I hate disagreeing with people I like, folks like Bill O'Reilly, a man who fights hard for our country, our culture and its good and decent people.
But hearing him go after Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for distributing a kooky 9/11 conspiracy movie the other day left me a bit disappointed in my favorite "Culture Warrior."
Listen, it's easy to disagree with Mark Cuban. I suspect his political views are way to the left of mine. And I suppose it's not much of a stretch to be angry with a billionaire NBA owner-turned-movie producer for having anything to do with distributing some tacky little internet film that makes the goofy assertion that our government had anything to do with 9/11.
But it seems to me that the last people who should be raking Mark Cuban over the coals for "Loose Change" (the wacky internet movie) are those of us who make our living in talk radio or talk television.
Perhaps my defense of Cuban stems from a very personal experience I once had over the very same debate regarding free speech and crossing the boundaries of good taste.
A number of years ago, I hosted an afternoon talk radio show on Upstate New York State powerhouse WGY-AM. I had discovered that notorious Nazi Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel was blanketing the country with his filthy propaganda by offering a weekly show on various local cable access channels. Being cable access, many of the people involved just accepted the free programming, no questions asked. I thought it was important to shine the spotlight of truth on this slug's plans to air this garbage by interviewing him on my radio show.
After we announced that he would be on, a Jewish activist from Albany called the radio station and demanded that I not have him on my show. I would be giving him free air time, she argued, and he must be marginalized. Ignore him and he goes away, she pleaded.
Well, naturally, he wasn't going away, any more than the nutty conspiracy theorists who believe that the Bush Administration flew the planes into the Twin Towers. His cable access show was being shown, and I wanted it stopped. The best way I could figure to do that was to expose his hate and vile ideology.