The childish little manufactured controversy over NBC "cutting" God out of the Pledge of Allegiance from its programming in a desecration of America's holiness by General Electric's and Comcast's liberal chief executives, bleeding heart directors, and far left godless stockholders – as far as fantasies go -- isn't really all that interesting because of what's been alleged. It has become all to common a practice for the right (especially the Tea Party folks) to appoint themselves chief interpreters and defenders of the Constitution and its core defining principles (when they aren't throwing darts at the parts they want to repeal) only to quickly abandon at a moments notice the fourth amendment when terrorists jump out of closets to scare us, or the first amendment when it's speech they don't agree with, the sixth amendment when it comes to indefinite detention, or pretty much the entire Constitution when it comes to starting wars and targeting Americans accused of terrorism overseas.
This behavior repeats itself any moment it becomes advantageous for the right to completely abandon one position only to adopt another in complete contradiction to the first, without the slightest sense of hypocrisy, nor do they feel the need to at least refute the original position they courageously held just a few minutes prior in light of their amazing revelation.
No, that behavior has become far too common to warrant writing about.
What's happening with NBC today is interesting because it clearly illustrates the right's tendency to delegitimize the source of information and ideas they oppose through smears and character assassination, rather than confronting those ideas and that information directly and honestly through debate.
When the nation was debating reforming the health care system, most criticism I recall from the right consisted of socialism this and government takeover that. It was extremely rare to hear substantive criticism of the pending legislation, such as whether or not it was even needed, and whether it would be effective at controlling costs. Rather than debate those issues, the right consistently tried to deligitimize the issue and everything within shouting distance by pretending that it was socialist – while simultaneously delegitimizing socialism by associating it with eastern communist dictators, tyrants, Nazis, and of course Venezuela – and hence so far beyond the pale that anyone trying to discuss the issue was ipso facto a communist/tyrant/socialist that need not be bothered with and could be safely dismissed on the spot.
That same tactic is being used against NBC and has become so refined and common that perhaps to a degree, it has become almost automatic.
Nowhere will you find substantive discussion over why NBC made the video cuts that it did, or if the national broadcast network was even responsible for those cuts in the first place. It has largely been assumed as a fact that NBC's great transgression against religion was purposeful, and because all liberals are godless heathens – another facet of the censorship machine meant to prevent any liberal from being able to force conservatives to discuss controversial matters of faith openly and honestly – then the cuts were obviously made out of religious and political intolerance.
Two purposes are well served. NBC is delegitimized as a broadcast network for discriminating against religion, and liberals are confirmed as religion hating scum. One always proves the other.
Yet in situations similar to this, the same people attacking NBC have in the past defended broadcast networks like FOX for refusing to carry White House addresses and press conferences to the public. The situations are so similar that the argument defending FOX could be applied to NBC with virtually no changes. A broadcast network is a private enterprise that doesn't answer to the people or the government, and has zero obligations to anyone other than its shareholders. To criticize it for what it broadcasts is to broadly attack the spirit of the first amendment and the rights of business to freedom, liberty, and lots of money.
The question, then, is what is the real standard here? Is the sickly and broken line of thought that leads a person from NBC cut the video because it hates religion, and liberals hate religion, therefore liberals did it and NBC is liberal in any way consistent with the notion that corporations should be shielded from public and government scrutiny and be able to do anything – say anything – it wants? That everything a corporation does short of breaking the law is inherently legitimate and beyond criticism?
That is the world that the right created when it destroyed decades of campaign finance law once supported by conservatives, and was co-written by the GOP's own 2008 Presidential nominee. Corporations are persons and have all (or most, but we're quickly getting to all) the constitutional rights that people do, which includes the inherent right not to be interfered with by government or anyone else. More than that, they have the inherent right to never be criticized at all, because criticism itself is stifling and so deeply unfair and mean. The right to self determination is supposed to be a defining principle of libertarianism and has largely been adopted – perhaps dishonestly as a means to an end – by modern conservatism as well.
How is that consistent with criticizing NBC for what it chooses to air, regardless of the content?
The problem with this absolutist, black/white political view of the world the modern right has adopted is that it eliminates any possibility of substantive discussion. It creates this arena where ideological talking points fight to the death to find out who is right for the sake of itself. There is no other point than to win, for one ideal to triumpth over another with no concern for practical considerations like consequences and costs, and so any discussion of the merits of an idea is automatically ruled out of bounds.
Surely that behavior is not limited to the right, nor to this country. But this tactic of delegitimizing everything at the source that contradicts a certain world view has become so pervasive and expertly refined by the right that it's all that counts for politics these days. And this is a perfect example of that.