A Drop of Hypocrisy

Back in the old days, I used to watch the Today Show a lot.  You will never catch me admitting that I did this because I was a big Deborah Norville fan.  But that’s a story for a different day.

Today’s story is that I remember them having someone from the ACLU on to argue for a museum’s right to display artwork that many people found patently offensive, and just a few days later having someone else from the ACLU on to argue for something – I don’t remember exactly what – that required them to take exactly the opposite position.

It struck me as strange enough that I actually called the Today Show, got a producer on the phone, described what I’d seen and said, “I think it would be really interesting if you got a senior ACLU official on the show and asked them to explain how they could take such diametrically opposed positions only two or three days apart. I’m not anti-ACLU at all, but it seems like there’s at least a drop of hypocrisy in there somewhere.”

The producer agreed it was a good idea.  Alas, it never happened.

But that thought came back to me this morning as I was listening to the news coverage of the Anthem Antics at many of yesterday’s NFL games.

A significant chunk of the American people seems to believe that the First Amendment guarantee of free speech is a wonderful thing as long as the speakers are white and speaking about what they see as “preserving important aspects of American culture,” but that can and should go right out the window when the speakers are black and speaking about preserving something else they see as important – namely the right not to be shot in the back by the police.

Sadly, it goes without saying that the beacon for these conflicting views is the current occupant of the White House, who told us that in August that many of the pro-statue demonstrators in Charlottesville were “good people,” and said last Friday that NFL players who choose to kneel during the anthem are reprobates who should be fired.

Seems like there’s at least a drop of hypocrisy in there, doesn’t it?

Now comes the hard part.  It’s easy to point the finger at the current occupant of the White House because he’s, well, a moron.  But 60 million Americans voted for him.  Once again, we have met the enemy and he is us.

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7 Responses to “A Drop of Hypocrisy”


  1. 1 laurawalton3234 September 25, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Excellent points! As usual.

    On Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 9:27 AM Carp Diem (Fish of the Day!) wrote:

    > Dan Wallace posted: “Back in the old days, I used to watch the Today Show > a lot. You will never catch me admitting that I did this because I was a > big Deborah Norville fan. But that’s a story for a different day. Today’s > story is that I remember them having someone from th” >

  2. 2 Karen_Duddleston September 26, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Dan, your thesis about white people and the first amendment is way off.

    These NFL people on their knees…a bunch of young arrogant millionaires athletes, black or white, who feel oppressed? They live in a country that has enabled them to be fabulously wealthy and have an opportunity that many us only dream of. Yet, they feel the need to crap on the country’s anthem and flag. For what? My family risked their lives in the military wars to give these people the freedoms they enjoy. My uncle, a policeman, nearly died one night on duty trying to protect somebody. They served and made only pennies compared to these millionaire athletes. You are thinking this is about about race? If these guys are feeling oppressed, they should spend some of their millions to see a therapist. We have a media problem in this country. Most of the people on the east and west coast have no idea who voted for Trump. Although you are in the mid-west, I’m gonna guess you are thinking like one of them as you view their TV shows and publications to get your info. Again, I believe you have no idea what those 60 million people are about. A bunch of Racists? C’mon.

    • 3 Dan Wallace September 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Karen, with all the love and respect I can muster, I’m afraid you missed the point. The right to speak freely IS the foundation of the country that both your family members and mine fought for. It is not about whether you or I or anyone else agrees with what’s being said. The First Amendment does not discriminate and it is not to be applied selectively. The whole point is that people who hold views that you find disagreeable or even reprehensible nonetheless have the right to express them. And you have every right to disagree with them, as you just did.

      And no, I don’t actually think 60 million Americans are racists, although I am disturbed by the number of people who have come out of the woodwork this year who apparently are. I think a very large number of Americans are angry, and with good reason. The life we were all told we were entitled to as Americans hasn’t materialized for them, or worse, materialized and then disappeared. Under those circumstances, bullies and demagogues look for scapegoats. Unfortunately the current president is a bully and a demagogue. He picked Mexicans and the Chinese as his main targets. The real reason so many Americans are struggling is that the our expectations were set in the 20 years after WWII, when we enjoyed absolute hegemony and had the only functioning economy in the world. That world has been gone for decades. As a country, instead of figuring out how to compete and win in the more complex, mutli-polar world we now live in, we’ve stuck our heads in the sand and pretended that we can roll back the clock. If you’re wondering what that sounds like, try this: “Make America Great Again.” But fault for this is inaction belongs to all political stripes and both parties.

      Lastly, I never knew that watching the Today Show made someone a massive coastal liberal. Interesting.

  3. 4 Karen_Duddleston September 26, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Yeah, we are certainly not going to agree on much here aside from the First Amendment being about free speech. Your rebuttal was as expected.

    Nobody is trying to “roll back the clock” as that is certainly a coastal interpretation of MAGA. Being great again simply means to be competitive again and not selling out your country. Assuming people still want a country. It has nothing to do with going back in time. I never experienced the hegemony you mentioned. That was way before my time. I have lost my job twice to less skilled H-1B Indian workers in my own backyard. Three houses around me are in foreclosure as my neighbors saw their jobs go to Wipro and HCL here on-shore. Count me in as one of the 60 million just simply looking to stop an economic revolt by a cosmopolitan/coastal establishment that despises its workers in the heartland. The market is not that complex and the answers are not difficult. How do you participate in the boat race when the people in charge just gave away your boat to somebody else? It is impossible to ever win if the economy is constantly rigged from the start. After years of getting shafted in this dynamic, it was time to knock over the entire poker table and start over. MAGA has nothing to do with going back in time.

    I appreciate you reading. It’s a good debate to say the least.

  4. 5 Karen_Duddleston October 1, 2017 at 10:39 am

    In terms of fame and fortune, no professions have proven more rewarding for young black American males than the NFL and the NBA. They just crapped on their own dinner table. With NFL ticket sales down 18% this past week and viewership way down again, the fans spoke clearly. Players sitting or kneeling in disrespect of the flag, is a practice the NFL cannot sustain. Trump was proven right again. In the end, he was not the one who started this fight or divide the country over it. It is refreshing to see a POTUS defending the country’s anthem and flag. That has been missing for a long time in the WH.

    Again Dan, I think you are way off on this one. Where you see bullying, other’s just simply see somebody defending their pride of country.

    Also, I think you are way off on thinking Trump targets Chinese and Hispanic people as a bully. He targets their country’s government, not the actual people. His voter base hates China and Mexico as those countries are basically massive criminal enterprises. Sadly, our government isn’t much different with a deeply embedded political establishment residing in DC.

    Thanks for reading again. MAGA!

    • 6 Dan Wallace October 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      Karen, I have 3 quick and sincere questions for you:

      1) How did you come across my blog post? I’m just curious because I don’t have that many readers, and I can’t see anything that connects us.
      2) Where do you get your news? That is, what individuals, websites, radio/TV networks, etc., do you turn for information?
      3) How did you feel about the Charlottesville protests last month?

      Please let me know. This will help me understand your perspectives.

  5. 7 Karen_Duddleston October 2, 2017 at 9:40 am

    1. I don’t think we have personally met as I found your posting in a search on an unrelated regional topic. Your title posting was interesting. So, I clicked on it.

    2. In general, I do not follow any of the major news outlets as they are mostly slanted in one direction of opinion. Most of their writers come from the same elite schools where conservative thought is largely discouraged. Or, they are owned by somebody trying to cast a false narrative for their own gain (ie. Jeff Bezos owns Washington Post, Carlos Slim and the New York Times, Jeff Zucker at CNN,…etc.). Sometimes I’ll read individual contributors like Buchanan, but not often.

    3. IMO, Charlottesville was a melting pot of opposing views and factions from kkk, antifa, BLM, Aryan Nation,…etc. A bunch of nuts. It was a recipe for disaster. It was disturbing how one of those groups (antifa) came intentionally with bats, masks, and weapons ready to riot. They are a violent political group that seems to be all over the country lately. Quite frankly, I’m not sure what their message is about. Their approach appears to use violence against anyone who opposes their views. I find their protests that shut-down Berkeley to be more disturbing than Charlettsville. Is this now the face of the far left? It appears to be.


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