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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

With nation deeply divided, MLB’s silence speaks volumes

Welcome to baseball in 2017, a year like no other in our nation. In the NBA, coaches and stars take regular aim at the policies of the new president of the United States, from the executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to plans for building a massive wall along the Mexican border. But in Major League Baseball—where locker rooms feature a multicultural melting pot of athletes, many of whom could be directly or indirectly affected by those policies—what you hear (or don’t hear) is the careful sound of political silence.

Several clubs have made a point this spring of giving their players the same sort of “advice” the Yankees provided. We even know of one high-ranking club official who told his players that if they choose to take a stand on anything political, 50 percent of the people who used to cheer them would not just stop cheering. Those cheers would turn to hate.

“In these times, we’re polarized on every issue,” that official says. “I don’t know if it’s 50-50 or 60-40. But there’s a huge segment of the population that has a strong opinion on every issue. So if you’re a player, there are a certain number of fans that are going to have a negative reaction to any position you take. You’re immediately alienating 50 percent of your fans. So if they don’t know you, all that 50 percent knows is that they hate you.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 11:12 AM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   1. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5410047)
Yes, it would be as dumb as Starbucks encouraging its workers to start talking about race to its customers. The virtue signal has never been a force for good in the workplace.
   2. Astroenteritis Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5410055)
While I no doubt have a higher opinion of Collin McHugh for his criticisms of the administration, I don't necessarily think the opposite would be true. If one of my favorite players was vocal in defense of racism, sexism and xenophobia, I'm still going to root for him on the field, and I certainly won't boo him at the games. I realize that when it comes to politics most professional baseball players are in the "willfully ignorant" category, at best. If I only enjoyed watching sports played by those whose politics aligned with mine, I wouldn't be watching any sports at all.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:10 PM (#5410064)
For all the jokes about Nuke Laloosh or Derek Jeter there really is no reason not to conduct your interviews like that. As the unnamed official points out all you are going to do is piss off 50 percent of the people. Maybe you won't get booed by your home fans but you won't really get any benefit either.

I have no problem with these guys stating their opinion. I don't care if you're Schilling or Fowler if you want to stand up for what you believe good for you but there is likely to be a lot more negative than positive if you do that.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5410067)
For all the jokes about Nuke Laloosh or Derek Jeter there really is no reason not to conduct your interviews like that. As the unnamed official points out all you are going to do is piss off 50 percent of the people.


I think giving a #### is a pretty good reason.
   5. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:17 PM (#5410073)
Let's face it, regardless of your politics, what Stark means is speaking out for progressive causes.
   6. Captain Supporter Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5410084)
I have as little interest in hearing the political opinions of baseball players as I do of hearing the political opinions of actors.
   7. Lassus Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5410085)
I'm as liberal a human being on this site, and I found this article stupid. I hate SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES reasoning. Ask Jason.
   8. Stormy JE Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5410088)
I think giving a #### is a pretty good reason.
####? "Gift basket" is two words, SOSH.
THERE IS NO official policy of Major League Baseball that says: Do. Not. Talk. Politics.

In fact, commissioner Rob Manfred tells ESPN, the policy is exactly the opposite.
OTOH, I don't remember Manfred having a cow when the Mariners suspended Clevenger.
   9. DanG Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5410091)
“They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”

Hahahahahahahahaha!
   10. Stormy JE Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5410092)
I'm as liberal a human being on this site, and I found this article stupid. I hate SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES reasoning. Ask Jason.
Yup. Moreover, Stark wrote nearly 3K words when he could've been just as stupid in 800.
   11. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:42 PM (#5410106)
Yup. Moreover, Stark wrote nearly 3K words when he could've been just as stupid in 800.
I'd imagine that he was pushed into writing this by an ESPN editor.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: February 28, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5410126)

I have as little interest in hearing the political opinions of baseball players as I do of hearing the political opinions of actors.


I like when ballplayers and actors are willing to risk their popularity by stating their political opinions, even if I believe those opinions should be given the same weight as we give any idiot's POV.

I also find that most people like athletes and celebrities speaking up when they agree with what the famous person is saying, and wish they'd shut up and stick to (music, acting, sports) when they're on the other side of an issue.

   13. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5410138)
I knew more than a few fellow Met fans who had little use for Carlos Delgado back in the day, despite the number of home runs he hit.
   14. Greg K Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5410139)
I don't mind athletes sharing their opinions...it can be kind of fun. I don't think I ever agreed with anything Luke Scott said, but his personality (which at least partly manifested itself in saying zany things) made him a personal favourite of mine. If it's all a person can talk about, then I can see that becoming tiresome.

Of course, I don't hold it against ball players for keeping mum on politics. There doesn't seem to be much upside for them to share their thoughts.
   15. winnipegwhip Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5410145)
I prefer the days when sportswriters implied in their writings that an unnamed AL East pitcher who attended an elite school on the west coast on a baseball scholarship was a racist.
   16. Zonk has fast Cardi B pathways to the Wiz Khalifa Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5410149)
I have no problem with these guys stating their opinion. I don't care if you're Schilling or Fowler if you want to stand up for what you believe good for you but there is likely to be a lot more negative than positive if you do that.


Me neither - though, I will say (and not picking on your Jose because I know it wasn't your point) --

It does bother me to equate Schilling's expression to Fowler's... I didn't think anything Fowler said was inflammatory or even worthy of any controversy. He expressed his opinion, did it without rancor, and simply explained how the specific issue at hand had a very real and actual impact on his family.

Political opinions are, of course, the very definition of subjective... and I suppose there's also no shortage of subjectivity one can apply to quality of that expressed opinion before one even gets into the substantive point.

I am biased, of course -- but I do feel that there's a clear and qualitative difference that can be objectively compared between socio-cultural-political expressions of say... John Rocker and say, John Smoltz or Jimmy Rollins (just to pick two random guys from opposite sides of the red/blue divide that have spoken out politically).
   17. QLE Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5410151)
Performers or athletes? Basically indifferent, though in my case it probably doesn't help that I'm one of those folk who marches to a drummer no one else can here (and that's all I have to say on the matter), and therefore don't expect anyone to ever agree with me on the whole.

When an entire website that in theory isn't meant to cover politics ended up covering nothing but them, and in a fairly asinine way moreover? Then it becomes insufferable.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5410172)
It does bother me to equate Schilling's expression to Fowler's... I didn't think anything Fowler said was inflammatory or even worthy of any controversy. He expressed his opinion, did it without rancor, and simply explained how the specific issue at hand had a very real and actual impact on his family.


When he was a ballplayer, Schilling's comments were mostly just conservative stuff. His more recent comments that got him in trouble were in the Milo troll vein - not conservative, just intentionally dickish.
   19. BDC Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:42 PM (#5410179)
I'm hoping my silence in this thread will speak volumes.
   20. GGC Posted: February 28, 2017 at 02:45 PM (#5410186)
   21. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5410270)
Everyone needs to stick to sports. If I want ****ing politics, I'd watch the damned news.

The easiest way for the MLB to tank its ratings is to do what the NFL did and go political. STICK TO SPORTS!
   22. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5410279)
Schilling got in trouble for posting some statistics comparing the ratio of Nazi Party members to Germans in the forties to the ratio of Moslem extremists to Moslems today. It didn't matter that it was an accurate statistical comparison, because free speech is no longer allowed on that subject.
   23. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5410285)
I have no problem with these guys stating their opinion. I don't care if you're Schilling or Fowler if you want to stand up for what you believe good for you but there is likely to be a lot more negative than positive if you do that.


Exactly correct. With opposing political views no longer tolerated, anyone making a public political statement risks alienating the other half of the nation. No athlete can afford to do that.
   24. JJ1986 Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5410286)
Schilling got in trouble for posting some statistics comparing the ratio of Nazi Party members to Germans in the forties to the ratio of Moslem extremists to Moslems today. It didn't matter that it was an accurate statistical comparison, because free speech is no longer allowed on that subject.
Stick to sports.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5410289)
free speech is no longer allowed on that subject.

We're really never going to get anywhere until we all accept that "free speech" means "freedom from state suppression of speech," not "the ability to say whatever you want without receiving criticism and/or consequences from non-state actors."
   26. Stormy JE Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:55 PM (#5410294)
We're really never going to get anywhere until we all accept that "free speech" means "freedom from state suppression of speech," not "the ability to say whatever you want without receiving criticism and/or consequences from non-state actors."
Hang on, are you saying that had the Mets suspended Delgado for his Vieques comments, you'd have been okay with it?
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:58 PM (#5410298)
Hang on, are you saying that had the Mets suspended Delgado for his Vieques comments, you'd have been okay with it?

Whether I personally would be OK with it and whether it constitutes a First Amendment violation are two entirely different things. It wouldn't be the latter regardless of what I thought about it.
   28. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:01 PM (#5410300)
We're really never going to get anywhere until we all accept that "free speech" means "freedom from state suppression of speech," not "the ability to say whatever you want without receiving criticism and/or consequences from non-state actors."

True, but it'd nice if there weren't massive pitchfork-wielding mobs on each side eagerly waiting to strike every time some random idiot says something they don't like.
   29. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5410303)
22. Schilling got in trouble for posting some statistics comparing the ratio of Nazi Party members to Germans in the forties to the ratio of Moslem extremists to Moslems today. It didn't matter that it was an accurate statistical comparison, because free speech is no longer allowed on that subject.


Is that the one that got him fired? I'm not surprised.
   30. GGC Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5410304)

Exactly correct. With opposing political views no longer tolerated, anyone making a public political statement risks alienating the other half of the nation. No athlete can afford to do that.


I try not to discuss politics and I'm just an ordinary guy. I feel like it's safer to discuss religion these days.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5410306)
Stick to sports.


What did sports do to deserve that?
   32. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:05 PM (#5410307)
re: 29: No, it was his equally nuanced musings on the NC bathroom law. The one CC referenced only got him suspended.
   33. Stormy JE Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5410318)
re: 29: No, it was his equally nuanced musings on the NC bathroom law. The one CC referenced only got him suspended.
Of course, Schilling was an ESPN commentator, not a player. Let's see the folks in Bristol take a similar stand should one of their high-profile employees vocally protest the travel ban. (Maybe they ought to check Keith Law's twitter feed?)
   34. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:35 PM (#5410327)
I don't think anyone accused ESPN of taking a principled stand WRT Schilling. It's about money. If Keith Law's rhetoric ever starts jeopardizing their bottom line, I would expect him to be dropped pretty quickly. Without getting into a direct comparison of the things that Schilling says vs. Law's comments, in this instance Law has the benefit of almost no one knowing who he is or caring what he says.
   35. jmurph Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5410334)
(Maybe they ought to check Keith Law's twitter feed?)

I'm like 90% sure Law was suspended (from twitter?) a year or so ago for criticizing Schilling.

Yeah, here's a story about it.
   36. Tin Angel Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5410336)
in this instance Law has the benefit of almost no one knowing who he is or caring what he says.


And the capability of reasoning and nuanced thought. Shilling posts stupid, hateful, xenophobic facebook memes.
   37. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5410342)
posts stupid, hateful, xenophobic facebook memes.


Isn't this all of facebook in one form or another?
   38. Stormy JE Posted: February 28, 2017 at 05:06 PM (#5410350)
I'm like 90% sure Law was suspended (from twitter?) a year or so ago for criticizing Schilling.

Yeah, here's a story about it.
That's why I mentioned him. :)

in this instance Law has the benefit of almost no one knowing who he is or caring what he says.
As jmurph highlights, it can cut both ways for someone like Law.
   39. Hysterical & Useless Posted: February 28, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5410351)
some statistics comparing the ratio of Nazi Party members to Germans in the forties to the ratio of Moslem extremists to Moslems today.


I don't recall the specifics of the numbers Schilling used, but it seems like there might be a problem with a false equivalence there. "Muslim extremist" is a rather subjective term; are we limiting "extremists" to "active Al Queda/Taliban/ISIL" members, or including everyone who's ever given a Like to their Facebook page?

Whereas "member of the Nazi Party" was pretty strictly defined. It wasn't like registering to vote as a Donkey or a Heffalump, and *poof* you're a Party animal.

But of course, as others have said, the WWL's concern is with $$$, not the substance of Schilling's tweets.
   40. Zach Posted: February 28, 2017 at 05:26 PM (#5410373)
I also find that most people like athletes and celebrities speaking up when they agree with what the famous person is saying, and wish they'd shut up and stick to (music, acting, sports) when they're on the other side of an issue.

This. There's a difference between an actual dialogue and just mau-mauing someone until they parrot the opinion you've assigned to them.
   41. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 28, 2017 at 05:36 PM (#5410385)
I have as little interest in hearing the political opinions of baseball players as I do of hearing the political opinions of actors.


I have as little interest in hearing the political opinions of baseball players as I do of hearing the political opinions of politicians.
   42. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 05:44 PM (#5410393)
Shilling posts stupid, hateful, xenophobic facebook memes.


It's Schilling, and you're obviously a Leftist. I know Curt and dislike him, but he never posted anything that I thought was wrong.

Oh, and posting anti-Islamic-terrorism comments isn't xenophobic. Or racist. Those words don't mean what you think they mean. But what the hell, you were wrong about everything else as well.
   43. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 05:50 PM (#5410402)
And until people can speak and post conservative speech freely, without being attacked by a mob of angry leftists, then there is no free speech in this country.
   44. Zach Posted: February 28, 2017 at 05:52 PM (#5410404)
I also think that hyperverbal people who spend all day arguing about things on the internet tend to greatly exaggerate the importance the rest of the world attributes to today's argument.

Particularly, sportswriters, who *are* hyperverbal people who hang around in packs of likeminded people and seem to spend all day reading or writing stuff on Twitter, tend to project those emotions onto athletes, who are none of those things.
   45. JJ1986 Posted: February 28, 2017 at 06:11 PM (#5410417)
Free speech is destroying free speech.
   46. Darren Posted: February 28, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5410425)
And until people can speak and post conservative speech freely, without being attacked by a mob of angry leftists, then there is no free speech in this country.


Stick to sports.
   47. WSPanic Posted: February 28, 2017 at 06:44 PM (#5410433)
And until people can speak and post conservative speech freely, without being attacked by a mob of angry leftists, then there is no free speech in this country.


Pepes and Milos, Pepes and Milos.

It cuts both ways - and both sides are equally as bad in this manner. You see things from your echo chamber. Those on the left see it from theirs. To act as if it's one sided just goes to show which side you're on.

   48. Tin Angel Posted: February 28, 2017 at 06:55 PM (#5410436)
It's Schilling, and you're obviously a Leftist.


And you must be a rightist! Just stick to making up stories of scaring black guys with your dog and gun, ####### moron.
   49. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 28, 2017 at 06:58 PM (#5410439)
Sigh.
   50. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: February 28, 2017 at 07:13 PM (#5410449)
And until people can speak and post conservative speech freely, without being attacked by a mob of angry leftists, then there is no free speech in this country.


I've always found it hilarious that the right is both A) the most likely to espouse the importance and beauty of free speech and B) the least likely to actually know what the First Amendment actually covers.
   51. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 28, 2017 at 07:21 PM (#5410452)
It's probably been said 20 times in this thread but sports is one of the few damn places we have left that is a sanctuary from our binary, artificially divided political climate.

Keep it that ####### way.
   52. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 28, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5410453)
I prefer the days when sportswriters implied in their writings that an unnamed AL East pitcher who attended an elite school on the west coast on a baseball scholarship was a racist.


Yavapi College is considered elite now?
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: February 28, 2017 at 07:43 PM (#5410459)
I have as little interest in hearing the political opinions of baseball players as I do of hearing the political opinions of actors.


Realistically speaking people have little interest of hearing political opinions from anyone who disagree with them, it doesn't matter the profession. I don't get why it's okay for Uncle Joe at a family gathering to put out a political opinion, but not no-named actress or athlete. Everyone has a political opinion, some are informed, some are not, some agree with yours, some do not.... but it doesn't stop them from thinking it, and if you have a pulpit and a passion for an issue, then I don't see an issue, I'm going to disagree or agree depending on the issue, but an athlete has a chance to reach more people with his opinions than uncle joe.

Of course at the same time, an athlete/actor is someone in the public spotlight and they really should consider their stances before making them because it can affect their career or enjoyment of their job going forward. (of course that could be said about anyone, but the more public you are, of course the bigger the reaction is going to be)

I have never in my life understood the concept of people telling actors to not talk about politics, considering that type of comment almost always comes from someone with at best an equal level of education on the subject of politics and who always love to talk politics.
   54. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 28, 2017 at 09:10 PM (#5410496)
I like when ballplayers and actors are willing to risk their popularity by stating their political opinions, even if I believe those opinions should be given the same weight as we give any idiot's POV.

I also find that most people like athletes and celebrities speaking up when they agree with what the famous person is saying, and wish they'd shut up and stick to (music, acting, sports) when they're on the other side of an issue.


I like it when athletes who speak up on issues outside the playing field show evidence that they're either (a) speaking from personal experience; and / or (but preferably and) show some evidence that they've actually given some independent thought on the subject. Good examples here would be Doug Glanville, Bill Bradley and Jack Kemp, but there are plenty of others. AFAIC athletes should be held to the same standards of evidence, logic, and generosity of spirit as anyone else, no more and no less.

And skip the BS about "free speech", since no government agency has ever tried to shut up any athlete, with the partial exception of Muhammad Ali.** If you can't stand the heat, or the possibility of losing an endorsement contract, stay out of the kitchen.

** Who was prosecuted for draft refusal, not his political opinions, even though in practice they kind of ran together.
   55. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 09:46 PM (#5410516)
Just stick to making up stories


I don't post things that are made up. Your life may be boring, but my long one hasn't been. Be thankful I don't post war stories. You'd wet your pants.
   56. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 09:56 PM (#5410521)
It cuts both ways - and both sides are equally as bad in this manner.


Horsecrap. Show me the recent violent right-wing riots that stopped Leftist speakers from speaking. Clue: never happened. Show me the people who were run off of Twitter or Facebook for posting Leftist speech. Clue: never happened. The suppression of free speech only works one way in this country: the Left suppresses the Right.

Right now Gab.ai, the free speech alternative social network that the Right is flocking to after so many on the Right were run off of Twitter and Fscebook for posting "unacceptable opinions" - which means conservative ones - can't get its iOS app approved by Apple because Apple objects to the conservative opinions expressed on it. See https://medium.com/@getongab/apples-double-standards-against-gab-1bffa2c09115#.stlzvf4nn

The Left supports free speech only for itself and never, ever for the Right.
   57. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 28, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5410523)
"The Left is destroying the foundational values of this country — including, but hardly limited to, free speech. The Los Angeles Times actually announced that it will not publish a letter to the editor — presumably no matter how pre-eminent the scientist who wrote the letter — that challenges the anthropocentric-global-warming-leading-to-worldwide-destruction hypothesis. Likewise, Popular Science announced it would not even allow such opinions in the comments section on its website." - Dennis Prager
   58. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 28, 2017 at 10:10 PM (#5410529)
Right now Gab.ai, the free speech alternative social network that the Right is flocking to after so many on the Right were run off of Twitter and Fscebook for posting "unacceptable opinions"
Apple doesn't want to be the social hub for a bunch of dudes pushing white supremacy. The question shouldn't be why private companies aren't comfortable making a home for white supremacists, but why so many on the Right are.
   59. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 28, 2017 at 10:10 PM (#5410530)
Erm...posting a quote from someone who misunderstands the concept of the First Amendment just as much as you do doesn't really help your cause.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: February 28, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5410548)
We had a similar argument about this once with Cargo Cultist, and I actually took his irascible, hippy-punching side. I know that the 1st Amendment does not require private companies to allow its employees and customers unfettered free speech. It doesn't follow that a business that punishes contrary or inconvenient opinions is doing something commendable. I think that businesses should aspire to comply with the spirit of the amendment.
   61. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 28, 2017 at 10:54 PM (#5410558)
I know that the 1st Amendment does not require private companies to allow its employees and customers unfettered free speech. It doesn't follow that a business that punishes contrary or inconvenient opinions is doing something commendable. I think that businesses should aspire to comply with the spirit of the amendment.

I think it depends on the nature of the "inconvenient opinion". Touting conservatism or libertarianism is one thing, but spouting racist / nativist / sexist garbage is another thing altogether, and I don't mean just opposing affirmative action. I'm talking about garbage on the Trumpian level of spouting lying generalizations about minority groups. I can't imagine why any semi-respectable business would ever want to be associated with that sort of crap, convenient or inconvenient.
   62. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 28, 2017 at 11:43 PM (#5410570)
People like Martin Shkreli and Milo Y got banned from Twitter for harassing other users, not for being conservative. There are plenty of conservative and alt right voices on Twitter. It kind of makes me wonder if some of those guys harassed other users for the purpose of getting banned in order to claim persecution. Sort of on that note, the Berkeley protesters/rioters were being really stupid in that they were giving Milo exactly what he wanted; people don't follow the rule of "don't feed the trolls" anymore.
   63. PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2017 at 12:01 AM (#5410577)
Touting conservatism or libertarianism is one thing, but spouting racist / nativist / sexist garbage is another thing altogether, and I don't mean just opposing affirmative action. I'm talking about garbage on the Trumpian level of spouting lying generalizations about minority groups. I can't imagine why any semi-respectable business would ever want to be associated with that sort of crap, convenient or inconvenient.

This is the paradoxical "I'm intolerant of intolerance" position that has been sparking epic internet arguments since the dawn of time. I'll tell you the truth, I can't wrap my mind around it.

I will say, I think that the Left has in recent years been much more successful than the Right at shutting down contrary opinions that it hates. But I think that's merely because social liberalism has been ascendant in our country for generations; the Left is winning that war, clearly. But I certainly don't think that the Right has a more authentic fealty to the 1st Amendment - if social conservatism were ascendant, and if the Right had the media and academia in the bag, we'd be seeing just as much (or more) agitating against Leftist speech.
   64. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: March 01, 2017 at 01:18 AM (#5410593)
I also find that most people like athletes and celebrities speaking up when they agree with what the famous person is saying, and wish they'd shut up and stick to (music, acting, sports) when they're on the other side of an issue.
I think that's half (or maybe two-thirds) right; the other portion being, most people are OK with athletes speaking up when they're performing well, and wish they'd shut up when they're slumping.
   65. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 01, 2017 at 08:13 AM (#5410609)
Touting conservatism or libertarianism is one thing, but spouting racist / nativist / sexist garbage is another thing altogether, and I don't mean just opposing affirmative action. I'm talking about garbage on the Trumpian level of spouting lying generalizations about minority groups. I can't imagine why any semi-respectable business would ever want to be associated with that sort of crap, convenient or inconvenient.

This is the paradoxical "I'm intolerant of intolerance" position that has been sparking epic internet arguments since the dawn of time. I'll tell you the truth, I can't wrap my mind around it.


Where the Left flies off the handle so often is conflating all forms of conservatism / libertarianism with racism. When it does that, and when it tries to shout down or shut down speakers like Condi Rice or Dick Cheney, people are absolutely right to call out their 1st amendment hypocrisy.

And when it comes to hatemongers like Milo or the alt-right crowd, I've said repeatedly that the best strategy is simply to ignore them and record their every word for future reference, in case they try to act "presidential" whenever they're in mixed company, so to speak.

But when self-described "conservative" groups invite hatemongers like Milo to address their convention for the sole purpose of gaining publicity, AFAIC they're no better than Milo himself. They can talk about "free speech" all they want, but in reality all they're doing is giving a tinpot hatemonger a public forum. Let that bastard hire his own hall.
   66. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 01, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5410625)
This is the paradoxical "I'm intolerant of intolerance" position that has been sparking epic internet arguments since the dawn of time. I'll tell you the truth, I can't wrap my mind around it.


Tolerance doesn't mean being silent in the face of hate. But of course the left neither has a monopoly on tolerance nor does it even have enough of it.
   67. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 01, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5410646)
By the way, the 1st Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) doesn't grant any rights whatsoever. It simply recognizes that we have those rights and prohibits the federal government from infringing on them.
   68. djordan Posted: March 01, 2017 at 10:23 AM (#5410656)
"I don't get why it's okay for Uncle Joe at a family gathering to put out a political opinion, but not no-named actress or athlete."

Because, #53, Uncle Joe has a heart condition. We only see him once a year - don't upset him and don't upset me. Now eat your stuffing, it's Thanksgiving for heaven's sakes.
   69. Eddo Posted: March 01, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5410663)
We had a similar argument about this once with Cargo Cultist, and I actually took his irascible, hippy-punching side. I know that the 1st Amendment does not require private companies to allow its employees and customers unfettered free speech. It doesn't follow that a business that punishes contrary or inconvenient opinions is doing something commendable. I think that businesses should aspire to comply with the spirit of the amendment.

That's a reasonable stance, though it's truly just about where you draw the line. I don't think anyone would have a problem with a newspaper refusing to publish a letter to the editor that has every word misspelled as is an incoherent mess, or one that claims that the current President is a lizard person and wants to hatch his eggs inside the Secretary of State. Or if a non-adults-only website wanted to delete comments that were full of swearing or lewd descriptions of sexual acts. It's just that in this specific case, the publications have drawn the line at a less-extreme place.

Also, the business being allowed to refuse to publish certain opinions is itself a form of free speech. Forcing them to publish things they don't want to is not philosophically different from preventing them from publishing the things they do want.
   70. Booey Posted: March 01, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5410678)
I know that the 1st Amendment does not require private companies to allow its employees and customers unfettered free speech. It doesn't follow that a business that punishes contrary or inconvenient opinions is doing something commendable. I think that businesses should aspire to comply with the spirit of the amendment.


Yeah. Even if attempts by private organizations to silence opposing viewpoints aren't technically unconstitutional, it does feel antithetical to the spirit of the 1st amendment and isn't something that should be encouraged, IMO. At the very least it's another form of intolerance and bullying.
   71. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 01, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5410693)
I know that the 1st Amendment does not require private companies to allow its employees and customers unfettered free speech. It doesn't follow that a business that punishes contrary or inconvenient opinions is doing something commendable. I think that businesses should aspire to comply with the spirit of the amendment.


Yeah. Even if attempts by private organizations to silence opposing viewpoints aren't technically unconstitutional, it does feel antithetical to the spirit of the 1st amendment and isn't something that should be encouraged, IMO. At the very least it's another form of intolerance and bullying.

But again, without being specific, this is little more than a Sunday school speech.

What private organizations are you referring to? And what opinions are they trying to suppress? Real conservatives or simply hatemongers? I'd hope there's not a one size fits all response to that question that doesn't take into account the difference between governments and private groups.

Here's a good example of the sort of conflicting values that are often at issue in these discussions, as explained by a libertarian student at Bucknell:

The Isolation of College Libertarians

But then notice where it was published.
   72. Chicago Joe Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5410710)

Right now Gab.ai, the free speech alternative social network that the Right is flocking to after so many on the Right were run off of Twitter and Fscebook for posting "unacceptable opinions" - which means conservative ones - can't get its iOS app approved by Apple because Apple objects to the conservative opinions expressed on it. See https://medium.com/@getongab/apples-double-standards-against-gab-1bffa2c09115#.stlzvf4nn


Twitter has their bird, Gab has their...frog. Of course.
   73. Booey Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5410713)
what opinions are they trying to suppress? Real conservatives or simply hatemongers?


I object to silencing the former. Like you mentioned in your first paragraph in #65, some people nowadays don't see a difference between the two.

I'm all for shouting down actual hatemongers. But again, that doesn't mean "everyone who disagrees with me." As for your specific examples, well, I don't know who Milo is. Maybe I don't hang out at OTP enough. ;-)
   74. SoSH U at work Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5410715)
Yeah. Even if attempts by private organizations to silence opposing viewpoints aren't technically unconstitutional, it does feel antithetical to the spirit of the 1st amendment and isn't something that should be encouraged, IMO. At the very least it's another form of intolerance and bullying.


OTOH, should a private business be forced to continue to employ a person who identifies on his Facebook Page as a manager of the Good News Christian Bookstore, yet he routinely posts anti-Christian screeds on his wall?

It's a balancing act for private enterprises as to what constitutes speech that shouldn't be stifled because of the importance of a healthy exchange of ideas, and what speech threatens that businesses' very existence.

Sometimes people get it wrong. But it isn't as simple that any kind of act of a private enterprise having some control of the messages being delivered by its employees is inherently anti-free speech and intolerant.

I don't know who Milo is.


Lucky bastard.
   75. Booey Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5410723)
It's a balancing act for private enterprises as to what constitutes speech that shouldn't be stifled because of the importance of a healthy exchange of ideas, and what speech threatens that businesses' very existence.


Agreed.
   76. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5410745)
what opinions are they trying to suppress? Real conservatives or simply hatemongers?

I object to silencing the former. Like you mentioned in your first paragraph in #65, some people nowadays don't see a difference between the two.


Which in turn leads to an enormous problem, for which both sides---phony liberals who try to silence real conservatives and phony "free speech" conservatives who promote hatemongers---are to blame, if not always equally.
   77. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5410765)
I don't know who Milo is.


Lucky bastard.



Having seen him on "Bill Maher" a couple of weeks ago, I don't get why everybody on both sides gets so twisted up about the guy. He's a clown, all shtick. He's RuPaul with a worse wardrobe, a wannabe Ann Coulter without the charm or warmth.

I don't see how anybody took him seriously.
   78. Nasty Nate Posted: March 01, 2017 at 12:14 PM (#5410777)
I don't see how anybody took him seriously.
Who gets taken seriously has become much harder to predict.
   79. Booey Posted: March 01, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5410798)
Which in turn leads to an enormous problem, for which both sides---phony liberals who try to silence real conservatives and phony "free speech" conservatives who promote hatemongers---are to blame, if not always equally.


I think we're in full agreement here.
   80. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 01, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5410843)
And what opinions are they trying to suppress? Real conservatives or simply hatemongers?

Who gets to decide which is which?
   81. PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5410870)
Ann Coulter without the charm or warmth.


I ... uh ... what?
   82. SoSH U at work Posted: March 01, 2017 at 01:48 PM (#5410874)
Having seen him on "Bill Maher" a couple of weeks ago, I don't get why everybody on both sides gets so twisted up about the guy. He's a clown, all shtick. He's RuPaul with a worse wardrobe, a wannabe Ann Coulter without the charm or warmth.


For the record, someone who was also unfamiliar with Ann Coulter would also be a lucky bastard. And, for that matter, obliviousness to the existence of Bill Maher isn't a problem either.
   83. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 01, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5410876)
And what opinions are they trying to suppress? Real conservatives or simply hatemongers?

Who gets to decide which is which?


Obviously the line isn't always crystal clear, but anyone who claims he can't see the difference between Dick Cheney and Milo, or Jeff Sessions and Richard Spencer, is simply being disingenuous.

And again, I'm not saying that either the government (duh) or even a private group has any obligation to shut down even the worst hatemonger. That's up to them. But if and when private organizations chooses to give a forum to hatemongers,** AFAIC they become virtually indistinguishable from their chosen speakers.

** Unless it's in the context of some sort of a debate, as opposed to the belatedly cancelled appearance by Milo at the CPAC convention, where without that embarrassing comment about child sex he would've likely been treated like a rock star. Talk about low bars; the bar of respectability for Milo is set even lower than the bar for Trump himself, if such a thing is even possible.
   84. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5410920)
Ann Coulter without the charm or warmth.


I ... uh ... what?



Exactly.
   85. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 01, 2017 at 03:35 PM (#5410944)
Having seen him on "Bill Maher" a couple of weeks ago, I don't get why everybody on both sides gets so twisted up about the guy. He's a clown, all shtick. He's RuPaul with a worse wardrobe, a wannabe Ann Coulter without the charm or warmth.

I'm no fan of any comedian or talk show host who always laughs at his own jokes, so I generally avoid Maher, but he's actually quite well informed and while he's clearly a liberal, he always includes at least one conservative on his weekly panel and keeps the arguments civil. I'll take John Oliver any day, but that's a completely different kind of show.
   86. Hysterical & Useless Posted: March 01, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5410953)
Maybe I don't hang out at OTP enough. ;-)


If you're there more than 0% of the time, you're already there TOO MUCH.
   87. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: March 01, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5410966)
2017, a year like no other in our nation.

1968 says hi. (So do 1918, 1865 and 1776.)
   88. Stormy JE Posted: March 01, 2017 at 05:36 PM (#5411074)
1968 says hi. (So do 1918, 1865 and 1776.)
1979. Duh.
   89. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 01, 2017 at 06:37 PM (#5411103)
[67] Can rights exist absent an authority to enforce them?
   90. Tim M Posted: March 02, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5411605)
I don't see how anybody took him seriously.


They didn't. They just love the way he infuriates liberals. That is the coin of right-wing media realm. Not how incisive or truthy you are, but how much you can make lefties foam at the mouth. It's like a drug, and Milo delivers it by the truckload.

It seems to me a big difference between left & right. Lefties don't want to infuriate the other side, they want to convince them, convert, recruit to their way of thinking, or if that fails, shut them up. The right gobbles up "liberal fear" like they are shooting heroin.
   91. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 02, 2017 at 02:58 PM (#5411723)
They didn't. They just love the way he infuriates liberals. That is the coin of right-wing media realm. Not how incisive or truthy you are, but how much you can make lefties foam at the mouth. It's like a drug, and Milo delivers it by the truckload.

It seems to me a big difference between left & right. Lefties don't want to infuriate the other side, they want to convince them, convert, recruit to their way of thinking, or if that fails, shut them up. The right gobbles up "liberal fear" like they are shooting heroin.


This. I get it now.

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