Rosie has the right of free speech.”
I know, I know, and I know. I don’t necessarily want to see Rosie fired, I just want her to be more responsible. Let me rephrase – I am not calling exclusively for her departure; I believe that other solutions exist and I believe that the good people of America will accept a sincere apology regarding her previous offensive comments.
But non-action is unacceptable. Something needs to be done, and here’s why – ‘free speech’ is not an unlimited right. The first amendment makes no claim that Americans can say anything they please without fear of consequence from an entity such as an employer, a constituency, or a fan-base. We are taught by our school system and our parents that we must always be appropriate and respectful with our voice. It is unacceptable for school students to curse or yell at their superiors, or to baselessly accuse them of wrong-doing. It is unacceptable for a student to publicly degrade or belittle a fellow classmate. It is just and legal for an employer to fire an employee for verbally harrassing a co-worker. There are definite boundaries of ‘free speech’ and they are constructed based on what is appropriate and responsible for the appurtenant environment.
Why then are those boundaries, which exist in virtually every professional or educational environment, thrown out the window when it comes to the media sector? I could point to plenty of celebrity comments that would warrant at least a detention if a student uttered a similar comment about a superior at a public, or most certainly a private, school. But I’m going to focus on Rosie exclusively, because I feel that she is the predominant figurehead of this movement.
The reason she oversteps her boundaries is because, aside from the fact that she vehemently and disrespectfully denounces our governing body, she offends a very specific group of people – American citizens! She defames our elected president, insinuates that our military are murderers, and projects a general attitude that it is warranted (if not applaudable) to blame America for the problems of the world.
Sure, the show is called The View, and it does offer the views of four different women. Here’s where the double-standard lies; hypothetically, if one of those women had a ‘personal view’ that homosexuality is evil and we should stand up to oppose it, I am most certain that plenty of Americans (both gay and straight, Rosie included) would argue that that host is being irresponsible, and demand that action be taken. I would agree that action should be taken! With this in mind, why then should we, as diverse and respectful American citizens, stick up and defend minority groups but be expected to bury our head in the sand when it comes to a majority group?