Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

The Difference between Phil Robertson and MSNBC Anchors

A few articles in the media have surfaced recently that accuse Governor Palin of free speech hypocrisy.

The attempted argument is that Governor Palin only wants free speech for people like Phil Robertson while wanting to deny it to anchors at MSNBC.

Unfortunately for the sad cherry-pickers, the comparison is apples and oranges and the free speech parallel they are trying to draw is meaningless.

First, Phil Robertson was being interviewed by a member of the press.  He wasn’t playing the role of journalist and he does not claim to be the owner or an anchor of a news organization.

Second, even though Phil Robertson’s opinion on homosexuality came across as crass to some, he concluded his comments by saying he had love for all human beings and wished no harm to people he disagreed with.

To the contrary, Melissa Harris-Perry markets herself as an anchor on an alleged “news” organization.  Previously, MSNBC attempted (albeit, poorly) to showcase a platform of journalistic standards by holding Alec Baldwin accountable to his previous “anti-gay” remarks even though he was offset when the incident occurred.

As individuals, Perry, Bashir, and others are entitled to whatever opinion they have.  No matter how gross the comments of anchors at MSNBC are, they are protected by the First Amendment.

The problem is that’s not the argument.

The argument is about the profession of journalism which Governor Palin has a degree in and that our men and women in uniform fight for.  Journalism is supposed to be a cornerstone of our democracy that should accompany a certain level of integrity.  Aside from yellow journalism of the usual brand that we already expect out of left-leaning organizations like MSNBC, some of the “professionals” working at their network like Martin Bashir and Melissa Harris-Perry have moved it into a whole different arena ultimately embarrassing the entire profession altogether.

It’s not about free speech, it’s about professionalism.  Accordingly, Governor Palin’s comments on the recent sad events at MSNBC do not conflict at all with her constitutional stand on the First Amendment.

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