Jewish World Review August 14, 2000 / 13 Menachem-Av, 5760
When hate speech is OK
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
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
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
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
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
commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.
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