In a comment that went somewhat unnoticed this week, on last Sunday’s “Face the Nation” on CBS, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested there should be limitations placed on speech and expression in the wake of a Florida pastor’s Quran burning, which was blamed for the deaths of two American soldiers in Afghanistan.
“I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable,” Graham said. “Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II you had limits on what you could say if it would inspire the enemy.”
Columnist Mark Steyn took issue with Graham’s position. On Hugh Hewitt’s Thursday show, Hewitt asked Steyn if he had missed the condemnation of Graham’s remarks — Steyn admitted he hadn’t and blasted the media for the lack of such a condemnation.
“No, you didn’t and it didn’t surprise me, because I learned this in my battles up in Canada and in similar fights in Britain and Australia and Europe, the liberal media, who congratulate themselves on their courage non-stop, who hand themselves awards for their courage, who talk about their bravery far more than soldiers or firemen do — that when it comes to it, they will not be there for you on the free speech issue.”
Steyn questioned the judgment of media outlets in choosing to attack Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones for burning the Quran instead of taking a harder look at Graham’s statement and the broader implications such “accountability” might involve.
“So almost all the newspapers found it easier to beat up on the no-name pastor than actually say, ‘Wait a minute, is Lindsey Graham out of his mind?’” Steyn continued. “A United States senator presuming that the national government regulates the bounds of public discourse in this republic? I think Lindsey Graham is unfit for office. And it’s pathetic that it needs some rinky-dink, no-account foreigner like me to say that, rather than the editor of the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and CNN and all the rest of it.”
According to Steyn, when you have these types of people setting the standard, you realize they’re not all they are made out to be.
“This is why I don’t want elites setting the rules, because when you look at your elites, they’re not the kind of wise men that they pass themselves off as,” Steyn said. “They’re boobs, which is what Lindsey Graham is. I’m embarrassed by him.”