Did Phil Robertson pave the way for a free speech rebellion amongst the most unlikely people?

Phil-Robertson-813x1024As everyone in the world now knows, Phil Robertson said in a magazine interview that he didn’t understand the attraction of gay sex.  Even worse, he added that, while he wouldn’t presume to judge sexual behavior (or, rather, misbehavior), he had no doubt that God will do some judging.  His words created a thought-police firestorm.  Leading the charge was GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

It’s important to understand that GLAAD is not an advocacy group for LGBTQ rights.  Advocacy groups are valued players in a free society.  GLAAD is, instead, a thuggish organization that works by destroying people’s livelihoods if they fall afoul of its party line.  Robert Oscar Lopez describes how GLAAD uses its tactics of blackmail and intimidation against anyone who suggests that there are downsides to the gay lifestyle or to the social and political agenda the gay lobby pushes.  One doesn’t have to agree with Lopez to be shocked at GLAAD’s truly McCarthy-esque tactics.  So again, the problem isn’t what GLAAD stands for; the problem is its bullying.

As part of its mission to purge people guilty of anything it deems a thought-crime, GLAAD monitors American speech for any statements about gay and lesbians. If this speech isn’t unabashed cheer-leading about the LGBTQ lifestyle, GLAAD instantly declares it “hate speech.”  Then, instead of countering this so-called “hate speech” with more speech, GLAAD leads the charge to destroy the speaker.  Up until last year, when GLAAD attacked a high-profile person or institution, its efforts resulted in one response and one response alone:  craven retreat and abject apologies from the speaker.

Phil Robertson, however, refused to play GLAAD’s game, even when his employer, A&E, immediately caved and fired Phil.  Ranking his God higher than GLAAD’s outrage, he didn’t even bother to mumble an apology for the fact that someone had hurt feelings.  Instead, he stood firm and his family backed him up.  It was A&E, rather than Robertson, who was forced to back down.

The Phil Robertson episode marked the first time that anyone in the public eye refused to let a Leftist thought-control organization bully him.  At the time, I wondered whether, by doing so, Robertson would inspire others to take a stand — and perhaps he did.  In first month of 2013, two stars have stood up to Leftist censors.

Liam Payne One DirectionThe first one to do so was Liam Payne, who belongs to the massively successful pop group One Direction.  He sent out a tweet saying “@williebosshog huge love to you/your family huge respect for your business prosperities and the family values you still all behold. big fan”  GLAAD and its media followers (meaning everyone in the MSM) predictably moved in for the kill, essentially telling Payne that his career was at stake for daring to support the homophobic Robertson clan.

Payne launched an aggressive counterattack against the media for trying to police his speech (slight language alert):

As you can see, Payne’s fight with the thought police happened almost two weeks ago. So far as I know, his career continues to thrive.

Sodastream1Just this past week, yet another superstar found herself in the speech police’s cross hairs. This time, the target was Scarlett Johansson, the voluptuous blonde actress who signed on to become a spokeswoman for SodaStream. SodaStream is a very successful Israeli company that has a factory in a West Bank settlement. It employs Palestinians and Israeli’s alike, paying them equal wages, providing good working conditions, and creating an environment within which Jews and Palestinians can see each other as people, not stereotypes. This is an especially good deal for the Palestinian workers, who usually live in heinous economic circumstances, even as their leaders squirrel away in private accounts the billions in foreign aid that the world’s nations send annually to the Palestinians.

Naturally, the Left can’t have that. You see, for all its talk, the Left has no interest in seeing Palestinians have a decent quality of life. Instead, the Left shares with the radical Islamists the goal of seeing Israel — a capitalist liberal democracy — wiped from the face of the earth. The best way to achieve this is to keep Palestinians living in execrable conditions so as to stoke rage against Israelis.

Put another way, keeping the Palestinian masses in the ghetto is a win for everyone except the Israelis and the Palestinians: the Arab leaders in surrounding nations get to have an excuse for the fact that their people are the impoverished residents of tyrannical rulers; the mullahs and imams get to maintain their control by directing credulous Muslims to engage in an endless Holy War against the Jews; and the Left gets to continue its efforts to destroy the sole liberal democracy in a medieval, tyrannical region.

Enter Oxfam. I learned about Oxfam when I was living in England back in the early 1980s. As a student, I had no money, so my friends told me to check out Oxfam for things I needed. I therefore went to an Oxfam shop, prepared to find that it was something like a Goodwill or Salvation Army store. I didn’t make it past the front door, which was liberally decorated with pro-PLO literature. That is, it was supporting, not just the Palestinians, but the terrorist arm of the Palestinians. I never went near an Oxfam’s again.

Scarlett Johansson, however, probably didn’t realize that Oxfam has always supported terrorists. When she agreed to be an Oxfam representative, she was probably responding to its claim that it works to empower poor people around the world:

One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty.

Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.

We work directly with communities and we seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

In all we do, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

Scarlett-Johansson-Smile-01What Scarlett Johansson just discovered, though, is that when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, Oxfam does not work “to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.” Instead, its anti-Israel, antisemitic ideological bias is so overwhelming, that it works overtime to keep the Palestinians mired deep in poverty, rather than allowing them to achieve economic success through work with an ideologically liberal Israeli corporation.

In the normal course of things — i.e., in the pre-Phil Robertson days — once the speech and thought police got on her case, Johansson should have been expected to break her contract with Israel and go crawling back to Oxfam. She didn’t, though. Instead, she made a public statement disassociating herself from Oxfam:

While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air.

I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day. As part of my efforts as an Ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another and feel proud of the outcome of that work in the quality of their product and work environment, in the pay they bring home to their families and in the benefits they equally receive.

I believe in conscious consumerism and transparency and I trust that the consumer will make their own educated choice that is right for them. I stand behind the SodaStream product and am proud of the work that I have accomplished at Oxfam as an Ambassador for over 8 years. Even though it is a side effect of representing SodaStream, I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two state solution in the near future.

Major kudos to Johansson for resisting the coercive pressure from the Left.  It turns out that there’s a beautiful personality behind that beautiful face.

Did Phil Robertson’s refusal to back down to GLAAD have anything to do with Payne’s and Johansson’s willingness to withstand pressure from GLAAD and Oxfam?  I don’t know.  I just know that sixty years ago, it took just one speech to destroy the apparently unlimited power that Sen. Joseph McCarthy had wielded for so many years in the United States Senate:

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Comments

  1. jj says

    Just one brief historical note.  It amuses me, in a vague and distant sort of way, that McCarthy’s name has become a hissing and a byword for some peculiar sort of demagoguery.  In an era when Communism and Communist thought was seen to be a real and present danger, he dedicated himself, for whatever reason – and doubtless accretion of power was a motivation: the man was a politician, after all – to locating and rooting out Communism and its sympathizers from government, and secondarily from Hollywood.  (Even in those innocent days it was recognized that Hollywood exercises a disproportionate influence over the stupid.  Which is most of us.)
     
    This led to a fair amount of unpleasantness.  But it ought to be kept in mind that one thing it did not lead to was accusations that old Joe was wrong.  That’s a significant omission.  He posited that the State Department had a gang of Communists and Communist sympathizers in its employ, undermining America’s interests, and you know what?  It DID!   He found a bunch of them – he was right!
     
    Somehow or other in the contemporary retellings of the McCarthy era, the part about him being exactly precisely correct never seems to get mentioned much.  Can’t imagine why.  (Maybe for the same reason the conversation was steered to the birth certificate, instead of the much more telling question of to whom he was born.  Our lefty friends are very good – and practiced! – at shifting the argument.  That McCarthy was a rotten person is more important than that he was right?  Really?  Guess so…)
     
    And as for Phil Robertson and A&E, it’s probably a mis-characterization to refer to A&E as his “employer.”  He and his family carry on their business and are willing to let A&E film some of it.  If they wanted to, and pooled their resources, the Robertsons could probably buy A&E.  A&E needs them one large hell of a lot more than they need A&E.  That makes a difference to how, when, where, and in front of whom you exercise your right of free speech.  Doesn’t it.  (Though I do suspect Phil would, under any circumstances, tell you what’s on his mind.) 

    • says

      I agree with you, jj, hence my very careful phrasing, which spoke about McCarthy’s power being broken, rather than about the rightness or wrongness of his cause.  The end of the Soviet Union revealed that McCarthy was correct in his belief about Communist infiltration into the American government and military. 

      Whether his tactics were the best method of exposing and fighting this infiltration is open to question.  In the long term — that is, in the 60 years since he last made his stand — his tactics have become a successful part of the Leftist arsenal, meaning that he has become the biggest weapon supporting the cause he fought so hard against.

  2. Charles Martel says

    “GLAAD is, instead, a thuggish organization.”
     
    Book, I hate the blow the whistle on you, but GLAAD is not an African American organization, as implied by your use of the word “thuggish.”

  3. lee says

    Having spent some time in Ma’ale Adumim, I tend to think of it as a suburb of Jerusalem. According to Google Maps, it’s 17.2 km (or around 10 miles) or 25 minutes from center to center. It’s a very reminiscent of French Hill.

  4. Libby says

    I think you’re on to something, Book. GLAAD has made many a Hollywood star undergo an apology tour & heart-to-heart conversation with them to recalibrate their attitude.
    I noticed a funny thing on a celebrity fashion site the other day. These types of sites are usually very Left/PC, but in a critique of Beyonce’s Grammys dress the blogger admitted to not really understanding all of the Beyonce/JayZ worship. In the comments there is a flood of what seems like relieved agreement, as one after the other expresses dismay at the cult of Beyonce. In an age of non-stop accusations of racism it’s rare to see this, especially about someone whom the MSM and Michelle Obama adore. http://preview.tinyurl.com/mtw2g7w

  5. Matt_SE says

    Joining JJ (and not meaning to pile on):
    McCarthy was right. It is very hard to find even a neutral biography on him (and a positive one probably doesn’t exist) but I found this book enlightening:
    Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the life and legacy of America’s most hated Senator” by Arthur Herman, 1999 Simon & Schuster (327 pages, not including appendices and notes, moderate font size for the hardcover edition) ISBN 0-684-83625-4
     
    Everyone knows about the clip you linked; they’ve seen it growing up. According to the book, that episode was taken wildly out of context by selective editing (you can see traces in McCarthy’s response about “baiting”).
     
    From memory, here’s how it went down:
    McCarthy was well along in his Commie-hunting career and was getting too close to sitting Democratic Congressmen; not in terms of criminality, but because they were a bit too cozy with or sympathetic to known Commies. It made them look bad.
    Senator McCarthy had a staffer on whom he relied that was “unexpectedly” drafted into the Korean War effort. Though it appeared to him that it was a form of political payback, he never tried to get it reversed or get his aide into a safe job in the Army.
    The “Army McCarthy Hearings” were a witchhunt that sought to smear McCarthy with the implication that he pulled strings for his aide. During the proceedings, Congressman Welch (who was a right asshat) baited McCarthy repeatedly about McCarthy’s alleged list of Soviet agents in the American government. He mocked and ridiculed McCarthy (which McCarthy refused to rise to initially) until Welch asked him for the umpteenth time to name a name. McCarthy named one of Welch’s aides as a Communist sympathizer…and I don’t think it was out of spite or made-up for the occasion.
    Welch, being a crybaby and a bully, couldn’t take what he had given just seconds before and launched into the “have you no sense of decency, sir” line.
     
    So you see, in context everything most people think they know about that incident is the exact opposite of what actually happened. Such is the power of left-wing editing and historical revisionism.

  6. Matt_SE says

    The incident I posted above has the ring of truth, especially if one has read Whittaker Chambers’ Witness.
    In that book, he recounted how the Democratic party was ill-suited to fight the Commies since, in their hearts, most Democrats knew it was a very short leap from their policies to those of Socialists/Communists.

  7. says

    Michelle Malkin did a work on FDR era, but not sure if that included McCarthy as well.
     
    Stars and those chained to the Hollywood production farm, I do not expect to disobey their masters, if ever. I expect them and the rest of America, to Obey. Who will they obey? Tyranny, totalitarianism, Evil, whatever fills in their pocketbooks.

  8. Call me Lennie says

    Too late, Book.  Your all too easy resort to clever irony in defense of your so-called racial evenhandedness clearly reveals your underlying racist bias; as explained by the  “The Lady doth protest much (too cleverly, that is) theorem
     
    Gee, if only you hadn’t been so effective in defending yourself

  9. Call me Lennie says

    Ha!   Got a response from the Great Sphinx herself (and don’t try some clever retort to my appelation, which would only prove the very Sphinx-like qualities that I’m smearing you with)
     
    A while back, some prog-tolls tried to pull that on me on some comment thread related to a song parody that I did called “The Twelve Days of O-care.”  First they do th frontal race baiting assault.  Then after I manfully defended myself they come back with the oblique “He doth protest much.”
     
    To which I didst protest — So the very fact that I responded to your scurrilous race based attack “proves” that I am what you accuse me of being????  I haven’t seen such a rigorous standard of “proof” since  Stalin’s show trials in the 1930’s.  No wonder those Commies had a 150% conviction rate

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