Oh my! I had no idea that the Parkland kids weren’t just after our Second Amendment rights, but our First Amendment rights, too! At least, that’s the argument that The Hill’s Joe Concha is making as he laments the boycott of Laura Ingraham’s advertisers led by Parkland student David Hogg:
…we’ve entered some dangerous territory here, if boycotts like this one succeed. And not many are speaking out against said danger for two reasons:
1) Fear of reprisal for criticizing Hogg, who has the benefit of being protected from any criticism while being free to level it.
2) Fear of being seen as “the person attacking a mass-school-shooting survivor,” regardless of whether there’s a basis for such criticism or not.
In case you’ve been sleeping for the past few days, Hogg mentioned that he’d been rejected by several colleges despite having a 4.1 GPA. Ingraham, playing to her audience of deplorables, took to Twitter to mock Hogg. Hogg responded by listing all of Ingraham’s advertisers and suggested people ask them to drop Ingraham. And they started to, one after the other. Ingraham, realizing that her usual tactics of attacking and bullying people had backfired and was costing Fox a lot of money, begged for forgiveness. Hogg proceeded to brush her off as insincere (for obvious reasons) and is continuing to call for a boycott.
To Concha, a right wing columnist, this is an egregious abuse of…something. He’s not sure what. Possibly the First Amendment or Mom’s Apple Pie. He does know, however, that Ingraham’s fate should not be determined by a boycott:
If someone is offended by her program or her as a person, don’t watch or listen and allow the free market eventually to decide if she’s worth keeping on.
But the effort to silence a voice, to essentially end a career, based on something like this sets not only a dangerous but completely un-American precedent.
It’s curious that Concha thinks boycotts are neither American nor part of the free market when they’re essential aspects of both. It’s almost like he’s offended that one of the Parkland kids is using the market and free speech, two things the right likes to claim total ownership of, as a weapon against the ugliness of the right wing.
But Concha gives away his real problem when he whines about how difficult it is to attack Hogg:
Know this: He may be 17 but should be treated like an adult after entering the arena and becoming a prominent voice in what has become the biggest story of the year thus far.
But things have gone sideways since. Hogg has played loose with more than a few facts and has leveled the same kind of personal attacks on which he’s basing this boycott. And, through it all, almost all anchors and reporters have allowed him to go unchallenged out of that same fear of being seen as monsters for going after “the kid with the just cause.”
Translation: We on the right are getting super goddamned pissed that we’re not allowed to personally attack these kids. We think it’s absolutely unfair that we’re being forced to argue the merits of gun control instead of viciously attacking the people talking about gun control instead.
This, in a nutshell, is why the #NeverAgain movement is winning and the NRA and its legion of ammosexual freaks are going insane with rage. The only tactic they know is the politics of personal destruction. Concha gives the game away by demanding Hogg be “treated like an adult”. There is literally nothing stopping adults from debating the merits of his gun control arguments like adults are wont to do. No one will condemn them for a good faith debate on why assault rifles are more important than reducing mass shootings.
But that is not what the right does. They never argue for their position in good faith because their positions are indefensible. Much easier to destroy the person arguing against them with ad hominem on steroids. Concha’s entire article comes down to the core complaint of the right when called on their bullshit: They demand freedom of speech but what they really want is freedom from the consequences of that speech.
Good luck with that.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.