman
fallen.
I rather than by Limbaugh
That is why he is so
and his legion of smash-
detested
by other
: mouth imitators.
media.
Not
only
does
he
dare to
Still, the man should have a right
express
different
opinions,
he also
: I to express opinions that challenge
cuts
into
their
profitability.
certain orthodoxies on race and jour-
But once a Limbaugh is righteously
nalism without being forced to resign
silenced, where does it end?
his job.
I I don't agree with his assessment of Defenders of Israel already are being
shouted down on many campuses by
McNabb's abilities. But there is,
organized protesters. Right-to-lifers
unfortunately, a kernel of truth in his
use the same techniques to intimidate
statement that sportswriters have
their
opponents. It is all linked by
overrated him because they want to
the same hostility to dissent.
see black quarterbacks succeed.
When institutions that should pro-
If you write for a major American
tect dissent suppress it, instead, that
newspaper today, you are affected by
is not a healthy situation for a demo-
the concept of mainstreaming.
cratic society.
I Newspapers would prefer you didn't
When-I was growing up, we were
I . know about this, but there are set-in-
taught
that the core of free speech
stone policies on getting positive sto-
was the phrase: "I disagree with what
George Cantor, a West Bloomfield
you say, but I defend to the death
resident, is a native Detroiter and
your right to say it."
1 longtime Detroit journalist. His e-mail
Whatever happened to that? Cl
I address is gcantor@thejewishnews.com

T

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