20 April, 2006

The Post Where I Defend Myself Against Terry Frank's Charges Of Libel

Oh boy.

First off, libel is a false accusation in writing. Terry Frank feels that I have either done this, or come awfully close to doing so, and therefore owe her an apology.

The post where I have allegedly committed this infraction is here. It's the post where I talk about how it's wrong to jump to conclusions about people and their motives simply because they don't seem to be playing for the same team.

I first read Terry's call for an apology excerpted on Nashville Is Talking, and then re-read it over at her place. My first reaction upon offending anyone is to automatically apologize. However, after reading through her "case" a couple of times, I'm a little bit upset. Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to post what she said over here, and insert the missing text from my original to hopefully make clear once again what I was saying. If you don't want to read through it all, skip to just past the second set of asterisks.

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Terry Frank on 4/20/06 Excerpted WITHOUT interior deletion or rearrangement
From my comments on the Bill Hobbs event:

The Nasvhille Scene “pile on” is just another example of how David Horowitz is right–namely that an “unholy alliance” exists between the liberals in this country & our media and the radical Muslims who seek to wipe Israel, infidels, and the West off the face of the map.

From that comment, Katherine Coble comes up with this corker:

Presumably his admittedly-in-poor-taste drawing is in itself okay because “liberals and muslims are scum and must be killed.”

She says “Terry Frank” just uses “bigger words” to say the same thing.

Katherine Coble on 4/15/06 Excerpted WITHOUT interior deletion or rearrangement

People from all around the country are stopping by Blake Wylie's comments section to leave strange jingoistic couplets in "support" of Mr. Hobbs' right to draw pictures of whatever he wants. Presumably his admittedly-in-poor-taste drawing is in itself okay because "liberals and muslims are scum and must be killed."

That type of idiocy is easily dismissed because it is, on its face, ridiculous. But others appear to be using bigger words which more prettily say the same thing. Terry Frank politely opines:
The Nasvhille Scene “pile on” is just another example of how David Horowitz is right–namely that an “unholy alliance” exists between the liberals in this country & our media and the radical Muslims who seek to wipe Israel, infidels, and the West off the face of the map.


Think about that for a minute. Think about what it says.

I'm a conservative Christian. Frank's statement bothers me even more than the tasteless cartoon and the graceless opinion piece in the Scene. It bothers me because it uses a complicated factual event to draw a spurious conclusion. I know a lot of liberals. Many are members of my own family. While I think that there are many times when my brother Tom has ended up on the wrong side of an issue or that my Aunt C-------- has missed a few buttons on the overcoat I still rest comfortably knowing that neither of them have "Go Jihad!" sentiments OR matching t-shirts.

The plain fact is that there are people in the world who would like to see me dead. And you. Because we live in America. Because we are Christian or pagan or agnostic. Because I am a woman. Because the men around here don't keep me quiet. (Good luck with that, Honey....)

The other plain fact is that there are a lot of people in this country who disagree with me about how we should handle everything from the Iraq war to the Food Stamp program. I think they're wrong. They think I'm wrong. But last time I looked, the central aim of this country is freedom. We should have the right to disagree. Statements like Frank's do nothing to "promote the general welfare" OR "ensure domestic tranquility." We seem to have forgotten, in our rush to provide for the common (i.e. all of us) defense, that one can hold an opposing political position and yet NOT be a danger to our basic wellbeing.
************************

So, here's where things stand, Terry. I apologise for making it appear as though you support the murder of liberals and muslims. I presume that you do not, and I'm sorry that a clumsily written transition might appear to some as though you do.

Now, in return I would appreciate it if you would apologize to the millions of liberals in this country who are most definitely NOT in league with radical Muslims, but merely have a difference of political opinion than do you and I. We both seem to have made clumsy writing errors. I, in my failure to clarify that you weren't calling for the death of liberals and Muslims, and you for your failure to include the all-important qualifier "some" in front of the word "liberals" in your statement.

This country is broken. If you cannot see that, I'm sorry. I truly have a heart for wanting us to live up to the promise of our Constitution. That we can all work together to promote the general welfare. When we continually battle one another over idealistic schisms we do more to destroy the promise of America than all the illegal immigrants and suitcase bombers in the world. I'm sorry to be so florid in this paragraph, but it is truly how I feel.

I may have unintentionally approached a libellous postion toward you and for that I'm sorry. However, I feel you also posted something libellous toward fully half your countrymen.

8 Comments:

At 6:04 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger thehomelessguy said...

Thanks - for standing up for truth, justice, and the American way - in the honest sense of that sentiment.

 
At 12:17 AM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous Muffy said...

I admire how calm you've remained in this whole post and how eloquent and apology you've made even though, really, you didn't HAVE to do it.

Rock on.

 
At 10:54 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger TheRep said...

I doubt half the world will discribe themselves as liberal or extrimest muslem. Democrat or muslem maybe but I doubt even that.Liberal and extrimest is a brush that can have a wide or narrow swath depending on the opinion of the person who is using it.

 
At 10:56 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger TheRep said...

Sorry ,Nation not world.

 
At 11:30 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Liberal and extrimest is a brush that can have a wide or narrow swath depending on the opinion of the person who is using it.

Exactly. Both terms require clear operational definitions for a true conversation. One person's "liberal" is another person's "moderate."

That's the whole problem. Not only does the swath of the brush depend on the speaker, it also depends on the hearer. Political speech should always be as precise as possible. Otherwise we end up here.

Or maybe that's the point. Maybe by saying "liberals" it inflames the yes-men audience but allows the speaker room for retraction when called on it later.

 
At 4:50 PM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous Jim Collins said...

Or maybe that's the point. Maybe by saying "liberals" it inflames the yes-men audience but allows the speaker room for retraction when called on it later.

Well,Duh!Do ya think?That is the whole flippin' deal.Political speech is not to make a point,but rather to make "points".
Ms.Coble I am finding myself agreeing with you more and more,it scares me,so I must double my meds.

 
At 2:27 AM, April 22, 2006, Blogger Jeffraham Prestonian said...

Bravo, Katherine. You have put your finger on the source of the "coarsening of discourse" in the fine nation.
.

 
At 9:31 PM, April 24, 2006, Blogger Malcolm Tent said...

More to the point, it's not an unholy alliance between the libs, media and extremists to wipe Isreal, the west and infidels off the map but rather an unholy alliance between the libs, media and anyone who can cast aspersions at the conservative leadership of our nation. Face it, if a terrorist attack could garner Senator Clinton some votes she'd lend them the matches to light the bomb. Sadly, the left is against ANYTHING the right is up to whether they believe it or not. Alas, on this issue the libs are forced to climb in bed with radicals just to shoot down the party in power. Bill Hobbs gets canned for a stick figure drawing, meanwhile in NYC an artist submerges the Virgin Mary in cow urine on a government grant.

 

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