This one is a two-fer. Not only did a MSLSD talking head bash Sarah Palin for having a Christmas tree (pagan idolatry!!!) but Al Sharpton and Mediaite teamed up to spread lies about her:
MSNBC’s Al Sharpton was shocked to find out that Sarah Palin did not bother to read Phil Robertson’s controversial comments about homosexual sex before she started her full-fledged defense of the Duck Dynasty patriarch on Facebook and Fox News. “She went on TV to defend him but didn’t read what he said?” Sharpton asked in disbelief.
Palin made her admission during an interview with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, who clarified that the Robertson case does not hinge on “free speech,” as she had been insisting. Just in case the former governor of Alaska was watching, Sharpton read Robertson’s comments so she could no longer plead ignorance.
“Let me be very clear,” Sharpton said. “Phil Robertson has the right to say whatever he wants. And his TV channel has the right to take action. But why are Republicans so eager to defend him, especially if one of their leaders doesn’t even know exactly what he said?”
First of all, Sarah said she didn’t read the original GQ article. She never said she didn’t read the comments that started the controversy. Secondly, the article (and a second linked article) imply that Sarah mistakenly believed that Phil Robertson’s first Amendment Rights were violated. Sarah never invoked the First Amendment.
Freedom of speech is a concept that exists independent of the Constitution. The First Amendment enshrines it into law but that law only applies to government action. If you support the principle of free speech you should support it all the time.
On the other hand, there is such a thing as “time, place and manner” restrictions. That means you don’t have to let some pinhead stand in your living room (or your blog) and harangue you with his opinions on politics and religion. Your freedom to speak does not impose any obligation on others to listen or agree.
More importantly, freedom of speech does not only protect people we agree with. The concept has no meaning if it only applies to certain people or certain points of view. The proper remedy for bad speech is more speech.
I fully support the free speech rights of idiots and scumbags. Without them, what would I have to write about?