Editorial: Free speech doesn't have to be disrespectful

A lack of regard for history, tragedy and each other is pervasive today

  • Follow Editorials

Along with “responsibility,” add “respect” to the list of character attributes seriously on the wane in America.

Singer Beyoncé recently released a song using NASA audio of the 1986 Challenger explosion – a completely crass commercialization of one of America’s most painful, poignant moments in memory.

And during its New Year’s Eve coverage, NBC’s guest comedian Natasha Leggero took note of the tacky way that the SpaghettiOs manufacturer last month tried to commercialize Pearl Harbor Day. Except that Leggero exponentially compounded the poor taste with her own – crudely joking that the World War II survivors had been exploited “by the only food they can still chew.”

Are there no standards in anyone’s head anymore?

Beyoncé is one of the entertainment world’s leading ladies. And neither NBC nor Leggero are hurting financially. It just goes to show you that neither money nor material wealth nor fame nor adulation can produce class.

It also shows you how utterly disrespectful American culture is today, not to mention wholly without perspective.

No media outlet is worse than MSNBC, the radical-left cable network which has constantly had to discipline its on-air “talent” for offensive remarks: Alec Baldwin, for an anti-gay slur; Martin Bashir, for a foul suggestion of what should happen to a conservative woman; and Melissa Harris-Perry, for her racist mocking of the Romneys’ black grandchild.

That’s just the most recent. Then again, there’s Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann. The NBC commissary apparently serves up its bile straight and undiluted.

Imagine that – the sanctimonious, self-righteous, “tolerant” far left, leading the league in racist, misogynistic and homophobic broadcast outrages.

But it’s larger than that. It’s a near-complete breakdown in respect. Never mind the hypocrisy or the politics of some of it; what are these people thinking, mocking someone for the race of his grandchildren, or suggesting human waste be put in a woman’s mouth, or calling people offensive names?

And why is MSNBC such a chronic sanctuary for such sewage?

What in the world was Leggero thinking, spewing such a sick joke about our Pearl Harbor survivors? How could anyone think of using audio from the Challenger disaster – which killed seven Americans in a hauntingly nightmarish moment – for commercial purposes, and in a pop song about kissing?

Beyoncé issued a tepid apology claiming it was an effort to pay tribute to the seven astronauts – even though, as one report put it, “there is no mention of them, or even allusion to their existence, in the song ...” And certainly no one in the Challenger family sees it as a tribute.

Respect – for history, for tragedy, for what goes on in another person’s shoes – requires perspective: a realization that the planet doesn’t revolve around you; the knowledge that other people’s pain is nothing to trifle with; a healthy view of your own place in the world; knowing when flippancy is completely inappropriate, even for comedians and entertainers; a reverence for things that others hold sacred; and, of course, the kind of civility that only comes with being well-bred.

Is there room for such things in a culture that seems to consider conceit and self-absorption to be more sacrosanct than fundamental Judeo-Christian principles?

Comments (34)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
carcraft
20819
Points
carcraft 01/07/14 - 06:48 am
11
3

Look, one well known

Look, one well known hollywierd singer beds another man's wife and the adulterer are having a child together, and the stupid relationship is celebrated all over the media. The word tacky doesn't do the situation justice.

Riverman1
70962
Points
Riverman1 01/07/14 - 08:14 am
9
0

TRY To Be The Good Guy

"Respect – for history, for tragedy, for what goes on in another person’s shoes – requires perspective: a realization that the planet doesn’t revolve around you; the knowledge that other people’s pain is nothing to trifle with; a healthy view of your own place in the world; knowing when flippancy is completely inappropriate, even for comedians and entertainers; a reverence for things that others hold sacred; and, of course, the kind of civility that only comes with being well-bred."

That bears repeating. I sincerely TRY to live with that in mind on a personal level in all places. Friends and family in addition to those I encounter in the workplace, life in general and online commenting. I try to believe I'm the good guy in the movies who respects and is friends with all. Who would want to be the bad guy? Maybe I'm not always successful, but I'm trying.

ymnbde
7579
Points
ymnbde 01/07/14 - 08:25 am
10
1

speech may be free, but righteous indignation

in a society as affluent as ours, is usually bought
and paid for by the political class

harley_52
19571
Points
harley_52 01/07/14 - 09:41 am
6
1

"I sincerely TRY to live with that in mind...

....on a personal level in all places. Friends and family in addition to those I encounter in the workplace, life in general and online commenting. I try to believe I'm the good guy in the movies who respects and is friends with all. Who would want to be the bad guy? Maybe I'm not always successful, but I'm trying."

Good for you, Riverman.

I wish you only the best and I look forward to your successes.

Bizkit
22149
Points
Bizkit 01/07/14 - 09:53 am
8
2

They are entertainers-no one

They are entertainers-no one said they have any intelligence.

Bizkit
22149
Points
Bizkit 01/07/14 - 09:47 am
8
2

The only way to fight "bad"

The only way to fight "bad" is with "good"-it's like pouring hot ashes on their hot heads.

Bodhisattva
4982
Points
Bodhisattva 01/07/14 - 10:05 am
5
13

From the mouths of Palin,

From the mouths of Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage, Ingraham, Coulter, Carlson, Bolton, Gallagher, Levin, Liddy, and the list goes on and on and on and..... many of whom are on a constant rotation on Fox, Roger Ailes dream comes true since Nixon of a GOP propaganda network. Lies, distortion, half truths, whatever, it takes to bend the truth. Interesting how they keep appearing, yet anyone who offends the right gets fired from MSNBC. Starting the new year with the same hypocrisy as the old. The Chronicle never changes. Big tax giveaways to the right people are wonderul, small amounts to feed the poor, elderly and children are wasteful. Trash talk by the right, with no remorse, is free speech. A statement that is true, but upsets a rightwing drama queen media prostitute, even if accompanied by an appology gets someone on the left fired and the Chronicle feels the right is slighted. It figures.

bob0142
480
Points
bob0142 01/07/14 - 11:08 am
9
3

That is a pretty one sided

Unpublished

That is a pretty one sided outlook there Bod, you guys on the left really are not even trying anymore. Let it go man

harley_52
19571
Points
harley_52 01/07/14 - 11:29 am
8
1

"The only way to fight "bad" is with "good"....

....it's like pouring hot ashes on their hot heads."

Very true. One need look no further than Mitt Romney's comments about the MSNBC attack on his grandchild for all the proof necessary.

bob0142
480
Points
bob0142 01/07/14 - 11:34 am
7
3

Some examples of how

Unpublished

Some examples of how "innocent" the left is

"A spoiled child (Bush) is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked]." -- A "humor bit" from the Randi Rhodes Show
"I want to go up to the closest white person and say: 'You can't understand this, it's a black thing' and then slap him, just for my mental health" -- New York city councilman Charles Barron

"..And then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq 'We have our good days and our bad days.' We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days' and pull the trigger." -- From a fundraising ad put out by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club
"I believe in ecoterrorism." -- James Cameron

"...In an ideal world, American consumers could be convinced to do the right thing through an appeal to logic with public service messages like the 'What Would Jesus Drive?' TV campaign, but the kind of people who would buy a car that increases the risk to other motorists in an accident can't be reasoned with. They're selfish and stupid. It's unfortunate that drivers must worry that their SUVs are being targeted by insulting stickers and Molotov cocktails, but one thing's for sure: It couldn't be happening to a more deserving group of people." -- Ted Rall winks at ecoterrorism

"If I got (Condi Rice) a— on camera, I would put my Mars Air Jordans so far up her butt that the Mayo Clinic would have to remove them." -- Spike Lee

"I know how the 'tea party' people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their 'Obama Plan White Slavery' signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads." -- The Washington Post's Courtland Milloy

Bizkit
22149
Points
Bizkit 01/07/14 - 11:42 am
8
5

Please Bod, after Obama has

Please Bod, after Obama has been blatantly lying and misleading Americans for years over the ACA and likely everything else. I don't believe a statistic or anything from this blatantly un-transparent, maligning, lying administration. What person would?

bob0142
480
Points
bob0142 01/07/14 - 12:04 pm
3
4

A few quotes about liberals.

Unpublished

A few quotes about liberals. Let me mention I am passing these along, I would not want a certain someone to get herself into a snit and go crying to the staff.

Words mean nothing to liberals. They say whatever will help advance their cause at the moment, switch talking points in a heartbeat, and then act indignant if anyone uses the exact same argument they were using five minutes ago.

Inside many liberals is a totalitarian screaming to get out. They don't like to have another point of view in the room that they don't squash and the way they try to squash it is by character assassination and name calling.

It was in the 1960s that the left convinced itself that there is something fascistic about patriotism and something perversely "patriotic" about running down America. Anti-Americanism -- a stand-in for hatred of Western civilization -- became the stuff of sophisticates and intellectuals as never before. Flag burners became the truest "patriots" because dissent -- not just from partisan politics, but the American project itself -- became the highest virtue

One of the overriding points of Liberal Fascism is that all of the totalitarian "isms" of the left commit the fallacy of the category error. They all want the state to be something it cannot be. They passionately believe the government can love you, that the state can be your God or your church or your tribe or your parent or your village or all of these things at once. Conservatives occasionally make this mistake, libertarians never do, liberals almost always do

When one becomes a liberal, he or she pretends to advocate tolerance, equality and peace, but hilariously, they're doing so for purely selfish reasons. It's the human equivalent of a puppy dog's face: an evolutionary tool designed to enhance survival, reproductive value and status. In short, liberalism is based on one central desire: to look cool in front of others in order to get love. Preaching tolerance makes you look cooler, than saying something like, “please lower my taxes

If you can somehow force a liberal into a point- counterpoint argument, his retorts will bear no relation to what you've said -- unless you were in fact talking about your looks, your age, your weight, your personal obsessions, or whether you are a fascist. In the famous liberal two-step, they leap from one idiotic point to the next, so you can never nail them. It's like arguing with someone with Attention Deficit Disorder

nofanofobama
6177
Points
nofanofobama 01/07/14 - 12:32 pm
8
5

bod--you rewriting history is

bod--you rewriting history is not going to change anything***fact**we on the right talk policy**it offends you because you know your position on the left are so almighty wrong..thats why msnbc is so vile**they have nothing left to say..look whos been getting rich during obumlers reign ...wall street ..big bankers...the very thing you accuse the republicans of...and obumler care..you know insurance companies are going to be bailed out, and aarp will make billions in obumler care..yep the little guys lose their insurance friends of REID and OBUMLER laugh all the way to the bank..at the expense of the little guy...remember you gotta pass it to see whats in it..

ymnbde
7579
Points
ymnbde 01/07/14 - 12:52 pm
9
4

well, actions speak louder than words

and the actions of the leftists are far more offensive
than their childish rhetoric
just go to any government housing project
or most government schools
and see the plight of black children
the democrats built that
they succeeded where jim crow and the kkk failed

nofanofobama
6177
Points
nofanofobama 01/07/14 - 01:06 pm
7
4

WELL SAID ..ymnbde

WELL SAID ..ymnbde

bob0142
480
Points
bob0142 01/07/14 - 01:38 pm
5
3

Let me ask something, earlier

Unpublished

Let me ask something, earlier today I made a post that went exactly like this.
Liberalism is more dangerous that anything smoking could do. Too bad we can not ban that.
That was it yet someone reported me, I know who did it but will not say the name, and I got a warning from Sean. Seriously, do you guys think that comment constitutes a personal attack or harassment? I know I see much worse than that in here everyday.

Sean Moores
111
Points
Sean Moores 01/07/14 - 02:33 pm
9
2

@bob0142

The comment was entirely off topic for the story. If you had posted it under an editorial, I wouldn't have removed it.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 01/07/14 - 03:17 pm
7
3

"WELL SAID ..ymnbde" The

Unpublished

"WELL SAID ..ymnbde"
The democrats and black leaders have brainwashed most blacks into believing they are helping them when in fact they are doing great harm to black people. It is a shame.

owensjef3
5548
Points
owensjef3 01/07/14 - 03:21 pm
3
7

Bod told the truth. Msnbc

Unpublished

Bod told the truth. Msnbc makes their staff apologize, has anyone ever apologize or get fired on Fox.

bob0142
480
Points
bob0142 01/07/14 - 03:47 pm
5
4

I do not remember anyone on

Unpublished

I do not remember anyone on Fox suggesting an animal defecating into someones mouth would be a good thing owensjef, so what is it you think they should apologize for?

Truth Matters
5310
Points
Truth Matters 01/07/14 - 03:57 pm
4
3

Free speech/disrespectfulness

I have concluded that some people relish in being disrespectful. After some reflection for the New Year, I suggested to one poster that he/she and I could agree not to make fun our user name but address the topic. That suggestion was derided by same poster and another as whining. The second poster suggested that "Sean kick both of them off" for behaving like children.

Most can appreciate a pithy retort; I sure can, and can come up with one every once in a while. But I am no longer surprised by the coarseness that we see played out in the media or in this forum.

corgimom
19666
Points
corgimom 01/07/14 - 04:02 pm
3
6

All of those "commentators"

All of those "commentators" say inappropriate things.

All of the politicians lie.

To say that one is worse than the other is inappropriate and untrue.

All of the cable news channels are guilty.

And it's all about ratings, and publicity.

Those cable networks compete fiercely for viewers. They are engaged in a business, and they use what brings in the most viewers.

myfather15
42226
Points
myfather15 01/07/14 - 04:02 pm
8
4

bob0142

I also don't remember anyone on Fox making crude comments about a black child, being raised in a white affluent family!! If they did, people on the left's heads would blow right off their necks!! They wouldn't call for firing, they would call for criminal prosecution or vigilante justice!!

myfather15
42226
Points
myfather15 01/07/14 - 04:04 pm
8
3

bob0142

About a post being removed: don't take it personal, we've all had posts removed. Especially me when I first started commenting. I had to learn what to say and what not to say; I'm still working on that.

myfather15
42226
Points
myfather15 01/07/14 - 04:10 pm
9
3

Corgimom

To say the comments of Fox News reporters, compares to the vile filth that comes from the mouths of MSNBC reporters, is disingenuous at best, complete BULL, at worst!!

harley_52
19571
Points
harley_52 01/07/14 - 04:52 pm
6
4

"The comment was entirely off topic for the story....

....If you had posted it under an editorial, I wouldn't have removed it."

Huh?

I thought this WAS an Editorial?

CobaltGeorge
139251
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/07/14 - 04:54 pm
7
4

Yes corgi,

"Those cable networks compete fiercely for viewers. They are engaged in a business, and they use what brings in the most viewers."

Truth is what makes FOX the highest viewed news station in the US. For some reason, True Americans just can not stomach LIES>

myfather15
42226
Points
myfather15 01/07/14 - 05:03 pm
5
3

I don't doubt at all the Fox

I don't doubt at all that Fox slants some of their coverage and reports divisive stories; but if there is smidgem of Truth left in the media, Fox News is the only one who possesses it!! I also like "The Blaze", even more truth comes from them!! I'm beginning more and more to like Libertarians!! If only they wouldn't advocate the legalization of ALL narcotics (marijuana I can deal with), and stop saying we don't need to defend Israel!!!

harley_52
19571
Points
harley_52 01/07/14 - 05:11 pm
8
2

".... and stop saying we don't need to defend Israel!!!"

I have a problem with their entire strategy as regards the use of the military, specifically....not to strike until you've been stricken.

That used to make sense, but then along came WMD. Now you can lose hundreds of thousands of lives (or maybe millions) if you sit back and wait until you're attacked.

Roosevelt said something like 'you don't wait until a rattlesnake bites you before you crush it' and I pretty much agree with that philosophy.

harley_52
19571
Points
harley_52 01/07/14 - 05:25 pm
4
2

Voting Libertarian...

Seems appealing, sometimes, but it's not a practical thing to do for a disgruntled Republican.

At least as it stands now, voting Libertarian usually helps insure a democrat gets elected since most Libertarians are disgruntled Republicans, not disgruntled democrats. Most Libertarians are Conservatives....not liberals.

Unfortunately, that sometimes means holding your nose and voting for the least bad candidate or, said another way, voting for the most Conservative of the liberal candidates running for the particular office in question.

It would be a good thing for the Country to have three viable political parties, but that is not presently the case.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Post exchange construction loses 40 days to winter

The $22 million expansion of Fort Gordon's Post Exchange lost nearly 40 construction days this winter, but the project's manager said Wednesday that the new facility should be ready well ahead of ...
Loading...