Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Apparently Free Speech Is Not for Everyone

I'm going to stray into politics today but it's only because this free speech issue involves a new book and a controversial writer. I find what happened at one Beverly Hills bookstore last night disturbing, especially considering the way that an Ottawa university did the same thing to another conservative speaker just a few days ago. Free speech is apparently not for everyone - just those who shout the loudest and make the biggest fools of themselves (and, yes, I find this kind of behavior disgusting when it comes from either side of political spectrum).

I find this Examiner.com account of the incident embarrassing for the writer who posted it:

Karl Rove was forced to leave his book signing last night after being shouted down by anti-war protesters.

Rove was in Beverly Hills, California promoting his controversial book Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. Approximately 100 people had paid $40 each to hear Rove speak and then get their copies signed.
The Former White House chief of staff was berated with comments during his talk that ranged from being called a liar to a war criminal to one woman claiming “The only comfort I take is that you're going to rot in hell."
Stevens-Young pretends to be posting a news piece up to the point where she tries to get cute. I assume she thinks she's preaching to the choir when she says:
Rowe reacted with some sophomoric responses including calling one person a “lunatic” and then ironically stating “they don't believe in First Amendment rights for anyone but themselves.” When it was obvious there were a lot of people who disagreed with him, Rowe ran away before signing any books. Maybe he went to see a movie: Green Zone would have been a good choice.
I don't know why I expected a news item when I decided to click on this link, probably because the article's headline was hidden:
Karl Rove called a war criminal, flees before signing books
Somehow, I doubt that Karl Rove did much fleeing from a bunch of bookstore protesters.

I've never heard of Examiner.com, or Kristy Stevens-Young, the woman who seems to believe that free speech is a one-way street and that she's managing the toll booth, but someone should tell her that she's making a fool of herself. Don't be surprised if she shouts you down, though.


  1. I hate to appear as narrow-minded as this writer, but what can you expect in Beverly Hills? GRRR

    I also find this kind of ranting abhorrent, no matter which end of the political spectrum on which it occurs.

  2. We, as a country, are in a lot of trouble. I'm sick of all the hollering at each other. We've split into two such different groups of people that I wonder if we still have a center.

  3. What's "ironic" about saying that they believe in the First Amend only for themselves? It seems to be an accurate analysis of the situation. (Except of course it wasn't the government hassling him, so there is that little technicality.)

  4. Turd-blossoms! Rove should be hung by his shorts, he's a war criminal, a ruthless crusher of dissent, an unmitigated liar and probably the foremost instigator of the current politics of defamation and slander. But he shouldn't have to face the rage he has engendered? Please, there's uncountable numbers of dead Iraqis (600,000 possibly) whose deaths he promulgated... this is simply Good Germans talking about civility. Oh, yes, the people who paid 40 bucks to have their books' signed, what a tragedy, but then their Goebbels has no balls at all.

  5. She's not the clearest of thinkers, Factotum, that's obvious...welcome back, missed you.

  6. OK, Tepper, I'm willing to listen to your somewhat wild-eyed rant despite the fact that I don't particularly agree with any of it. And I'll leave it here among the comments despite having the ability to delete it (and shut down your voice and point of view). Why are you so unwilling to do the same for those with whom you disagree? Afraid of what you might hear? Afraid that others will be convinced that your opinion is wrong? Sorry, I just don't think the childish shouting at each other is very constructive.

  7. I don't know either of you but I too find it ironic that Rove uses the 1st to make a point (?) that someone else should not speak?

    I was there - as a paying audience member hoping to get a signed copy for my Grandfather who couldn't attend. Rove was totally unable to hold his own and he did flee without explaination.

    and sorry but this card carrying repuplican feels Rove SHOULD see Green Zone and so should every other American!

  8. Let me ask you this - what about Palin putting crossbows to point to Dems running with a RELOAD under that? That air head is over the line and there is not a Republican with big enough balls to call her on it and it will destroy our party!
    Besides, she cannot produce DNA proof Trig is hers and everyone in Alaska knows it - IF she could and would do that she'd change my feelings a tiny bit. But that kid is Bristols and everyone here knows that, the State can't believe she is fooling the mainland!
    And I read the entire Examiner article and have read a lot worse -Rove did leave, did call names, did run away and didn't even write the book himself!

  9. Karl Rove called a war criminal, flees before signing books

    True - what's wrong with the truth? Also you missed this part of the article ~

    Look what you did ...
    you lied to take us to war.
    You ruined a country.
    You totally ruined a country.”

    True again.

    I can't believe you actually delete comments - what a sad pathetic way to control what is said. Guess free speech really does go one way!

  10. Gee, Sam, white of you to leave it up. Given your tin-earred, cliche-ridden mis-characterization of my remarks and crazily inflated idea of your importance, your "ability to delete it (and shut down your voice and point of view)."--WOW, how enlightened!--it's a wonder I'm not in jail. But Sam, Rove's role in the selling and conduct of the Iraq war are not a matter of 'opinion', nor does the first amendment guarantee public fee-for-signing promotions from rancor. Just the opposite. And Rove ran, Sam, he took the money and trundled away on his buttery white thighs just as he's done every time he's had to face the heat. And your unwillingness to credit this report, like your attack on its reporter, and your response to me, betrays deeply anti-Democratic sympathies, the ones you really hold (had your lower middlebrow book predilections not already done so). You lack of a serious appreciation of what free speech is meant to guarantee. And the imperative for moral discourse. We're not shouting at each other here. Still, I know you will not allow yourself to be bearded in your own den (this cute little blog). But, were you truly free speech-loving, Czar Sam, you'd make your riposte and go off and lick your wounds. Which would also be the wise and self-serving thing to do since it offers actual intellectual content that's otherwise in short supply here. I know that won't happen. Darn. Surprise me.

  11. Cindy, what would you have the man do...shout and scream back at the those who were so determined to drown out his voice. Come on, the man was outnumbered and "flee" is a loaded word - as everyone who has used it in this instance is well aware.

    I assume you got your forty bucks back?

    As for the movie, never heard of it...not a huge fan of Hollywood anymore and haven't been for years.

  12. Larry, I'm not a fan of Palin and her politics but I do believe that that conspiracy theories about her baby and Obama's birth country are ludicrous. Even if either theory is true, who cares? Obama is president and that is not going to change...Palin is raising a handicapped child in a loving home and I really don't care if it's hers or her daughters. In either case, she is doing what a concerned mother would do, so why would anyone hate her for any reason concerning the child?

    Of course, Rove didn't write the book without some help...what politician ever does, including the John Kennedy prize winner from the sixties?

  13. Anonymous, I had a link to the whole article and only quoted part of it to build interest in the whole piece. Anyone can click on the link to read the part you call "truth" but, perhaps, you should study up on the difference between truth and opinion.

    I have deleted no comments...read more carefully and you will figure that out for yourself.

  14. Tepper, you are one very amusing guy. I really am intrigued by the passive aggressive approach you are taking here and and well above stooping to the kind of personal insults you want to deal with so badly. I do find it amusing that you have to get so personal to make your supposed point.

    I am no friend of Rove's and actually find the guy to be a little creepy...never said the guy didn't leave the signing. Whether he took the money is between him and the bookstore and I couldn't care less whether or not he was somehow reimbursed for his time. Not my problem.

    Not going to take the bait, pal, including your "white of you" opening. Nice try, though.

  15. "lower middlebrow book predilections"

    Love, that, Tepper, thanks.

  16. Good for you, Sam Sattler. You are one mildly amusing guy yourself, go in peace.

  17. Back at you. Just wish you hadn't used "mildly." I'm going in peace now and do wish you well.

  18. I too find it ironic that Rove uses the 1st to make a point (?) that someone else should not speak?

    Or to make the point that he was the invited guest who was being shouted down by protesters who wanted to shut him up - their speech is OK but his is not? It's one thing to tell people they can't say what they want when they are in your house, but when you are in someone else's house or place of business and you are not the owner, it's not your place to silence the speaker. If you don't like him, protest outside. If you disagree and want an explanation, ask a proper question. But you certainly do not win anyone to your side by being rude and by depriving the people who want to be there of the opportunity to hear the speaker.

    As far as readers who don't like what a blogger has to say, don't read it. Get your own blog. There are people somewhere who agree with you - why bother with the ones who do not?

  19. Good points, all, factotum. Thanks for the input.

  20. "As far as readers who don't like what a blogger has to say, don't read it. Get your own blog. There are people somewhere who agree with you - why bother with the ones who do not?"
    And maybe this blogger should just not have read the Examner article - instead he tries to slant it into something it wasn't but I hope you send a lot of people her way for the hits!

    Also please do go see Green Zone I'd love to hear how you try and slant that!

  21. Thanks for the hit, Renny...appreciate it. Stop by any time. :-)

  22. Sam, goodness. I admire your patience.

    It's not so much the screaming (real and in its cyber form) that I find so disturbing about the current political climate (although screaming is never good); it's the sense that personal attack and abusive levels of sarcasm have become acceptable modes of "debate", and not just in the cyber-world - ostensibly respectable forms of professional journalism are just as guilty.

    I think this sort of behavior reflects a much great interest in appearing to be right (not even necessarily *being* right!) than in being either engaged or persuasive. When persuasion is being replaced by abuse, name-calling, etc it seems to me that the name-caller, abuser, etc is not just invested in being right but in having that appearance of rightness be in opposition to something. Convincing anyone to really see any of their point of view is not part of what motivates them. If there were no opposition, it would somehow be meaningless to them; I can only imagine this speaks to a level of insecurity incompatible with making strong, thoughtful political assertions with real confidence.

    All parties and stripes are guilty of this, with individual exceptions on all sides. Do we need to make the problem worse by trolling for bloggers we don't agree with and then heaping abuse on their heads? I'd say that's about as politically effective as getting 1,000,000 people to agree with you about something on Facebook.

  23. Those are good points, Colleen. That's exactly what disgusts me about the whole political process these days...all screaming, no listening. And when one side adopts the despicable tactics of the other, it's hilarious how quick the first side is to whine about it. I know their memories are not that short, so it proves their dishonesty to me.

    Believe it or not, I cut my teeth on a political blog and had developed a nice support network. I finally just walked away from it because it was such a useless exercise in the long run. Book Chase is a much calmer place to be even when a thread like this one draws a bit of anger. :-)