The nation’s media is on the offense to protect the public from what they consider “offensive.”
Editors of several major newspapers in California, Washington State, and Oregon have said they will no longer allow “Redskins” to be used in print in their publications and syndicated columnist George Will’s opinion is no longer welcome in the pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The newspapers dropping “Redskins” from their reporting say they are doing so because they consider the 80-year-old name “offensive,” while the Post-Dispatch announced that it would no longer carry Will’s column, because a recent one argued that colleges’ efforts to combat sexual assault made being a campus rape victim a “coveted status” and they considered that offensive.
Amelia Island resident, friend and former Associated Press Correspondent Rick Scott says he sees this as an example of intolerance in the newspapers, which apparently feel now that THEY too must always be politically correct.”
Says Mr. Scott, “When they say they are dropping a column because it’s offensive, they should just say it’s offensive to them. By the way, this would make me wonder how much other news is kept out because the editor finds it offensive. My point is it’s not offensive to everyone. So I guess newspapers now print only the news that, in its opinion, is not offensive to a majority/plurality of its readers!
“In my journalism days, we EXPECTED to offend readers (whether we agreed with a story or not) because it was believed important for readers to get all sides of a discussion in order for democracy to work. I guess that’s just considered nonsense in these polarized times.”
Will’s column offered an anecdote from a student at Swarthmore College, in which a woman reported a rape after a former sexual partner wouldn’t take no for an answer. Will implies that because the incident occurred “with a guy with whom she’d been hooking up for three months,” she wasn’t sexually assaulted. “Six weeks later, the woman reported that she had been raped,” Will wrote in his column about the Swarthmore student.
I don’t – and neither does George Will or Rick Scott– defend the crime of rape. What Will is saying is that campus rape victims enjoy a privileged legal status because they are not required to prove anything or present any evidence to slur for life a man’s name and character and deprive him of an education. It’s kind of a modern-day form of lynching.
The Washington Redskins football team is being lambasted by many journalists and their editors for its eight-decade-old name they have now deemed offensive.
As Washington Times sports editorial correctly says “The Redskins name controversy is not about discrimination, it’s about power, pure and simple. Power, that is, for politically correct bullies to impose their view of what everybody else should and should not be permitted to say. The latest salvo from the bullies came from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which cancelled six Redskin trademarks.”
The Times adds, “It is preposterous to claim that anybody in America watching the Redskins on any given Sunday is doing so while savoring the horrors of Wounded Knee or lamenting Custer’s death at Little Big Horn. “This reality is why the claim that the name ‘Redskins’ perpetuates discrimination is a politically motivated pretext for nullifying the First Amendment and handing control over speech to politicians and bureaucrats in the nation’s capital.
As the editorial noted, the escalating tactics being used against the Redskins in recent months increasingly involve application of the full force of the federal government, including threatened prosecution by the FCC and the prospect of the IRS revoking the team’s tax exemption.
Closer to home, in the June 20 issue of the bi-weekly Fernandina Beach News-Leader Editor Michael Parnell in a lead editorial criticizing the dedication of a downtown statue to honor David Yulee began his anti-Yulee opinion saying, “I hate to agree with our former columnist Dave Scott on anything….”
My two-year-old weekly column, for which I wasn’t paid, was dropped from the paper in January because I was told “it was too heated” and some found it “offensive” and it is now obvious that one of those was the paper’s editor, Mr. Parnell. I was told once by the News-Leader publisher, Foy Malloy, that “our readers either hate you or love you Dave, there’s no in between.” So the ones that loved it lose, same as with Redskins fans and St. Louis readers of George Will’s commentary, not that I’m putting myself in their esteemed company, but am simply using my column’s cancellation as an example of how many of those that advocate for freedom of speech , only advocate it for those that think as they do.
It’s sad that the media, that were once the American public’s watchdogs have morphed into “politically correct bullies.”
Run Robin Run! Educator and runner Robin Lentz is not confining her running to US marathons, but has tossed her track shoes into the ring to run against Fernandina Beach City Commissioner (Group 3) Sarah Pelican in the November elections, that I predict will see a house cleaning of at least two members of the Curly, Larry and Moe trio that has turned the Tuesday evening commission sessions into a slap stick routine, that has left city tax payers grimacing instead of laughing.
Following the election of Commissioners Pat Gass and Charlie Corbett, Fernandina tax payers were slapped cross their faces with a wet flounder of reality as this duo distinguished themselves as two of the most inept elected officials to ever sit in the town’s commission chambers joining Ms. Pelican, who willingly plays the role of straight man to the rude, irritable Corbett and the befuddled and confused Ms. Gass. Relief cannot come soon enough.
The 34-year-old Ms. Lentz, who was named the 2004 Nassau County First Year Teacher of the Year and the 2006 Nassau County Big Sister of the Year, is an avid runner who has completed 27 marathons in 27 different states. Her goal is to run a full marathon in every state in the country by the end of 2016. She and her husband, Toby, are parents of a boy and a girl, and she is also involved in a wide variety of community volunteer activities.
Her platforms include fiscal responsibility, long-term planning and growth without tax increases. If her track record of success and dedication to her profession, volunteer programs, parenting and running are indicators, then she will make one of the best commissioners to ever represent the city’s voters. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Putt-Putt Promotion: Main Beach’s iconic Putt-Putt course, which has been here for 55 years without much change, received a huge promotion from the “Outside” Section of the Jacksonville Times-Union Monday, June 23as it was featured in an almost full front page article “Barely Putting,” detailing the history of the miniature golf game and the local course, which is one of only two of its kind remaining in our state, the other located in Kissimmee. While newly built miniature golf courses contain windmills, water hazards and other gimmicky barriers to prevent players from scoring a hole-in-one the original Putt-Putt holes are all par two containing contours, banks, etc. I also learned that the course, which is under the new ownership of Frank and Janet Blake, expanded the snack bar to enable it to serve burgers and hot dogs at an outdoor seating area as well as providing bicycle and umbrella rentals. Something I’ve always wondered is on Wednesday’s do pediatricians play miniature golf? Call’em at 904/261-4443.
Inept & Corrupt Governing From Here To DC: If you make an “open records” request to Fernandina Beach officials and its elected commissioners asking them what was said in an alleged closed meeting between them and their lawyers you might get slapped with a lawsuit by City Attorney Tammi Bach, which is what happened to local attorney Clinch Kavanaugh just recently. But if you want $8,000 of tax payer money with no agreement and no contract, they’ll fall all over themselves making sure the city quickly cuts you a check and will then publically criticize folks who ask for an accounting of that money. While Fernandina Commissioner Pat Gass was falling out of her chair with a slobbering apology to gadfly Lynn Williams for Mayor Ed Boner’s questioning him about where the $8,000 went, Georgia US Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) was in Washington apologizing to IRS Chief John Koskinen for the House investigation that is targeting alleged illegalities by the IRS. At the same time, while seriously ill and wounded American soldiers were dying because they were denied treatment at the country Veteran’s Administration hospitals and clinics, the VA was lavishing 80 percent of its corrupt and inept senior executives with almost three million dollars in bonuses. Add all of this to claims by the Internal Revenue Service that they’ve “lost” emails from Lois Lerner and a half-dozen other employees pertinent to the agency’s targeting of conservative groups and it is obvious we need a country-wide public outcry and a house cleaning from the White House right on down to Fernandina’s Town Hall.
Government Arrogance Hits Home: After watching an arrogant, smirking IRS Director Koskinen tell a US House Investigating Committee that his agency can’t find six-month to one-year-old emails of high level IRS officials involved in alleged illegal audits, I walk out to our mailbox and find a letter from the IRS saying I owe them an additional three grand from two years ago and that I have until July 9 to cough it up. Director Koskinen’s agency, now responsible for enforcing the new socialized health care program, says we have to keep records for at least seven years, but this pompous jerk claims his agency’s high level muckity-muck’s critical information is lost and irretrievable. The IRS has responded to this screw-up in ways they would never accept from taxpayers and I know my chances of getting away with such a lame excuse are zero, so my check’s in the mail you despicable cretin. Is it any wonder why confidence in the government is at an all-time low?
Odds & Ends: If I ever get a dog I’m going to name it “Peeve”, so when people ask me if I have any pets I can say “Yes, I have a pet, Peeve.” *** To solve the Washington Redskins name dilemma the team should take a hint from the singer Prince who changed his name to some goofy symbol a number of years ago leaving reporters stumped about what to call him so they just referred to him as “The singer formerly known as Prince?” Why doesn’t the team change its name to an unpronounceable symbol, and then sports writers and others would have to refer to it as “A football team formally known as the Redskins.” *** Standing in the check-out line at Publix this week I felt my age as I couldn’t recognize a single one of the “celebrities” featured on the covers of the array of newspaper tabloids and movie and TV magazines displayed there. *** You can’t have more than two chickens on your Fernandina Beach property, but you can have one, however, in order to take your bird home to roost, you need to get written permission from City Manager Joe Gerrity, who tells me he’s actually approved four such requests. Who knew!
Jaguar Overload: Baseball and soccer are two of this season’s hottest sports and the professional hockey and basketball championships ended just a few weeks ago, but if you’re a daily reader of the Jacksonville Times-Union, you’d think the NFL was in midseason and that the Jacksonville Jaguars were in the thick of a divisional championship fight as a day doesn’t go by that a photo or a story about this sad sack team doesn’t appear on the front page of the JAX paper’s sports section or even the paper’s page 1A leading me to believe that the team’s PR guy has the most job security of anyone associated with that organization.
Things I wish I’d Said: “An illegal immigrant can cross the US border, have a baby and get access to tax-funded services immediately. A disabled veteran coming back from Afghanistan has to wait a year to receive his or her benefits. It’s disgraceful.” – New Jersey 3rd District Republican candidate for Congress, Steve Lonegan.
Presidential Blather & Betrayal: The Obama administration did nothing while veterans who fought and were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were denied care at Veterans Administration hospitals but traded five high level terrorist leaders imprisoned in Guantanamo for an American who abandoned his fellow soldiers on the battlefield. And then flanked by the parents of this US Army deserter in the White House Rose Garden in early June President Obama said “…we don’t leave our men or women in uniform behind, and that dates back to the earliest days of our revolution.” Presidential spokesman Jay Carney emphasized that by saying, “The United States does not leave our men and women behind in conflict.” Why didn’t this honorable tradition apply to Ambassador Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, the four Americans killed in the consulate in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012? The American public has an opportunity this coming November to express their displeasure at the polling places with those who support this inept group of incompetent bunglers.
Outstanding column, David. But reading it sometimes gets my blood boiling, especially your excellent accounts of our bloated, whimpering, anti-Constitutional, and pretentious “government”. You hit several nails on their respective heads in every one of your columns. Keep up the good work.
Your idea of coming up with some symbol for the Redskins is brilliant. The mind boggles when I think of other words that might benefit from having a symbol…
Love your columns.
Keep up the good work Dave. It’s such a shame and loss to independent minded readers that Parnell et al booted your column from the paper. It’s always the same – the vocal intolerant and easily offended minority ruin it for the rest of us. I hate bullying in any form – and this is an excellent example. Voltaire wrote “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Our first amendment rights are being systematically undermined and where is the outrage? Why are we so passive? Why aren’t we standing up and being counted for what we believe to be our inalienable rights? The passivity of the average American will seal the fate of this country.