All of you know, from reading this column, I have a strong affinity for Free Speech. I’ve written about it numerous times going all the back to 2009. It is sacrosanct. Nothing is more important in our Democracy. I cannot say it any clearer. And, the Kathy Griffin issue is an example of free speech. Additionally, it is also an example of the free market working.
Kathy Griffin Controversy
For those of you who have had their head in the sand the past few weeks, Kathy Griffin did one of stupidest things I’ve ever seen. She actually had the gall to post a picture of her holding a severed head which looked like President Trump. Of course, it wasn’t Trump’s head. It was a prosthetic. But, that doesn’t matter. It was one of the worst examples of bad taste I’ve ever seen. She claims to have done it as satire and for laughs.
Almost immediately, both the left and right, came out against her. It was one of the quickest crucifixions in the press I’ve seen. Both sides cried out. Accordingly, CNN fired her. Then, the next day, she came out and apologized. A few days later, she was saying President Trump ruined her career. (To be honest, I didn’t even know she had one). She actually tried to play the victim. Well, Kathy, no one bought it. You made your bed and now you have to sleep in it.
Bill Maher and the N Word
Almost simultaneously, Bill Maher on his HBO show, used the N word. And, from what I’ve seen, he didn’t necessarily use it in a bad or racist way. He was making a point. Again, the left and right ran amok. Bill Maher, one of the darlings of the left, had become a pariah. In fact, Senator Al Franken actually canceled his scheduled appearance on Maher’s show in protest. Can you believe a liberal actually did that?
Now, I ask you: What have we become? I’ve argued many times PC has run amok. Well, we’ve now reached the point of no return.
Before I go any further, let me explain exactly what the concept of Free Speech means: It is the ability of someone to say what he wants, when he wants, and without the government trying to stop it. Accordingly, free speech has nothing whatsoever to do with the General Public or a television network. It is the government that cannot stifle it.
Based upon this meaning, neither Kathy Griffin, nor Bill Maher, did anything illegal. They were merely exercising their right to free speech. The government did not stop them. However, the free market did. The free market came out 100% against what they did. And, accordingly, both are now suffering the consequences.
Kathy Griffin was fired. Her career is now in shambles. Bill Maher lost a guest. And, he also lost some of his credibility from the left. The free market has reacted. The people have spoken. And, the two of them are paying the piper.
But, please don’t confuse this with a violation of free speech. That has not happened. And, I will argue forever they can do what they did. The consequence, on the other hand, from the private sector, are a different story.