My brother in-law took exception to something I said on facebook.
The Meme, linked above, which I shared for the purpose of making snark:
The Snark ™:
Which agency of the United States government is preventing you from speaking?
Oh, none. Is someone with a weapon or threatening you with violence telling you to be silent?
Oh, you lost that lucrative TV show. Having a TV show is a right? Where’s my TV show?
Oh, I see, some people are rudely disagreeing with you. There is a word for that; it’s called “free speech”.
The rebuttal to the Snark ™, disassembled,quoted verbatim, with my responses interlined:
(1)No he had his show cancelled because the radical LGBT people used their influence to threaten the network, not because his audience did not like him.
– It is the nature of a democratic society that a big enough group of people can make enough noise and get something changed. I do not see that as a bad thing; just sometimes damned inconvenient. What would the alternative be?
(2)His audience rallyed and used their greater power to economically counter threaten those who removed him.
– Good for them, welcome to the same good thing as above.
(3)FYI free speech means everybodies speech. Not just the speech 6 people who own 95% of the mass media decide is right. and yes
– But of course. He used his free speech to state his opinion. I used my free speech to state my opinion about his opinion. You just used your free speech to state your opinion about my opinion about his opinion. See, it still works!
(4)pastors and others who express traditional views on Homosexuality and marriage are being threatened with lawsuits and violence, and
– *citation needed* Is the threat of violence any significant fraction of the violence to which LGBT people have endured for so long? The LGBT people I know have this funny quirk that they are quite respectful and decent to those pushed to the margins or trod upon, they save their harshest words for bullies – they are all quite familiar with how it feels to be on the receiving end of a society’s disapproval. If any of them feel or express anger, do you think they have no good reason?
(5)it you had your head out of your you know where you would know this. just saying Steve
– Invective (paltry though it may be)? Clearly you are quite upset about this.
The implication of the meme, and to which I was responding, is that his right to state his opinion has been violated. As a private citizen, his right to speak is not less than yours or mine. He has enjoyed a privileged position on TV which, for a time, permitted him to speak more loudly than most of us. What I think stings for him is that he expected to be able to say what he liked and anyone who didn’t like it just had to be quiet. Enough people, who had too much of just “being quiet” decided to give him a piece of their mind. Rather surprised him, I expect.