Pra Away The Ger

« February 2011 »

Memo to Dennis Prager: IT IS CLEARLY NOT WORKING.

You know what the least convincing argument in the world is? When conservatives go on their blog networks, in front of their national conferences, on the editorial pages of major metropolitan newspapers, or on their own 24-hour-a-day news network to complain that the Left is keeping them from speaking. What they really mean is that they're spouting a brand of retrograde hate and xenophobia that they're getting called on in a way they weren't in the past, but to them it's SPEECH CONTROL.

Latest to climb up on this particular cross? Dennis Prager. You may remember Prager when I controlled his speech over a year ago by making fun of his ludicrous argument that his sexual needs trump his wife's apparent disgust at his Q-Tip head (and possibly, though I do not know this for certain, Q-Tip penis). Well, apparently someone's got some pent up frustration again, because Prager's penned a lengthy screed about how no conservatives get to say anything anymore. ACTUAL THESIS TIME!

"Through the use of public opprobrium, laws and lawsuits, Americans today are less free than at any time since the abolition of slavery (with the obvious exception of blacks under Jim Crow)."

Let's stop here and just point out the awful use of the parenthetical here. It reads like Prager came up with his broad, inflammatory statement about how we're all practically slaves again, then someone pointed out that maybe he ought to remember Jim Crow, so he stuck it in at the end. But even if that's what happened, and I'd be totally willing to bet that it was, you rework the damn sentence. Start it with the exception, or just change it to "since Jim Crow". That's just sloppy, careless polemicizing, Dennis. Have some pride in your damn work.

Anyway, what we have here are three things: getting yelled at for saying something stupid, getting arrested for saying something stupid, and getting sued for saying something stupid. The first is not actually a problem, the second is a clear violation of the First Amendment, and the third is a case-by-case thing. Which means Prager's going to talk a lot about the first, cite something that is not actually the second as the second because the second never happens, and pull an outlier for the third. Let's see how right I am.

  • "'Merry Christmas' offends leftist views on multiculturalism. So, it's largely gone." - Well, it's largely gone NOW, because it's fucking February, but it'll be back around Halloween, like it always is. Losing five percent of your market share to "Happy Holidays" is not "largely gone".
  • "Honest discussion of male-female differences is also largely gone." - You mean like the differences in sex drive you used to justify your More Orgasms For Dennis Prager charity outreacharound project, I presume?
  • "Discussion of disproportionate rates of black violence is not allowed, no matter how well intentioned." - I love that in Prager's mind, there's a "well-intentioned" way to discuss how black people are genetically more violent than white people. If I believed in hell, I'd be wondering which rest stop Prager was on the road there.
  • "In Europe -- and in all likelihood coming to America -- " I don't even need the rest, which is about criminalizing anti-gay hate speech, because it's not actually happening here. Just as I suspected.
  • "Thanks to the left, students at colleges get speech codes." - Neither a law nor a lawsuit, but rather a private institution enforcing rules of conduct. I could flip that around on Prager eight different ways, but so could you.
  • "One may not favorably compare Western or American culture with that of any other." - Demonstrably untrue. This happens constantly, and people rarely even get in trouble about it unless they're egregiously dickish... oh. I see where Prager might have gotten that impression, then.
  • "Married women are not to be referred to as 'Mrs.' but as 'Ms.' And the words 'lady,' 'feminine' and 'masculine' have largely gone to their graves. High school and college teams with American Indian names must drop those names because by definition, according to the left, they offend American Indians. - I wouldn't have conflated these, since they're completely unrelated, but Prager did! The first half, again, is just a flat-out fucking lie. Thirty seconds in Google News show all those words being used constantly - not just in the general culture, but in actual media. And they don't offend Native Americans by definition, they offend them according to the Native Americans. There are some borderline cases, but since Prager's "must change" is invalidated by all the teams that still haven't changed, I don't feel that compelled to explore the nuance.

I'm stopping the list part there, because every example from this point on is more political correctness stuff. I'm astonished that he didn't even try to use "hate crimes" as an example of criminalizing speech. He cites no American laws controlling speech at all, and when it comes to "lawsuits", all he offers up is this, the creepiest fucking paragraph I've read all year. Of course, it's only fucking February. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"A woman may reveal as much of her body as she wishes. But if a man is perceived by a woman as looking too long at what she reveals, or if he comments on what she reveals, he may be fired from his job and/or sued for 'sexual harassment.' A woman may wear a miniskirt and crop-top, but a man may not have a calendar of women wearing miniskirts and crop-tops on his desk at work. That constitutes sexual harassment and a 'hostile work environment.'

Note that this isn't an actual example, just Prager's vision of the way things are. I would love to know of the actual case law in which a workplace that allowed crop-tops and miniskirts in its dress code was successfully sued over a calendar with women dressed similarly. Also of note, Prager's charming version of "look at the way she's dressed, she deserves it".

Basically, this all boils down to the same thing it boiled down to back in '09. Dennis Prager wants to do whatever gets him off, regardless of whether the person he's doing it to, at, with, or near likes it or not. And if you don't let him, you hate freedom.