Louie C.K. on Free Speech
This radio censorship bullshit has got to stop
"Today Opie and Anthony, two guys with a very popular radio show that I have appeared on many times, were suspended for thirty days because of things that were said on the air during their show on XM sattelite radio. And now I hear that they are actually fired. For those of you who haven’t heard it, here is the offending clip…
I have to say something about this because I think it is terrible, alarming and part of a trend of censorship which is the most dangerous thing to happen in America in a long time, in my view. I am blown away by how little outcry there has been over this especially among liberals, who are supposed to defend civil liberties, but seem only to do so when the rights of peole with their views are threatened. It makes me really really sick. So I’m goign to say somethign about it.
Now I’m going to warn you that I am a terrible writer when I am not writing comedy or dialogue. What follows will be meandering and repetitive and rife with bad spelling and run-on sentances.
This is not what I do and I’m only doing it because I think I have to and anyway it’s my website so fuck off if you don’t like it…
One thing I have heard ad nauseum is that this is not censorship because the government didn’t do it. I don’t understand why so many people say this. It doesn’t have to be government censorship to be censorship. If anyone silences anyone because what they said pissed someone off, they censored them. It may not be illegal or a first ammendment issue, but it is censorship. Moreover, we live in a country where corporations run everything and have the government at their beck and call and vice verca. The two are fucking each other in the fetid cunt all day long. So in that world it doesn’t really matter who wielded the axe.
I’ve also heard people say that XM was merely excerizing their right to take these guys off the air because they objected to what was said on their service.
The idea that this company is suspending O and A because they are concerned or offended by what they said is a joke. It’s just not the case. they suspended them because other people were offended and applied pressure. I know this because I have been on their show numerous times and MUCH worse things were said about all kinds of people, women and men.
the reason this became an issue is because XM and Sirrius are trying to merge. That merger needs Federal approval and it’s on thin ice because it’s clearly a monopoly. They need the Feds to ignore this fact and let them merge so that some rich people will become richer and their subscribers will have to buy new radios. The Fed has been saying int he hearings that they are concerned about sattelite radio running without restrictions or regulations. These assholes at Sirrius and XM are actually going to prove here that they are going to listen when the government wants their content changed simply so they can make money on a stock deal. They are selling out cellestial radio freedom for money. THAT is what is at stake here. Now, you may say “Well I don’t care because they will only ever censor this one show for this one reason that is something i enjoy sayign I object to. Of course they will NEVER misuse this channel of influence once it’s been opened. The virus from this will never jump from XM to HBO or podcasting or the internet or blogging. No way.” That’s you talking. And you are wrong.
Now, here’s the part where I”m supposed to say “Of course I found the coments on their show regarding the secretary of state and first lady to be deplorable.” Or “While I defend their rights, I whole-heartedly disagree with the deplorable nature of the rape jokes, bla bla bla.” I’m sorry I can’t do that. Because I listened to this clip and it made me laugh. I am a man who hates all violence. I am a man who believes rape is the very worst possible crime. I think it’s worse than murder because murder can actually be justified in certain cases. No one has ever raped in self defense. So yes, rape is horrible. Not just rape of women, by the way, rape of boys too. (rape of men does not exist) \BUt is joking about rape wrong? IN MY OPINION, no way.
SO I was not offended by what was said on their show. I think it’s important that I tell you this because the entire point here is that people can interpret things differently. Some people are offended and some aren’t. The reason it’s wrong to take someone off the air for what they said, or to bear pressure on a company to take them off the air, is because even though you might think what they said is wrong, someone else might not think it’s wrong so YOU MIGHT BE WRONG! Of course you should protest when you hear something you find offensive. You shoudl attack speech that you find deplorable. But not silence it or stand by while it is silenced.
I thought the clip was funny.
I also think it’s kind of fucked up how everyone quotes this guy saying “I’d like to fuck that bitch” about condeleeza rice, like that on it’s own is offensive or constiututes rape. What the fuck is wrong, or unfunny, about a homeless man saying “I’d like to fuck that bitch” in regards to that stupid fucking cynical Iraqi-baby-eating-with-a-smile cunt Condeleeza??? And Laura Bush? When he said “I would fuck her to death.” I laughed my ass off. these are horrible people who are ruining the country. And the queen is a proud member of a horrible, horrible family that has been eating poor people for centuries. If some guy who lives in a box in this cruel and wrongful nation can’t have a fantacy about fucking the first lady, then what is this world coming to?
By the way, he never said he wanted to rape the queen. as a matter of fact, charlie never said he wanted to rape anyone. He said “I want to fuck that bitch condeleeza rice” then anthony said some shit that made it sound kind of rapey and charlie said “punch her in the face. Shut up.” which, okay, made me cringe alittle. that’s what happens in this kind of free-for-all. People stray into dangerous water. I’ve done it myself, on that show and elsewhere. But the overall feeling I got from this guy was that he is a man living on the street thinking about how he’d like to fuck some high-status womenl. I see zero wrong with that. It’s a fantacy and i gotta say I believe that his living on the street and being black has a lot to do with why some people were offended by it.
As far as the queen, he said “Fuck the queen. She looks lost. What are you lost? With your ugly horse face?” What the fuck is wrong with that? He’s making fun of the queen. Good for him. waht are you a bunch of fucking tories?
The entire appeal to O and A is that they create an atmosphere that says “Let’s see how awful this can get.” the listners and the participants, including me on both sides, get a tremendous release from checking their hangups at the dial and just laughing at jokes about terrible and depraved things. Because it’s fun and harmless. It’s free speech at it’s best in my opinion. They had an idea on this particular day. Let’s get this guy who lives in a box into the studio. Let’s give him a hot meal and put some money in his pocket. Then let’s give him a microphone and some air time on XM, the place where people only go if they pay for it. The place that is suppsoed to be uncensored, on a show that brags that if you listen you will probably hear something revolting. (IT wasn’t good morning america for fuck’s sake. ) Then they asked this guy to speak his mind on world events. And what did we find out? That when he sees Condi Rice, Laura Bush and the Queen on a tv through a store window or on the cover of the paper that he uses as a duvet cover, he thinks “I’d like to fuck that bitch.” Wow, what a crime against all women. And then Anthony picks it up from there and pictures that Condi would be rather non-plussed at being fucked by Charlie, and he adds that he’d be holding her down becuase that made the image even worse, even more fucked up and twisted and funny and not wrong, in my opinion, because it’s all just fantacy. They’re letting their minds go to terrible places becuase that is okay to do on a show that is comedy. Even charlie is just fucking around. YOu can tell in his voice if you don’t have your anus all puckered up and ready to be offended.
I’m goign to the extreme here to make a point. You may have heard this clip and been just disgusted, and I understand that. Obviously other people were. But reasonable people can disagree about whether it was purely bad or not or what went on in the clip. You do not own the truth about what was said and how wrong or right it was.
I’M NOT SAYING THAT THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED BECAUSE WHAT THEY SAID WAS OKAY. I’m saying that some were offended and some weren’t, including me. The outrage against what they said is good. It’s healthy. Go for it. But keeping them on the air is more important.
Everyone needs to go watch the Woody Harelson Hustler movie again. I am blown away by how little people understand about free speech and what threatens it.
To all my liberal friends out there, please imagine if they were suspended for saying that we need to get out of Iraq, for speaking out against the war. There is no way you would stand by and let that happen.
The reason I bring this up is because you may think that speaking out against the war is noble. But some people think it’s disgusting. Some people think it’s treason. Some people, who have family members in Iraq, in harms way, think that if you speak against the war you are putting their relatives at risk and what could be worse than that? I remember during the election between Kerry and Bush, I called my mother and asked her who she was voting for. My mother has been a liberal democrat all my life. She said she wasn’t going to vote. I was shocked. She told me that she could NOT vote for Kerry, because her brother fought in Vietnam. He was there voluntarily for many years. She was terrified of losing him. And when she saw Ivy League John kerry on Television, fresh from a very very very short tour, speaking out against the war, she hated him for it. I was shocked to hear her say this but I also realized that I cannot imagine what that fear was like for her. I had to respect it. I realized that, while I am certain that protesting this war is noble act, I cannot really argue with some people who find such protest disgusting. Likewise I cannot Argue with people who find O and A or these comments disgusting. I am not them. BUT, fucking BUTTT!!!! that is excatly why, as sure as you are that some speech is wrong, and loudly you should say it, you should NEVER SILENCE SPEECH.
The right wing took Howard off the airwaves with their fines and no one cared. THe left wing took Imus off and now they’re meeting in the middle to take off O and A. How is this not scarey to you? How do you not see that you have to protect everyone’s speech?
This is what I think. Speech does have reprecussions. But the repreccussions should be other speech in opposition. Not silencing. It hought it was great, after Imus said what he said, that there was outcry and discussion about it. He should have been, and was, chastized, objected to, humiliated, and forced to defend or recant his words (he chose recant) but not silenced. If you don’t see how that’s wrong and dangerous, you are in a dangerous haze of bliss. and if you think that the fact that he was silenced by a company and not a government means anything, you are in for some shit.
I’m not going to go back over this and edit it so please only hold me accountable for about 60 percent of it.
thanks for your time.”