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For the Millionth Time: Criticism is Not Censorship

For the Millionth Time: Criticism is Not Censorship October 4, 2015

ConstitutionIt always drives me crazy when the right wing pretends that if you criticize someone, you’ve somehow violated their First Amendment rights. The latest example is from Jonathan Saenz, the virulently anti-gay leader of the group Texas Values, who is outraged — or so he says — that “hero” (actually, baseball player) Lance Berkman is being criticized for coming out against the Houston human rights ordinance.

“Of course you’re going to have people who are going to have an opinion on it who are going to weigh in,” he begins. “One of those people is Lance Berkman, [who] happens to be a very beloved Major League Baseball player and a hero for the Houston Astros. They won championships and divisional games and all kinds of great stuff because of his heroics on the field.”

Heroics. Did he save a life? Did he put himself in danger? No, he played a fucking game. The word hero has no business being there. You’re just trying to make this guy seem sacred and immune to criticism.

“There’s been a negative response by some,” the attorney continues, “and particularly, there was one sports reporter named Bill Baer. He reports for NBC Sports. He called Lance Berkman ‘human garbage’ on Twitter over the weekend. That was his response to Lance Berkman exercising his First Amendment rights about an issue.”

You mean…in response to Berkman exercising his First Amendment rights, this guy…exercise his First Amendment rights? How horrible of him! Doesn’t he know that only bigots get First Amendment rights and if you criticize them, you’re violating their rights?


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