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'Free speech for me, but not for thee'.

Conservative bloggers/Conservative-supporting bloggers are a funny bunch. Many want to remove hate speech provisions out of the Canadian Human Rights Code and the ability to prosecute anyone who currently falls in violation of that code, all in the name of ‘free speech’.

Yet, many of these same bloggers do not even allow comment sections on their own blog (or heavily censor them when opposing viewpoints make their way onto them) and even more hypocritically, when someone who blogs that they dislike is given a link on a prominent national website, they freak out and demand that blogs removal… not because of any hate speech, but because he’s a partisan and including a link on that page is implying the CBC endorses his partisanship, according to them.

So, they want the Liberal ‘mouthpiece’ off the website, but are perfectly fine with keeping someone who many of us consider to be the primary Conservative mouthpiece on that same blogroll.

These folks should at least try to to be consistent in their arguments.

11 comments to ‘Free speech for me, but not for thee’.

  • J-ville

    I think KC hit the nail on the head. There’s absolutely no inconsistency or hypocrisy here. Freedom of speech only means one thing: that the government cannot order you to shut up. It doesn’t mean people have to listen to you. It doesn’t mean you have to provide a platform for any yutz who comes along with something to babble about. While it’s surely *lame* for someone to complain that the inclusion of Warren Kinsella on a blogroll is “partisan” while the inclusion of Stephen Taylor is not, in no way does asking Kinsella to be removed suggest an inclination towards “muzzling free speech”. I can’t think of any free-speech advocate who thinks, for example, that the operator of a private blog is obligated to let any commenter say whatever they want.

    Your argument, Scott, is on the same intellectual level as Kinsella’s when he implies that if you defend X’s right to say X, you automatically endorse and agree with X.

  • “My experience is that bloggers who do not allow comments (or who censor comments based on political ideology) are the minority and cannot be taken as any sort of general indicator regarding the state of discussion surrounding any given topic in the political blogosphere.”

    Probably true. However, It seems to me that the majority of conservative bloggers who explicitly brag about their commitment to free speech routinely stifle it on their sites.

    Shaidle, Defender of Free Speech, doesn’t allow comments on her “Half a Pint of Bitter” site. When I disagreed with her civilly on that American mock news site she posts to, she had my comment removed.

    Blazing Cat Fur, Mr. Shaidle, censors comments.

    Ezra censors comments, including some polite but pointed questions about how exactly he proposed to spend the money he was raising for his “Union of Bloggers”. Say, whatever DID happen to those contributions?

    Right Girl bans folks who disagree with her too frequently.

    Sentinel bans, censors, and edits existing comments.

    Halls of Macademia censors and blocks.

    The Politic edits existing comments.

    Which of the leading “Free Speech” sites in Canada does that leave out?

  • My experience is that bloggers who do not allow comments (or who censor comments based on political ideology) are the minority and cannot be taken as any sort of general indicator regarding the state of discussion surrounding any given topic in the political blogosphere – it is hypocritical in the extreme to discuss free speech and then censor or deny comments but hypocrisy is not, by any means, confined to one end of the political spectrum.

    I comment on a fairly wide variety of blogs of different political stripes following different political issues that encourage debate, and don’t bother reading, or (unless in unusual circumstances) linking/promoting, blogs that do not allow comments, censor comments, or engage in comment swarming – echo chambers are the pointless wastes of time that vanity bloggers and political dogmatics engage in.

    Final thoughts, the last blog I was told to leave because the author did not agree with my thoughts is on the Progressive Bloggers blog roll, the last blog that offered me guest authoring privileges is on the Blogging Tories blog roll.

  • Scott, you misunderstand the real Conservative position…they don’t want free speech, they want consequence-free speech.

    And no, they don’t understand the difference…

  • CK

    Wrong Rat, more conservative blogs practice censorship than the centrist and left wing blogs.
    Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet of Fury doesn’t enable comments on her blog.
    An acquaintance of my family is an ultra right wingnut and probably the president of the Orly Taitz, Ayn Rand and Sarah Palin fan clubs, doesn’t enable ratings on his youtube videos and he’s selective as to which comments he publishes or not.
    Also, it would seem Michael Coren doesn’t allow comments on his videos.
    Maria S of Dodo Can’t Spell wouldn’t even publish my comment which was directly in response to a posting where she basically trashes my blog and another like minded blogger.
    And yes, unless it incites violence, I do allow comments from those who disagree with me or a posting on my blog to stand.

  • the rat

    You seem to be under the misapprehension that free speech means I have to listen to you, or publish you, or refrain from arguing against you. How absurd! The reason we “speechies” want to allow racists and hatemongers a venue for their speech is so that we can know who they are and argue against them, it isn’t hard to discredit a racist argument. Only Liberals seem to think that censoring speech defeats it.

    If you don’t wish to publish my comment, well, it’s your blog and I can always publish my comments on my own blog. You’re aren’t in any way limiting my right to speech if you chose to do just that.

  • I published indirectly about Mark Steyn on my blog and holy schmoly they came after me in droves. Apparently he linked to my posting on his site. (I’ve been too chicken to read what he wrote) His fans are a little nasty though.

  • CK

    Funny, my last posting was about that very same thing and those who commented on the posting had those same questions.
    Try commenting on a right winged blog and it won’t get published with perhaps the exception of SUZY ALLCAPSLOCK of Big Blue Wave (Blue Wave Canada)
    My last posting was a shrilly individual whose page I never read before yesterday when I happened to come across her trashing me and another blogger. I wrote a rebuttal on my page because, she refused to allow my comment on her posting trashing me!! How’s that for irony??

  • KC

    Seriously Scott? There is no comparison between the state ordering that X cannot be said and Joe Blow the blogger saying X cannot be said on my blog. Joe Blow the blogger doesn’t have the power of coercion and can’t prevent you from saying X elsewhere. No comparison.

    There is also no comparison between the state ordering that you not say X and Joe Blow the blogger asking someone else not to say X. I don’t think even the “speechies” would disagree that for instance the complainant in the MacLeans case or the Western Standard case had every ‘right’ to ask the respective publications not to publish to impugned material.

    Take whatever position you want on the issue of state adjudication of hate speech but these comparisons are just asinine. There is no inconsistency here.

  • Roll Tide

    I agree with Scott on this one. However, I find it ironic that it Warren Kinsella complaining.
    I have given up on posting on his blog because he has NEVER published my comments. I even resorted to complaining about him on this blog only to be berated by Scott.

    http://scottdiatribe.canflag.com/2009/09/16/harpers-hubris-will-catch-up-to-him-eventually/#comments

  • Big Winnie

    That’s one thing you can count on the Conservatives to be: Consistently inconsistent

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