Getting ridiculous

Posted by: ST on January 25, 2007 at 10:12 am

It’s one thing to target a radio or TV personality when you think he and/or his staff have gone over the line with allegedly ‘offensive’ words and/or statements they’ve made that can be attributed only to themselves, but it’s another thing entirely to go after one for using the offending word or statement in context of talking about the controversy.

Such is the case with liberal blogger John Aravois, who, as James Joyner reports, is targeting Glenn Beck’s TV program because he used the “f” word (the slang word sometimes used for gay people) in the context of a discussion about how the actor in Hollywood who used it (Isiah Washington from Grey’s Anatomy) is under fire from gay groups. Here’s the relevant part of the transcript from Beck’s show. Beck’s interviewing with 97.1 FM St Louis radio host Dave Glover:

GLOVER: Yes. Basically you have Isaiah Washington, who`s one of the stars of the show, who referred to one of his co-stars during a heated argument as a derogatory term for a gay man that starts with “F”, rhymes with maggot. Did it a couple more times after that. And do you like how I did that?

BECK: Yes.

GLOVER: And…

BECK: Do you know that “The New York Times” wouldn’t even print — I mean, we can say the word. We’re having an adult conversation here. Wouldn`t even print the word “fagot.” [sic]

GLOVER: Right.

BECK: Wouldn’t print it. I find that amazing.

[...]

GLOVER: When did we elevate obnoxious behavior to a medical condition? You know, I mean, when is just being a jerk, an obnoxious jerk mean that you now have to go to rehab? We`d be having the same conversation each week.

BECK: It`s Michael Richards and before that it was Mel Gibson. It`s the same damn story.

GLOVER: Yes. It is the same story. And we need to stop. Just call it what it is, OK? When someone acts in an obnoxious way, they are being a jerk. If people do it enough, they are a jerk, and it doesn`t mean that they have a genetic condition that makes them do it.

It means they`re a jerk and they need to study and grow up, be a man and stop acting like a jerk, not go seek out medical attention or, you know, spiritual counseling. Just stop it.

What’s fascinating about the ‘outrage’ over Beck’s use of the “f” word (which I’ve decided not to use) is that Aravosis is using it himself in his blog post about it. But I guess there’s a difference in him using it in the context of the discussion than Beck – you see, Beck’s a conservative.

GLAAD’s wigging out, too:

Glover’s attempt to identify the epithet without using it on-air was in keeping with how other broadcast and cable outlets – including CNN – have approached it since the 64th Annual Golden Globe® Awards incident that sparked a national dialogue about the slur and the impact of anti-gay prejudice. Throughout CNN’s coverage of the Isaiah Washington controversy over the past week, Beck appears to be the only host to have repeated the epithet on the air.

“Beck’s obnoxious repetition of the slur — and his flip dismissal of it as simply a ‘naughty name’ – speaks volumes about his appalling ignorance of its impact,” Giuliano said. “Beck added nothing to the audience’s understanding of the issue, except perhaps to demonstrate his juvenile belief that repeating an anti-gay slur makes him an ‘adult.’”

On Tuesday, GLAAD reached out to CNN’s standards and practices department to discuss the matter. On Wednesday, a CNN spokesperson told GLAAD that Beck wasn’t using the word himself, that Beck’s show is an “opinion show” and not a news program, and that Beck was expressing an opinion about The New York Times’ decision to not use the word.

“The ugliness of Glenn Beck’s word choice and his ignorance of its impact really speak for themselves,” Giuliano said. “Other CNN personalities have discussed derogatory slurs as part of this story without debasing that discussion. CNN has a responsibility to address Beck’s crudeness and require that he adhere to basic standards of respect.”

Sigh. When someone uses a slur against someone, it’s justifiable to be upset. When someone’s using the slur in context of a discussion about the person(s) who used it, in most cases it’s not. I think GLAAD and Aravosis both need to, well, get a life.

Beck and Glover had what’s called a “discussion” on the issue (Gasp!), and Beck chose to use the word in the context of the issue he and Glover were talking about. The attempted stifling of the usage of these terms in context is one example of how the left goes about trying to punish speech they don’t agree with, simply because they are ‘offended’ by the contextual terms used in the discussion of an issue.

Should you always use words that may offend someone in that manner? I’ve always said that just because we have the right to say something doesn’t make it right to say, and as I noted earlier I chose not to use the “f” word in this post outside of reposting the transcript of Beck’s and Glover’s conversation about it, but others have and will and just because someone chooses to use a word in context which others find offensive is no reason to target that person nor his or her advertisers in an attempt to ‘punish’ them. It’d be like targeting Aravosis blog and his advertisers because he himself used it in his post – in context.

PM Update: Ian at Hot Air makes a good point: where was the left’s outrage over Sen. Robert Byrd’s use of the “n” word on Fox News back in March 2001?

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13 Responses to “Getting ridiculous”

Comments

  1. benning says:

    Libs don’t quite understand ‘context’. Or a lot of other things. Only Libs can use the “f” word, the “n” word, or anything they desire. Conservatives are barred.

    That’s because conservatives are mean people. /:)

  2. Dana says:

    In the greatest work of English literature, Lord of the Rings, in the first book, as the Fellowship is about to try the mountain pass known as the Redhorn Gate, Boromir suggests that they take some firewood with them, because a fire might be needed in the extreme cold, and says that they should each take the largest faggot they could carry to burn.

    Hey, when LOTR was written (over several years around WW2), a faggot meant a piece of wood! I’m wondering when GLAAD is going to demand that Fellowship of the Ring be edited to remove that.

  3. Ryan says:

    “The ugliness of Glenn Beck’s word choice and his ignorance of its impact really speak for themselves” Giuliano said.

    Impact? How many people would have even been aware of this had these PC losers decided not to complain about it?

  4. Tom TB says:

    There once was a time when liberals were the champions of free speech, now they seem to have been overtaken by people with a position that “it’s not what is said; it’s who said it”. That is censorship that Hitler, Stalin, and Castro would have envied! Can I still play the song “Woman is the Nigger of the World” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Big Brother?

  5. Lorica says:

    Derogatory word to describe gay people: Bad

    Non-Binding resolution to demoralize our troops: Good

    Extreme leftist Dems: Worthless

  6. Kellie says:

    How sad that we even debate these topics. Why must everyone be forced to apologize when an ugly word is uttered against gays, ethnics, poor, etc? The world is getting scarier with its complete lack of tolerance for speech . . . even that said by jerks (as previous writer noted). Did we have this extreme debate when Pelosi called the President ‘incompetent and stupid’? Nope. Again, some people can say what they want. Others are barred. With liberals it changes every day.

  7. Severian says:

    I’m with you on this one Kellie. Back in kindergarten we were taught the old “I’m rubber and you’re glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” Are we now in such a state that kindergarten kids have more sense than adults?

  8. sanity says:

    Whatever happened to when fag was a term for a cig?

    I lit my fag and took a drag.

    Or fag meant a small piece of wood.

    I raised the faggot higher to light the way.

    When did such a simple term become derogatory?

  9. Jon says:

    Although I agree people need to be careful not to overreact, you really need to watch the actual Glenn Beck clip and read the GLAAD release more carefully. Glenn Beck was offensive because he completely downplayed the hate behind the word… mocking the New York Times for not printing it. Beck would have said “the n-word”, not the actual word itself. Why is it different with an anti-gay slur?

  10. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    Avoid The Speech Police: A Guide To Forbidden Words

    (Print this out and save in a prominent location for future reference.)

    The following words are officially banned (except for select groups of our moral superiors):

    The N-word
    The F-word (the second one)
    The Q-word
    The IA-words (the UI-words are the only allowable replacement)
    The T-word (the second one – allowed only if applied to the Religious Right, Bush Administration, or conservatives in general)
    The I-word
    The following words are still permitted, and must be used as often as possible:

    The F-word (the first one)
    The C-word (both the first and second ones)
    The T-word (the first one)
    The MF-word (a variation on the first F-word)
    The S-word
    The B-word (both of them)
    The V-word
    The A-word
    The D-word
    This should clear things up.

  11. Lorica says:

    The IA-words

    Iowa is a banned word?? OH MY GOD!!! What is this world coming too. =)) – Lorica

  12. Steve Skubinna says:

    Darn it, Mwalimu! First of all, I have to admit you’re fairly clever, but for Pete’s sake…

    Okay, you are extremely clever. I’m going to be thinking about your post all day tomorrow.

  13. Marshall Art says:

    I don’t know how “faggot” became a slur, anymore than I know how “gay”, “queer”, or “fairy” became synonymous with homosexual. Frankly, I’m still upset that they’ve commandeered these words and redefined them in the same manner they wish to redefine “marriage”. But even worse, is that they have elevated “faggot” to be on par with “nigger”. There is no area of life that is free of their intrusion, forced acceptance, and now even a special status in the realm of abuse, for Pete’s sake! while whites, Christians and conservatives can by called absolutely anything. Screw it. Skin so thin you can freakin see through it. Wusses.