When Bill Maher says something that reads like support for Laura Ingraham, that is a newsworthy development. That is in fact what happened and you can see what Mr. Maher was driving at. It is a roundabout way of preventing freedom of speech. It does it by attempting to limit the audience of the speaker. That is the basic problem with this type of boycott. Here is how it works.
As Written and Reported By Allahpundit for Hot Air:
He’s right to be creeped out but does a poor job of articulating why, arguing that boycotts are anti-free-speech and un-American. Eliot Spitzer counters with the obvious, that boycotts are themselves a form of speech: Ingraham’s free to make fun of David Hogg for his college rejections and his allies are free to express their disapproval by calling up her sponsors and demanding that they pull ads. The civil-rights movement started with a boycott, Spitzer might have reminded him. Even Maher’s point in passing about not being able to shout fire in a crowded theater is all kinds of “problematic,” to borrow a word momentarily in vogue.
What he means to say (or should have said) is that boycotts are an extraordinary remedy that’s become increasingly ordinary. I have no data to offer you on how common they are now versus 30 years ago but self-organization by human beings has never been easier than it is at this moment, in the Internet age. Joining a movement is one Google search away. It took less than three days for a single tweet from a 17-year-old to generate enough public pressure to convince 16 corporations to stop advertising on a primetime show on the country’s most-watched cable news channel. Boycotts have effectively become a costless exercise for those participating, and as the price drops, demand naturally increases.
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