I heard a lot of this stuff during my free-speech battles in Canada. The country’s chief censor, the late Jennifer Lynch, QC, was willing to concede that free speech was certainly a right, but it was merely one in a whole range of competing rights – such as “equality” and “diversity” – that needed to be “balanced”. What the “balancing” boils down to is that you get fired if you are an apostate from the new progressive groupthink. Underneath the agonized prose, Mitchell Baker is a bare-knuckled thug.
~It’s the thuggishness and bullying that ought to disgust people, even those who support gay marriage. My final appearances at National Review Online were a spat with my editor, Jason Lee Steorts, over “two jokes one can no longer tell on American television” that I quoted in a column on Phil Robertson’s suspension for “homophobia”. First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill:
“I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”
Second, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin on stage in Vegas throughout the Sixties and Seventies:
Frank: “How do you make a fruit cordial?”
Dino: “Be nice to him.”
Mr Steorts thought my resurrection of these ancient “slurs” was “derogatory” and “puerile”:
People who used them in different times need not be regarded as monstrous, nor must the canon be censored; we could instead feel good about having awoken to a greater civility and make generous allowances for human fallibility.
Yeah, just like Brandon Eich “awoke to a greater civility” yesterday morning. What Mr Steorts especially disliked about my column was “the slur in its borrowed concluding joke”. Which was:
How do you make a fruit cordial?
Be nice to him.
But isn’t that what’s just happened to the Mozilla guy?
That’s pretty much what Steorts did to Steyn at NRO, too. Which is yet another reason I don’t visit there nearly as much as I used to.