Tim Graham's having a bad day. First, he flunks basic reading comprehension, and now he's throwing around bizarre accusations of "censorship" in defense of his right-wing fellow traveler and racial-epithet enthusiast, Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
Graham writes on NewsBusters:
Schlessinger didn't use the N-word against anyone. She discussed the social taboos around the word without applying it to anyone. (Black academics write whole books about it -- with an N-word title.) You can certainly say that she didn't need to take this detour or use the actual word if a Media Matters monitor is listening in. But it cannot be said that Dr. Laura is some sort of white supremacist who just put on a sheet.
Media Matters weren't listening to her show to expose her as a racist. They object to her social conservatism, her pro-life, pro-marriage stands, and were looking for a way to silence her. This is the second time Dr. Laura has been censored by the Left. Her TV show was killed and buried (almost before it aired ) in 2000 by gay-left censors with the website StopDrLaura.com.
Media Matters was joined in their Shut Her Up campaign by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in a campaign to pressure advertisers -- as well as by UNITY Journalists of Color, an alliance of four different minority-reporter groups: the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, and the Native American Journalists Association.
Media Matters didn't "censor" Dr. Laura -- she quit, and her First Amendment rights remain intact. She's free to say whatever she likes. But Graham insists that a campaign targeted against advertisers of people who say offensive things constitutes "censorship":
Some left-wing media watchdog groups (like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) have touted their "anti-censorship" stance as superior to conservatives, even when they didn't live up to it. But Media Matters has been quite explicit in pounding Dr. Laura's sponsors to quit her show. For months, they've been mocking any advertiser who spends money on the Glenn Beck show on Fox. They are clearly not an "anti-censorship" group.
Graham and the Media Research Center better be pretty damn careful about throwing that accusation around. Just two months ago, NewsBusters featured a blog post announcing:
NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and five other members of the Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB) coalition will hold a tele-news conference tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. EDT to ask advertisers on Viacom's Comedy Central to publicly pledge to not support/underwrite a show currently in pre-production. The show is entitled "JC" - as in Jesus Christ.
So if Tim Graham wants to accuse Media Matters of "censorship," I'd suggest he tend to his own organization's free-speech stifling activities first.