Long Live Rush -- And Free Speech
I chose not to attend the White House Press Correspondents' Dinner this past weekend. And am I ever glad I made that decision.
The organization tapped a lesbian "comedienne," Wanda Sykes, to address the group — a virtual who's who of Washington politicians, some masquerading as journalists and some as public servants. Sykes was merely masquerading as a jokester.
Here's what the lovely and gracious Ms. Sykes had to say to an audience including the president and first lady: "Rush Limbaugh said he hopes this administration fails. So you're saying, 'I hope America fails.' He just wants the country to fail. To me, that's treason. He's not saying anything different than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight."
"Rush Limbaugh? 'I hope the country fails,'" continued Sykes. "I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a little waterboarding. That's what he needs."
Accusing people of treason, terrorism and wishing they would be tortured and die — that's what passed for high comedy at the White House Press Correspondents' Dinner.
I'm glad I saved $200 per ticket and the cleaning bill that would have followed — not for the tux, mind you, but for the disinfectant I would have needed after rubbing shoulders with those yucking it up over "jokes" in such bad taste.
I guess it wouldn't be so bad if all people, like Sykes and Obama, did was laugh about people they don't like — people with whom they disagree. But, of course, we know that's not the case. What people like Sykes and Obama do is use the coercive power of government to silence their critics.
This alleged comedy routine comes at the very moment Obama is stacking the Federal Communications Commission with appointees determined to undermine our First Amendment-guaranteed right to free speech, even while they exercise their own free speech in the most irresponsible ways imaginable.
He's overseeing the implementation of what I call "commissar commissions" to monitor the content of radio stations around the nation and challenge the licenses of those that get out of line.
I've attended many White House Press Correspondents' Dinners in the past. Usually presidents use them to poke fun at themselves, but not this narcissist in chief. Obama used the opportunity to flatter himself, even comparing himself with God. And he used it to malign his predecessor — the man single-handedly responsible in his eyes for all the country's woes.
It was very unpresidential. It wasn't funny, either. Obama laughed at the calls for torture and death for Limbaugh. He laughed at the indictment of Limbaugh as a terrorist and traitor. He'll no doubt be laughing still when he buries the concept of free speech altogether — protecting it only for those with whom he agrees.
I just wanted to go on record as saying I stand with Rush Limbaugh. I stand with Sean Hannity. I stand with Michael Savage. I stand with the voices of dissent, even though I don't always agree with them. I stand with those under fire for exercising their inalienable right to speak out.
I stand with them because it's the right thing to do in an open and free society. I stand with them because their voices are needed more than ever. I stand with them just as I hope they would stand with me when government tries to silence me — as it inevitably will.
Long live Rush. Long live free speech in America.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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