Tuesday, August 25, 2009

He's not "Hyperbolically" dead. He's really most Sincerely Dead.

Pamela Troy of ThoughtCrimes.org has long been a favorite of mine. Her writing is fresh and doesn't simply rehash the same views as other people. I especially like her take on this LA Times editorial below.

Dr. Tiller is Merely "Hyperbolically" Dead

Why should the 1st Amendment protect someone who publicly says that a politician or judge or doctor should be killed?

Two reasons: Such statements are often hyperbole, and even statements that include an endorsement of violence can serve the purpose of communicating outrage about public policies. LA Times Editorial

In an unsigned editorial posted yesterday in the LA Times, the writer expresses dismay about the recent prosecution of Hal Turner. Turner, some may remember, is the racist, right-wing blogger who was recently arrested for posting threats to three Chicago judges because the judges in question upheld handgun bans.

Naturally, the un-named author makes gagging noises and pinches his or her nose in disgust, describing Turner’s views as “vile” and “odious.” This bit of theater is to show what an upstanding and moral person the writer is, and just how brilliantly the editorial’s clear-minded fairness glows against the nastiness of the person whose “rights” it is defending.

And of course, there is the mystic invocation of the word “hyperbole” -- a word we’ve been seeing a lot lately. For the past twenty years, it’s most frequently appeared in opinion pieces about prominent, white, right-wing pundits posting borderline and not-so-borderline threats of violence towards liberals, Muslims, Democrats, etc. (You rarely see the word invoked when the threatener is non-white or leftist. Funny that.)

When the word “hyperbole” appears in such editorials, the actual quotes that got the presumed victim of unfair censorship or criticism are almost always fudged slightly so they seem less inflammatory and the reaction to them less reasonable. In this case, the author allows as how “Turner, who last year publicly relished the idea of violence against editors of this newspaper, posted the photos and office addresses of the judges.”

In fact, Turner did more even than that:
Internet postings on June 2 and 3 proclaimed “outrage” over the June 2, 2009, handgun decision by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, further stating, among other things: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed.” The postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of these judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location.
You can read the rest here


Blogger dave™© said...

OK, I give up. Where did that "he's really most sincerely dead" line come from? It's from a musical presentation - just can't place it...

5:58 PM  
Blogger Spocko said...

Ohhh very close. Wizard of Oz
The Coroner of Oz reading his certificate of death about the Witch.

10:45 PM  

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