Out of the closet

Waiting for the debate and watching the post-debate spin, I saw four ads for the anti-Michael Moore film. I liked it better when thugs like Bill O’Reilly concealed their commitment to political violence. O’Reilly should be blackballed from any setting that wants to retain self-respect. No one should voluntarily offer a forum to a speaker who endorses physical attack as a means of carrying on a controversy. Nor can anyone who thinks a slap constitutes an argument reasonably lay claim to any moral right to participate in the marketplace of ideas.

And no, pretending that you’re just joking about wanting to slap your ideological opponents in the face doesn’t cut it. Everyone who participated in this mess should be ostracized, mocked, and spat on.

The AP story on the film is a disgrace. It ignores the violence that the trailer emphasizes. (The TV spot version of the trailer is even more violent than the on-line version.)

Update And yes, of course I mean “spat on” metaphorically.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com