Barbara Simpson, "The Babe in the Bunker," as she's known to her KSFO 560 radio talk-show audience in San Francisco, has a 20-year radio, TV and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.More ↓Less ↑
Did you hear the latest? The government-sponsored inquiry into the media and what it does resurfaced last week with a proposal to put restrictions on virtually everything – print, broadcast and the Internet.
In other words, all media would be scrutinized for “fairness and balance.”
Transgressions would be tracked, and media outlets would be legally accountable.
The same rules would apply to the Internet with government control over which URLs are permitted (domestic and foreign) and what content is allowed; even blogs with as few as 40 hits a day would be affected.
That sounds like good news for everyone ranting and raving about Rush Limbaugh’s choice of words describing Sandra Fluke.
She’s the Georgetown Law student who somberly recounted for Nancy Pelosi and the media, the “problems” facing students getting through three years of law school while having to foot the bill for birth control out of pocket.
The left went nuts. They want Rush silenced. They want his program gone and his sponsors boycotted; some, in knee jerk unison, dropped their advertising.
Even the president called her to offer “support” and say how proud her parents must be.
They all seem to have forgotten those quaint words: free speech. It’s guaranteed to Americans, even if their word choices aren’t pleasing.
It was enough of a brouhaha that Limbaugh apologized, saying that his choice of words put him at the same level as those who attack conservatives with similar, and often worse, vocabulary.
But his apology made no difference to the critics. They want him destroyed, along with his supporters and other conservative talkers. Rush had to endure the verbal venom, as well as death threats.
One might assume those came from the left side of the aisle, you know, the ones who espouse peace and love.
But the government media report I mentioned earlier would take care of that. People like Rush would be shut down and held legally responsible.
Would you like that? I’m sure there would be great support for it.
If you’re one of them, move to Australia. That report was done for the Australian government, and it may well be made law.
It would make the Australian media and Internet subject to the most sweeping censorship regulations of any country in the world.
Remember when Australia was where Americans wanted to go when things here got too restrictive. Now what do we do?
But don’t feel smug.
Remember the pressure during the first years of the Obama administration about reinstating the so-called “Fairness Doctrine”? One of the main goals was to regulate talk radio, hoping to gag it as a medium of diverse ideas and reduce government criticism.
It didn’t work then, but think about what might happen if Obama is re-elected.
We’re already censored, perhaps not with the full weight of the law, but it’s there and getting worse.
Try saying the “N” word – in public, in print, on the radio or television, in your workplace.
Think cancellation, firings and “sensitivity training.”
How about calling someone “gay” as a criticism or a taunt?
How about saying anything that even smacks of negativism about Muslims? All you know what would come down on you, along with demands for public apologies.
Think back to the TV series “24″ when it dared to have some bad guys who were Middle Eastern; the star, Kiefer Sutherland, had to come on screen, out of character, to say there was no intent to imply yadda, yadda, yadda.
Remember the Northern California students who were forbidden to wear T-shirts with patriotic pictures or words on Cinco De Mayo because it might offend Hispanic students?
What about the Texas high-school students last week who chanted “USA! USA! USA!” at a basketball game and were shut down and forced to apologize because the mostly Hispanic opposing team might have been offended.
If they’re American Hispanics, what’s the problem? If they’re illegal aliens, we know the problem.
What about the valedictorian from Henderson, Nev., who had the microphone shut off during her speech because she dared to mention her faith and Jesus?
What about the quick and groveling apologies delivered by the president and Gen. John Allen to the “noble people of Afghanistan” after the accidental, partial burning of Qurans, which had already been defaced by Muslim prisoners?
Nearly 20 U.S. and allied troops have been murdered as a result of Muslim outrage. Has Afghanistan apologized?
Has the U.S. president called the families of those dead troops? Not that we would know. I guess Obama didn’t have a camera handy, as he did when he called Sandra Fluke.
For a real treat, listen to Gen. Allen, not for his words but his pandering pronunciation. He’s been well taught.
It reminds me of newscasters who suddenly developed Spanish accents when doing sympathetic stories of rebels in Guatemala – which came out as Whhhaaaa-tah-ma-lah.
How about KFI radio in Los Angeles? After hosts John and Ken made comments about Whitney Huston’s drug use and raised outrage, they were reprimanded, suspended and apologized.
They’ll undergo “cultural sensitivity training,” along with other staff and management. A station memo said the training will stress “awareness of the cultural melting pot that is Southern California.”
On top of that, the station plans to “find a platform for auditioning a diverse group of local hosts and guests.”
With KFI so open about planning politically correct programming is any form of communication or entertainment safe from similar control or censorship?
Apparently we have freedom of speech only as long as we use approved words.