Jim Harper over at TLF displays once again the anti-freedom thread of so-called ‘libertarian’ thought. He seems to be saying that censorship is OK if it comes from a large corporation, but of course, if it comes from the government it is bad, bad, bad!
If Eddie Vedder sat stone silent for 30 seconds, everyone would know that he hated George Bush. Eddie Vedder is hate for George Bush. He is the Jeremy to George Bush’s recess lady. Bleeping out Eddie Vedder’s criticisms of George Bush is censorship in the same way umbrellas censor the sun.
But maybe reheating the tempest in a teapot about some AT&T-owned site bleeping some political comments from a big rock star is a good way to while away the August doldrums.
I don’t think it was the shot heard round the world either, but I do think it is a straw, as in the last straw.
What all the folks at TLF are ignoring is that the instance with Pearl Jam was just one of many many times AT&T was censoring speech. So, now, finally this corporate censorship looks like it might get derailed, and the TLF is saying saying: “Get used to some censorship. It’s really OK as long as censorship comes from corporations, but it’s really bad if it comes from a government”
Well, if it quacks like a duck, it is one. And with big government and big corporations growing into a very symbiotic relationship, I don’t see how censorship by a large near-monopoly corporation is fundamentally any different than censorship by a government. They both subtract from fundamental individual liberty.
Here’s some of the recent history of bands censored by AT&T.