Friday, November 23, 2007

An addendum... (Goose-stepping to the oldies)

On Baseball Think Factory Baer’s blog post about Conlin has been posted. It has also received a rather disturbing update. Quite frankly, I’m flabbergasted … Conlin writes:

"The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler’s time on earth–I’m sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called “Pamphleteers.” They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO. Shakespeare accidentally summed up the genre best with these words from a MacBeth soliloquy: “. . .a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. . .”

I guess that in Conlin’s world free speech is only for those with diplomas. I have a feeling these words are going to come back to haunt Conlin professionally. This isn’t something written by the mind, it is from the heart. As I mentioned in the previous post, can you imagine the reaction in the media if a ballplayer said this about the press?

This is beyond simple blogger vs. media; it’s about free speech and intolerance of views that differ from their own. Less then two weeks ago this part of the world paused for a time to commemorate Remembrance Day. It’s when people take time out of their lives to pay tribute for those who died in the belief that they were fighting for freedom. What is often forgotten is that threats to freedom can originate from within a nation as well as outside of it.

Many totalitarian regimes control the press in their countries so there is no forum for dissent or criticism of the authorities. Here, Conlin longs for a world where only certain voices can be heard and dissenting ones silenced whether it is heard on a street corner or a web site. His fondest wish is that only certain points of view be heard and those opinions originate from what he perceives to be the intellectual cognoscenti--of whom he perceives himself to be a member.

It also serves as a reminder that prejudice isn’t just about ethnicity, religion, nationality, socio-economic or otherwise. Intolerance is also about snuffing out those opinions that differ from their own--something Conlin deeply desires it would appear.

This is the person supposedly working in a forum where freedom to express events without repercussion is considered sacred? He uses that very forum to encourage the curtailing of freedom of speech? Here’s the thing … if we ever reach the point where we, whether private citizen or members of the media, are no longer free to report the news or comment about the world around us Bill Conlin has forfeited any sympathy for whatever plight comes upon him. He who eagerly would place the noose of silence around those who differ cannot complain when the trap door is beneath his feet.

Utterly, and totally reprehensible.

Best Regards


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