Monday, May 11, 2009

An Elevator Ride at Bushwood CC...

WARNING - What follows is Bushwood's first foray into a quasi-political issue. What I say may anger you, upset you,or make you laugh. However, take note that I am simply EXERCISING MY RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.

Sadly, the current (political,media,social,whatever) climate is now managed by folks who seems to have forgotten that the first amendment applies to ALL Americans (as my man Ice T once said "freedom of speech,just watch how you use it) - regardless of whether they are in vogue or not. That means Wanda Sykes or Wanda at WalMart, David Feherty or David Brinkley, Tom Cruise or Tom Sawyer - ALL have a right to express their opinions.
Last week,news of some comments that David Feherty made to D magazine surfaced. In case you have been under a rock since then, Fehertry made some colorful (humorous,I thought - others say disrespectful)comments about a couple of politicians who are (presently) in leadership positions within their political party. In essence, he said that based on his actual experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan,our soldiers don't think much of these two people (Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid). Subsequently, David was widely criticized and skewered by the media for his fact-based observations. Sadly, this criticism failed to give much consideration to two important facts:
  1. He was exercising his 1st Amendment rights.
  2. He based his comment on FACTS gathered in discussions with US Soldiers - thus,he was simply reporting accurate information (I suppose one could allege that hewas just lying,but then he is not running for office, so what are the odds of that)
In an effort to verify #1, I checked - and thankfully, no one has managed to amend or delete that provision in the constitution. To check out #2, I emailed 3 friends who are serving active duty at this time. Without exception, they expressed a, um, "no confidence"(that's being pretty damn mild,btw) vote in Pelosi and Reid - no big surprise, since these two elected officials have been anything BUT supporters of our troops.

Personally, I think both political parties have anything BUT the interest of the average American in mind - so this is not a politically biased commentary. However, it IS sad when someone gets chastised for simply speaking the truth. As for Mr. Feherty, I hope he does notlet this in any way impact his great golf reporting OR his full and complete support of our brave soldiers. They are, after all, the ones who help ensure that we get to keep our rights as promised by the framers of the Constitution.
Now,if David had asked me the question...well, lets just say that the world would be a better place after those elevator doors opened...regardless of how many people got off.


Patrick said...

How is this a first amendment issue? No one is suggesting that Feherty go to jail for what he said. You are correct that the first amendment applies to all Americans. However, the first amendment does not protect you from being an idiot. I could go to my boss and tell him that he's a total moron. Most likely I'd get fired. I can't sue my employer because they are infringing on my first amendment rights. I was free to say whatever I want, but not free from being judged for what I said. The first amendment prohibits the government from restricting speech. The government has nothing to do with a person getting fired for saying something stupid.

As for whether what he said was true or not doesn't matter. He could have said he hates black people. It would be true and he'd be free to say it, but how long would be able to hold a job after that?

It amazes me how little people understand the first amendment.

Cash said...

Well Patrick - thanks for the Constitutional education. However, since the GOVERNMENT (that's "big government")now owns General Motors and most of the banks in the USA, I guess it won't be long till they own 'em a network or two. Hell, as much as their influence is obvious at the networks, they may as well own them now. It's a bit naive to thnk that the pols did not place a call to CBS to exert their will upon them to press Feherty. As far as your comment about "black people" - why insert race into this dialogue - where the hell did that come from ? Feherty reporting what Soldiers actually told him is a little bit different than him saying "I dont like milk", and getting pounced upon by the dairy industry. Thanks for reading BCC- your comments are always welcome.

Aussie Golfer said...

Ha! Nicely said Cash. I was wondering if anyone was going to take his side of the story/joke without condoning his actions.

Patrick said...

The racial comment was an example of how free speech isn't a blanket get of jail free card to say whatever you want without repercussions.

Just remember during the Bush years you couldn't say anything bad about the administration without being branded a traitor or French. What goes around, comes around.

Cash said...

I don't want to turn this into a "tit for tat" discussion - so thanks again for reading Bushwood. I had not intended this to turn into a red/blue debate (note that I included Wanda Sykes in my original post), but I do feel compelled to say two things:
(1) regardless of your true intent, you DID choose to use a racial example - the most incendiary topic in our country today. no free pass there.
(2) your comment about ppl not being able to "say anything during the Busy admin" is,um, laughable. From Bill Maher on HBO to scores of liberal elites calling OUR President everything from a liar to a cokehead - we sure as hell had freedom of the press. Now that OUR president is of the opposite political party, should not the same rules apply ?

Patrick said...

Bill Maher's a good example. Should he have lost his job on Politically Incorrect in 2001? All Americans do have free speech like you said. I think he should have lost his job.

Free pass? Who's asking for a free pass? It was a good example, particularly in the sporting world. Jimmy the Greek, Ruch Limbaugh, even Howard Cosell are examples of what happens when that line is crossed even with the constitutional guarantee of free speech. It is just an example of how freedom of speech doesn't cover everything.

If you didn't intend this to be a red/blue debate, why photoshop pictures of Reid and Pelosi at the top of the story? Hardly impartial.

Heather said...

I'm with Aussie G. I also give you credit, Cash, for admitting you actually found the comment funny. Guess what...I did too.

Here's the deal. I lived and breathed politics for most of my career. I've sat on both sides of the aisle. I agree with everything you've said on freedom of speech. However, let's put all that aside.

Everyone needs to lighten up. It was a joke. I promise you Washingtonians hear it all the time and if they didn't laugh it off, they would never survive the political arena.

Shades said...

If a returning soldier had said what David Feherty said, the Republican Party would have had echoed support. Also, no one would have said a word to the contrary as anyone going against what was said would be seen as "against the troops". This should have been a big non-story, but cable news networks once again had to fill 24 hours of news/opinion coverage with something and this filled the bill.

Cash said...

This will be my last comment on this story...
(1) I used photos of Reid and Pelosi because they were the topic of the story.
(2) I did not photoshop them - someone else must have. I felt these were appropriately humorous photographs - because I think the whole story is funny.

Again - thanks for reading and engaging in dialogue. Good stuff.