Saturday, October 16, 2010

NPR Reminds Employees that First Amendment Does Not Apply to Them

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will have dueling rallies in Washington, DC, on October 30th, responses, of sorts, to the affair that Glenn Beck held for American fascists just two months ago in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" is, of course, a clever broadside aimed at Beck and his legions of know-nothings.   Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" also highlights and pays fake homage to Beck's favorite weapons, fear-mongering and rabid hate speech.  Colbert's shtick is to present himself as a conservative and show the fallacy of the right-wing positions as he supposedly promotes them.

Stewart and Colbert are two of the mainstays of Comedy Central, but in spite of their appellations as comedians, both command a fair amount of respect in political circles.  Colbert recently testified before Congress on the subject of immigration, and many young people in America (and a few of us old codgers as well) rely on Jon Stewart's television show as a major source of news.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are easily as newsworthy as Glenn Beck, and far less likely  to incite violence.  Their "dueling rallies" will be a fresh breeze across our nation's capital, one that will help to eliminate the stench left behind by Beck.  The rallies will be newsworthy, and those fortunate enough to be able to attend will come away better for the experience.  The ability to attend this type of event, or even an odious Beck rally, is granted to citizens by the First Amendment to the Constitution which conveys, among several rights, the right of free assembly, speech and expression.

The First Amendment applies to all citizens with the apparent exception of employees of National Public Radio (NPR).    The country's premier non-commercial radio network has always been seen as a bulwark of democracy, an isle of respite in a sea of stupidity.  But now NPR has issued an unbelievable edict to its employees - all of its employees.  The venerable National Public Radio has commanded that none of their employees will attend or support the Stewart-Colbert rallies in any manner, to include even donating money for the promotion of the events.

Interestingly, no such irrational order was issued by NPR with regard to the Glenn  Beck rally.

NPR does not want to be seen as "liberal."  Their goal must be to shift their image to "fair and balanced."  This asinine decree goes a long way toward achieving that end.

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