The controversy over comments by Phil Robertson in GQ has become a public (although jumbled) debate about free speech.
Matt Bruenig has done a valuable job highlighting how that public discourse has ignored a much more complicated admission, by comparing how the Right has responded to Robertson as that contrasts with the Right’s reaction to the 2003 Dixie Chicks controversy:
It is not mysterious why conservatives think the Phil Robertson disciplining is rights-infringing but think the Dixie Chicks disciplining was not. They support what Phil Robertson had to say, but oppose what the Dixie Chicks had to say. Despite their pretensions to the contrary, conservatives, and most people in general for that matter, do not care about content-neutral procedural fairness. They care about winning their stuff and beating the other’s side stuff.
Bruenig is right; the Robertson controversy so far in the U.S. is about many things, but it isn’t…
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