When hate speech is OK

Posted: Aug 14, 2000 12:00 AM
Can anyone fairly deny that when it comes to name calling, insults and innuendo, conservatives are fair game? They are called racists and anti-Semites, and are said to be worthy of death, but no one seems to consider such words hate speech or even inappropriate. Last Friday on CBS's "The Late Show with Craig Kilborn," a violent graphic flashed briefly on the screen. The words "Snipers Wanted" was superimposed over footage of George W. Bush accepting the Republican nomination at his party's convention in Philadelphia. In response to complaints, CBS admitted that the display was "an inappropriate and regrettable graphic" and that CBS and its program producer Worldwide Pants, Inc. "deeply regret this incident" and would investigate it. Bush, in his usually gracious way, accepted the apology, and said he looks forward to seeing the results of CBS's investigation. To me, this is not a laughing matter. You can bet that no one would have been laughing had Al Gore been the "target" of the "clip." Heads ought to roll at CBS. Is this not reminiscent of militantly liberal film star (excuse the redundancy) Alec Baldwin's call to violence against Henry Hyde and his family on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien"? "I'm thinking to myself if we were in other countries, we would all, right now, all of us together ... would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! Wait! ... Shut up! No shut up! I'm not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death, and we would go to their homes and we'd kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families." You cannot credibly contend that with that language Baldwin was kidding. Did anyone in the media or anyone else on the left condemn Baldwin for hate speech? By the way, the enlightened, love-filled audience was cheering. An arguably more subtle statement was made by CBS's Dan Rather in his recent commentary about Al Gore's selection of Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate. "The prevailing logic in the Democratic camp has been, anyone who won't vote for a Gore-Lieberman ticket because Lieberman is Jewish wouldn't have voted for it in the first place." I don't know if Rather was speaking for himself there or other proud owners of "the prevailing logic," but his statement bears scrutiny. Please read it again, carefully. I ask you: How does it logically follow that those who won't vote for Gore-Lieberman because Lieberman is Jewish wouldn't have voted for them in the first place? Let's break it down. Anyone who won't vote for Gore-Lieberman because Lieberman is Jewish is (obviously) anti-Semitic. They (the anti-Semites) wouldn't have voted for Gore-Lieberman in the first place. The only people who wouldn't have voted for them in the first place are Republicans. Therefore, Republicans are anti-Semitic. I see no other plausible explanation. Am I reading too much into this, or is Dan Rather or those he cites in the Democratic Party accusing conservative Republicans of being anti-Semitic? On "The Early Show" Tuesday, Bryant Gumbel, referring to Lieberman's Judaism, asked his guest, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, "Do you fully expect Republicans, however quietly, however strategically, to try to make it an issue?" Anti-Semitism isn't the only charge, as we all know. Democratic National Committee General Chairman Ed Rendell, referring to the Republican convention, said, "No four-day convention can overcome decades of Republican neglect of African-Americans." This isn't just a "sticks and stones may break my bones" thing. False charges of bigotry and racism are very damaging. So are calls to violence, even if made by those self-exalting leftist brats in Hollywood who seem to escape all scrutiny because of their allegiance to the politically correct ideology. When you think about it, aren't these false charges of racism almost as odious as racism itself? Isn't the chief complaint about so-called hate speech that it incites people to violence? Well, doesn't it appear that these false charges are doing the same thing, i.e., inciting people to violence? Or is it OK if the objects of their calls to violence are conservatives? I truly wish that someone on the left would either explain why it is acceptable to label conservatives as bigots or publicly denounce those of their brethren who engage in this despicable practice.