Thursday, January 13, 2011

Radio Station Pulls Limbaugh "Straight Shooter" Billboard

Considering that this sign is in Tucson, I can certainly appreciate the motives of the corporate execs who decided to pull it. On the other hand ...

I think certain people have gone off half-cocked with this no gun metaphors thing. I mean, I can’t go for it lock stock and barrel. I’m setting my sights on a more nuanced approach. A scattershot response that targets every sort of speech that has any association with violence misses the mark, in my opinion. The target ought to be speech that, partly because it is intended to do physical harm, makes the speaker morally responsible for the mayhem inflicted. The full arsenal of the law should be brought to bear on speech like “Shoot him!” or “I’ll give you $10,000 for killing my wife. $20,000 if the body disappears.” But go much beyond that and you are just shooting blanks or, worse yet, gunning down the innocent along with the guilty.

Hat-tip to Ruchira Paul for the story and L. Neil Smith for the basic idea, which I shamelessly stole.


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