Today’s media allows everyone a chance to be heard.
We can speak our minds and share our ideas throughout the world.
Unfortunately, we seem to be doing so with such joyful abandon that there is little thought given to the consequences or the responsibility that go with having a public voice.
Rush Limbaugh proved that even 20 years of experience doesn’t always hone one’s judgement.
In fact, Limbaugh’s three-day attack on activist Sandra Fluke’s congressional testimony proved only that his years in front of a microphone have given him a wealth of synonyms for the word “slut.”
And his recent apology has been scrutinized and found to be almost more insulting that the initial verbal attack.
To paraphrase: I have the money and the prestige but for the sake of the advertisers, “mea culpa” – even though I still believe everything I said.
This is a paid professional pundit of two decades who still cannot clean up his diatribe or use his inside voice.
If you can’t argue your position without taking personal pot-shots, perhaps it’s not as strong as you thought.
Unfortunately, the bar has been set by the pros such as Limbaugh, Ed Schultz (who called Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut”), and Don Imus (who called the Rutgers women’s basketball team a bunch of “nappy-headed hos”).
And now, the Internet allows others to follow in their footsteps.
A North Carolina teen posted on her Facebook page some rather heated commentary about her parents, their request that she get a job and their rules that she do chores around the house.
She posted it using her computer which her father had bought and recently had upgraded for her.
In retaliation, her dad posted a video. Sitting in a field, he read her complaints and added his own rant about her. Then he pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and shot her computer eight times. One bullet was apparently on behalf of her mother.
Police and child-protection agencies eventually showed up but the video – which has had more than 22 million views – has people laughing and cheering for the beleaguered dad.
Even the ladies of The Talk felt he was justified and the girl deserved it.
Are they suggesting that shooting a computer eight times is an appropriate parental reaction when a teenager acts out? Who’s the adult here?
And we live in a competitive society. Someone somewhere sometime soon is going to try to one-up the pistol-packin’ poppa on YouTube.
Maybe we’re making it too easy for everyone to speak their minds in the media. People need to take responsibility for the wrath they put “out there.”
Otherwise, it might be time to pull the reins on this whole freedom of speech thing.
Of course, that could mean I may have to go back to muttering to myself in the corner.
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