Thursday, February 23, 2006

Free speech vs. Good Taste

Certainly this young man has every right to yell "Remember Chappaquiddick" at Ted Kennedy right before he was set to give a speech yesterday. He took offense at the introduction offered about how Kennedy "overcame adversity" in his life and decided to yell this at Senator Kennedy as a form of protest. While he is well within his rights to do so, it constitutes bad manners in my opinion. Just like the young man who asked Ann Coultier if she enjoyed being sodomized by her husband, this kind of yell-something-provocatory-on-the-way-out-the-door protest is weak and rude. If you want to engage Kennedy about his previous deeds there are other ways to do so. Senator Kennedy is a United States Senator, and as such, deserves respect because of the office he holds. He did not come to speak and absolve himself of the Chappaquiddick incident, but about something different. This attack leaves the Senator with two options....address the remark, which would take away from why he was there or ignore it. Either way it is not a fair forum to Senator Kennedy to defend himself.

Now while I believe that Senator Kennedy was intoxicated and culpable in the death of Ms. Kopechne, he has never been found guilty in a court of law and despite evidence of malfeasance, the voters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have repeatedly elected him to his office.

Basically, anyone invited to speak should be given the respect that invitation deserves. If you want to expose Senator Kennedy, call 60 Minutes and sick them on him. Since the justice system's flaws allowed Senator Kennedy to avoid punishment for the death of Ms. Kopechne (I do not think it was murder, but callous indifference and ass-covering), just like OJ, we have to respect his rights. If OJ were speaking and we attended the speech, we should all sit down and listen. Yelling out protests is infantile and self-aggrandizing.

If the school tries to discipline this lad, Senator Kennedy should defend him. That would be the noble thing to do and might teach the young man a thing or two about decorum.


paul said...

ROTFLMAO... for 2 different quotes:

1) If you want to expose Senator Kennedy, call 60 Minutes and sick them on him.

Try Matt Drudge or World Net Daily. 60 Minutes??? Bwah.

2) Senator Kennedy should defend him.

I could hear his defense now, "I'll drink to that!"

Okay... Kennedy is an easy target for the right. Osama bin... Osama Obama. Judge Alioto. Again, petty attacks.

This community college punk probably should be expelled and fined for disrupting Kennedy's speech. But he cannot be punished for the content of his comments. This person is no different from our friend that operates Camp Crazy down in Crawford, Texas.

The beauty of free speech is this:

Poopie trim
Praise the Lord
Pass the Ammo
Pork - Try it, it's GOOD
Asians are model minorities
Blacks are not model minorities
Burn that flag
Freedom Fries
[Insert cartoon of Mohammed here]

We all know what makes this country great. It's not the idea of those things I mentioned above... because many of those things are either hurtful or offensive, but none of them are undeniably hateful.

Whether I yell one of those comments out loud or I blow a foghorn, it makes no difference... my intent is to attract attention to myself, regardless if it comes at the expense of others.

I guess media whoring works for both sides of the aisle.

Mac said...

If Kennedy is the liberal champion he claims to be, defending this kid's right to yell stuff at him would be the noble thing to do.

Mac said...

Regarding your "asian are model minorities black are not...." comment, I remember being absolutely shocked that the number one group of people at the top of her "at risk guest" list as a lifeguard at Whitewater(s) were not children or the elderly but African-Americans. She and I talked about why this would be and the only non-inflammatory reasons we could think of would be a historical lack of access to swimming pools due to economic factors as well as the closing of public swimming pools in Atlanta during integration. We tip-toed on the cultural excuse of sometimes boisterous behavior in African-American youths and the possible inattention to lifeguards' instructions that rowdy behavior might bring, but we decided that it probably had more to do with inexperience with water than with cultural-behavior reasons.

JC said...

I guess he won't have to show decorum by defending the kid.