In My Opinion…as Long as It Agrees with You
I think my dad said it best’ “Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has one … and they usually stink.” We are losing our individual voices in the court of public opinion. You either agree with the norm or face ridicule.
Looking at the unfolding dramas of the last few week involving Rush Limbaugh, it is concerning the mob mentality and bullying which takes place in our society when there is a difference of opinion. Even though this is an extreme case of a celebrity figure expressing their viewpoint on current events; the subsequent “witch hunt” is almost as harmful to our freedom of speech as the words were harmful to Sandra Fluke. The ends do not justify the means and could ultimately rob us of our freedoms.
RUSH-ING TO AN APOLOGY
Rush Limbaugh recently apologized for comments he made on his conservative talk show in regards to Sandra Fluke’s congressional testimony. She expressed her opinion that the Georgetown Catholic Law School she was currently attending did not provide insurance coverage for contraceptives which went against the beliefs of the Catholic Church. To illustrate his view; Rush Limbaugh concluded that anyone who is asking for money to fund a sexual lifestyle would be a prostitute or a slut. He further went on to say she should film these acts for all to see since we would ultimately be paying for this chosen lifestyle. As damning and crude as these comments were, the fact remains these were his opinions. But where was the line crossed and our freedoms infringed upon?
Sandra Fluke said the apology was not enough. Many others felt the same way and began flooding the shows advertisers with requests to pull their ads. Today, as many as 14 companies and two radio networks are no longer working with Rush and his daily radio program. Sandra also encouraged people in a recent interview to visit mediamatters.org which in addition to giving a timeline of events; has a list of companies which are still working with Rush Limbaugh for people to continue to target.
WHO IS THE BULLY AND WHO IS BEING BULLIED?
Whether you agree with Rush Limbaugh’s comments or not, the fact is Rush has now become a victim. Some feel he is a victim of his own doing and some feel people went too far to go after someone’s financial well-being in order to make their voice “felt” by those who disagreed with them. Whatever the case, this undermines our civil liberties to express ourselves in a public forum.
Forcing companies to conform to the opinions of a few is not new. Recently, an organization called A Million Moms tried unsuccessfully to have JC Penny remove Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson because of her sexual orientation. JC Penny backed their choice and defended their decision; their choice. They chose to fight instead of caving in to the opinions of a few. Rush Limbaugh should have done the same if that is what he truly believed. It’s too bad that the value of money is greater than the value of our values. So, without fear of consequences because I live in a country that allows the freedom of speech, I give you my opinions:
In my opinion, I feel Rush Limbaugh should not have apologized. I do not agree with his assessment of Sandra Fluke, but it was his opinion and I feel anyone can say what they want and I can choose to agree or disagree with it.
In my opinion, I do feel that a church or a church –affiliated private institution should be able to express and practice their teachings as they see fit. If you don’t like it, go to a different school or go to a different church. We do not live in a country which dictates what religion we can and cannot practice.
In my opinion, I feel birth control pills should be marketed for only their intended purpose and the pharmaceutical companies should be researching, marketing and distributing separate products which deal with other female medical issues. This way they would be covered by all institutions, including religious organizations which do not practice or believe in contraceptives.
Those were my opinions on the subject. I hope no one goes after my sponsors. ;o)
Media Matters (2012, March 5). Who is advertising on Rush Limbaugh? Retrieved from http://mediamatters.org/blog/201203050019
Negrin, M. (2012, March 5). Sandra Fluke says Rush Limbaugh’s apology doesn’t change anything. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/sandra-fluke-rush-limbaugh-apology-change/story?id=15849793
Weinstein, J.L. (2012, February 2). One million moms to JC Penny: Fire Ellen, she’s gay. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/02/us-ellendegeneres-idUSTRE8111Q420120202