Brent Bozell's embarrassingly predictable "censorship" flip-flop

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The Dr. Laura pity party seems to be just getting warmed up as conservatives whine and moan about how the radio talk show hosts's First Amendment right was stripped away from her when she, y'know, exercised her First Amendment right and said all those bigoted things on the radio. And then when Media Matters exercised its First Amendment right by highlighting the comments, and when advertisers exercised their First Amendment right be fleeing her show.

But no, this hasn't been free speech in action, it's been....censorship! Or so says Brent Bozell's Newsbusters site. (How Media Matters or advertisers were suddenly bestowed the power to "censor" a syndicated talk show host remains one of the week's great mysteries.)

What's interesting is that when the tables were turned right after the terror attacks on 9/11 and comedian Bill Maher suddenly became a target for comments he made ("We have been the cowards. Lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away, that's cowardly"), conservatives were positively giddy when advertisers, under pressure from conservative activists, began to abandon Maher's late-night show on ABC.

In fact, here was Bozell back in 2001 [emphasis added]:

"It's not 'censorship' if [ABC] decides that Mr. Maher's regularly kooky left-wing remarks are too offensive to its audience or advertisers."

Ah, when advertisers flee controversial programming it's not censorship. At least that was Bozell's line back in 2001. But today, when advertisers flee controversial programming offered up by Dr. Laura? Well, that definitely is censorship according to Bozell's press-hating shop, Newsbusters.

But c'mon, wouldn't you kinda be disappointed if Bozell were ever intellectually consistent?

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