Saturday, March 05, 2005

Retraction: Jeff Jarvis is a tool

I waste the better part of a weekend defending Jarvis and his blog on free speech grounds only to have him turn around this week and denounce Bill Maher for having uberleftista professor (and number one public enemy of the conservative punditry) Ward Churchill on his talk show last night:

This isn't about academic freedom or freedom of speech; it's not about left or right. It's about judgment: the bad judgment having Churchill on to spew again.

Way to fall on your sword for the First Amendment, Jeffie! Hmm. Where have I heard such sentiments before?

I'm aware of the press reports about what he said. I have not seen the actual transcript of the show itself. But assuming the press reports are right, it's a terrible thing to say, and it unfortunate. And that's why -- there was an earlier question about has the President said anything to people in his own party -- they're reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that; there never is.

- Ari Fleischer, 9/26/01 (also about Bill Maher)

Fuck you Ari. Fuck you Jeff. And fuck you Ward Churchill for not being able to string together an articulate defense of your ideas, the core of which - that democracies are in fact ultimately responsible for the actions of their governments, and that pretending that we're just a bunch of innocent "civilians" and cultivating a sense of national wounded naivete is going to get more Americans killed in the long run - wasn't all that far off the mark.

Kudos to Bill Maher for continuing to stick his neck out on behalf of rational inquiry, freedom of thought, and trying to get our country to go about its daily business with at least one eye open. I may not always agree with what he has to say, but that's the point.

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