The hilarious Chris Hedges (whose views I ridiculed as the “final countdown to Bush Fascism“) just can’t seem to get enough.
Of what?
Humor, hopes Clayton Cramer, as he waits for Hedge’s punchline and links Eugene Volokh’s discussion of some truly horrendous anti-free speech remarks by Hedges.
From Hedges’ book (American Fascists):

This is the awful paradox of tolerance. There arise moments when those who would destroy the tolerance that makes an open society possible should no longer be tolerated. They must be held accountable by institutions that maintain the free exchange of ideas and liberty.
The radical Christian Right must be forced to include other points of view to counter their hate talk in their own broadcasts, watched by tens of millions of Americans.

Wait a second! The “radical Christian right” consists of a few loony tunes like the death-penalty-for-sodomy Michael Marcavage, the late R.J. Rushdoony, and maybe Fred Phelps. They’re watched by tens of millions? Hedges must mean Pat Robertson (although to be fair I have never heard the latter advocate the death penalty for homosexuals). How would the Hedges anti-fascist fairness doctrine work in his case? Who gets to debate him Michelangelo SIgnorile? Or Hugo Chavez?
More from the Hedges book:

They must be denied the right to demonize whole segments of American society, saying they are manipulated by Satan and worthy only of conversion or eradication….

Denied the right to demonize whole segments of society? But isn’t that what Hedges is doing? I wrote a post about the Mayor of Moscow’s silly statements that gay parades are “Satanic,” and much as I disagreed with him, it would never occur to me that he shouldn’t have been free to say that. As a matter of fact, I just concluded that in America anyone can say anyone is Satanic, and “calling people Satanists is as American as apple pie.” That goes for Bush, Kerry, anyone! (They’ve been called worse things.)
So where does this leave me?
Who does Hedges think I shouldn’t be allowed to call Satanic? Hedges?
Hedges, you are Satanic!
There. I said it. Do I get to go to jail? Or will he just force me to have a leftie co-blogger assigned to criticize what I say? (I guess he means the latter, although the insanity of this is a little mind-boggling.)
From Hedges’ NPR radio interview, Volokh has some hilarious quotes. He gets to Rushdoony:

Mr. HEDGES: I think that, you know, in a democratic society, people don’t have a right to preach the extermination of others, which has been a part of this movement of – certainly in terms of what should be done with homosexuals. You know, Rushdoony and others have talked about 18 moral crimes for which people should be executed, including apostasy, blasphemy, sodomy, and all – in order for an open society to function, it must function with a mutual respect, with a respect…
JIM: Sure.
Mr. HEDGES: …for other ways to be and other ways to believe. And I think that the fringes of this movement have denied people that respect, which is why they fight so hard against hate crimes legislation — such as exist in Canada — being made law in the United States.
[NEAL] CONAN: But Chris, to be fair, aren’t you talking about violating their right to free speech, their right to religion as laid out in the First Amendment?
Mr. HEDGES: Well, I think that when you preach — or when you call for the physical extermination of other people within the society, you know, you’ve crossed the bounds of free speech. I mean, we’re not going to turn a cable channel over to the Ku Klux Klan. Yet the kinds of things that are allowed to be spewed out over much of Christian radio and television essentially preaches sedition. It preaches civil war. It’s not a difference of opinion. With that kind of rhetoric, it becomes a fight for survival….

A fight for survival? Between homosexuals and R.J. Rushdoony? The man has been dead for six years now, and I think the number of his followers would be in the hundreds. Ditto the Klan. I can understand why a lot of people might be offended by what they say, and it’s always tempting to want to shut up people like Fred Phelps, but a fight for survival? Who is Hedges kidding?
I’m inclined to agree with Clayton Cramer that it’s Hedges who’s the fascist. And, just as I agreed with the ACLU that the Nazis had the right to parade in Skokie, IL, I think Hedges has the right to perform his verbal goose steps on NPR.
Without having to allow Fred Phelps equal time.
I’m also hoping this is comedy.
(There’s been a lot of it going around lately.)