Friday, May 8, 2015

Megyn Kelly Unleashed

Over the past two days Fox News’s Megyn Kelly has forcefully defended free speech against those who would sacrifice it to the murderous threats of jihadis.

Two nights ago she responded to those who have been attacking Pamela Geller for holding a Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland, Texas. Geller’s critics have been notably hesitant to condemn the jihadi terrorists who wanted to shoot up the event.

One recalls that when Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris suggested a similar contest, the FBI decided that they could not protect her. So they made her change her identity and disappear. Defenders of free speech were notably silent.

Fox News reports Kelly’s commentary:

On "The Kelly File" tonight, Megyn Kelly reacted to the disturbing fallout from a terror attack on a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.

Almost immediately after the attack, people began criticizing the organizers of the event, not the gunmen, for using their right to free speech to incite violence.

"Over the last 72 hours, we have heard the event organizers condemned as being too provocative, too stupid, even for inviting their own attempted murder," Megyn said.

"If this is where American sentiment stands on this issue, then the jihadis are officially winning," Megyn said, pointing out that the terrorists' goal was to shut people up.

"There may be a time and place to discuss whether this kind of discourse is helpful to our country, to our fight with the jihadis and so on," Megyn said. "But within hours of an attempted murder of the very folks under attack, the reaction is, 'Well, you asked for it.'"

"Well, they did not ask for it. In this country, we have every right to say what we want to say about Muhammad or anyone else for that matter. And the rest of society can condemn this group's speech as a matter of decorum, but how about waiting a beat until the crime scene has been cleared?"

Megyn asserted that by rushing to attack those who were targeted, the press drew a moral equivalence between those who speak words some find offensive and those who would kill over such words.

Last night, Kelly’s impassioned follow-up was applauded by Alan Dershowitz and praised by National Review’s Rich Lowry. When the transcript is online I will happily share it.


Dennis said...

Megyn Kelly's stock went way up with me. I am somewhat surprised at the number of people who do not realize how important free speech is to their freedom. This is even more disconcerting when one hears lawyers say the Constitution does not cover free speech. Chris Cuomo comes to mind.
Add this to the profession of journalism, one of whose job it is to challenge those in power with provocative speech, to not understand the "rock" on which the profession is anchored. Under the tutelage of papers, note did not state newspaper, like the NYTimes, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, et al people are being taught to fear words.
Provocative speech is what helped to make this a country. "Give me liberty of give me death."
This would humorous if not for the fact that those who like provocative art somehow find provocative speech a problem.
Do these people not realize that one of the reasons for free speech is to be able to challenge ideas that lack substance or true value for a free society? Driving speech underground only allows bad ideas to grow and fester to the point that they can no longer be challenged and will lead to results that will not be enjoyed by the very people who limited free speech.
I wonder what happened to the adage, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me?" Have we become so incapable that we cannot hear words that may challenge our preconceived ideas? People's ideas evolve because their ideas are challenged. Sometimes it results in change and at times strengthens one's resolve.
When free speech and words become something to hide from we are destined to destroy ourselves.
Sadly, the further Left we are tilted the more fascist we become to the point that we have to control speech.
It is times like this that I wonder if this country deserves to exist for we have lost all concept of what it takes to be a free country. I have always thought that people do not respect what they get for free and this seems to be an example of that point. Don't earn, spurn it.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

I saw commentary on Young Turks, and surprised me in support of Megyn Kelly's position:
Cenk Uygur: I think Megyn Kelly is right, you can't blame those speaking out, even if you totally disagree with their speech. Under no circumstance should speech lead to violence, so they can be in muslims faces all they want, be as hateful as they want. It's a free country. The first amendment is not for polite speech. It's for speech that might be offensive. If might be political. It might be religious... so the guys who did the attack are 100% wrong.

Myself I have a more nuanced position. Mostly it opens the question of insanity or mental illness. We can try to be high minded and rational about freedom of speech, but if your free speech exist deliberately to provote someone with mental illness, someone who is not capable of detachment from their emotions and psychological projections, well, you're putting your life in danger, especially in a land of 300 million guns.

In a cruel dark world, perhaps the best way to deal with the mentally ill is to provoke them into violence and shoot them dead. So this might be a lawfully efficient ways of getting rid of inconvenient people?

And if we want to be humorous about it we could award these would-be assassins "Darwin awards", assuming they acted before having their own children.

But who can see all the consequences? If we consider a paranoia towards muslims, how many innocent muslims (or any dark-skinned person with an accent) will be shot by a would-be hero who now needs to carry a gun to protect their right to spout drunked hate speech when the inspiration comes and exercise their right to defend themselves, and ends up panicked when they don't know how to deescalate when they pull out their gun against someone's cellphone calling 911.

Free speech might be a perfect principle if we are all rational sober libertarians discussing whose momma's so fat that...

Maybe we should make "having a sense of humor" as a requirement for being an American? Would that help keep out the riff-raff fanatics? But can we provoke all our home grown fanatics into Darwin awards?

Anonymous said...

The prescience of "1984" is remarkable. I'm the same age as Winston Smith. My last decade of writing speeches was like walking on eggshells.

During the first year after 9/11, I was stunned by the ignorance & idiocy of our politicians & pundits regarding Islam. It hasn't improved much. Maybe the "Atlantic" cover story will help a little, but I'm not sanguine.

BTW. The Pentagon sent a Navy Muslim Chaplain to Great Lakes in spring, 2002. My Admiral summoned me to a meeting with him.

My knowledge of Islam & ME, including religious terms & concepts, astonished him. He kept exclaiming in wonderment.

I couldn't/can't help wondering myself that my political, military, & media Leaders are still relatively clueless.

Until about a century ago, Muslims were strictly forbidden to live under Infidel Rule. It was Haram. Theologians devised a loophole.

If you vowed to work to convert/subvert the Infidel country, immigration was OK.

... The Prophet's 4 immediate successors are called "The Rightly Guided Ones". Heroic Role Models for Believers.

Three were murdered. -- Rich Lara