Thursday, October 28, 2004
Politicians To America: Shut-up
Two hundred and thirteen years ago, a brand new America ratified the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These amendments guaranteed certain rights to the people.
The very first amendment included the free speech clause, protecting us from government censorship or worse. Until the First Amendment was written, people usually ended up dead or in prison for criticizing their government anywhere else at the time.
Now, a controversy has put supporters of censorship of political speech firmly in the spotlight. Based on a flawed article by Elizabeth Jensen of the Los Angeles Times where the motto ought to be "we'd rather get it first than get it right" dozens of Senators and Congressmen made a transparent threat. Run a 60-minute news program that we have neither seen nor have any knowledge of and we'll seek revenge. Their goal? That 13 Vietnam veterans including two Medal of Honor winners - who collectively suffered nearly 84 years of horrific abuse and unspeakable torture, who ended 31 years of self-imposed silence and who - more than anyone else have earned the right to speak out on their Vietnam experience should be silenced.
That's right. They want to silence those who suffered more than any other living veterans because they are afraid of what these brave men have to say. You have to ask yourself? Why did the John Kerry campaign pull out all of the stops, enlist his supporters at the Washington Post, the New York Times, the major broadcast networks and elsewhere to silence men for whom the U.S. owes a huge unpaid debt? Their initial statements implying that these men are liars back-fired. Imagine that, challenging 60 and 70-year old tortured Vietnam POWs. I suppose the Angry Left thinks the POWs had a picnic at the beach.
But let's get back to these censorship advocates in Congress. Their view is simple: say what I want you to say or I will silence you. It should send shivers up your spine.
Click here to see the most recent list of those advocating censorship of media stories with which they disagree. They won't stop as long as they're in political office. The election is next Tuesday.
And that's the Point.
I'm Mark Hyman.