By L. Neil Smith
Michael Weatherly is an actor, probably best known for playing “Very Special Agent” Anthony DiNozzo, Jr. on N.C.I.S. a popular long-running police procedural television series where he was the
“second banana”, and more recently for his own series Bull, about a “trial science expert”, inspired by the early career of “Dr. Phil” McGraw. He is a tall, handsome individual, well-spoken and with a pleasant voice. On N.C.I.S., he played a wry, often-obnoxious, but fundamentally decent and reliable character. I can’t speak to the same things with respect to Bull, because I have yet to sit through an entire episode.
Eliza Dushku is an actress you’d recognize if you saw her, most famous (in this household, anyway) for playing Faith, a complicated but basically villainous character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and for her work as the programmable artificial personality Echo in the short-lived science fiction series Dollhouse. Although she exudes a certain earthy sexuality, she seldom plays nice people; I always had the feeling that she was type-cast. She had a recurring role on Bull, and was slated to become a series regular, until she was fired, after complaining about “sexually suggestive comments” made by Weatherly.
Furiously virtue-signalling, Steven Spielberg, a producer (one of six), his company Amblin Entertainment, and two of his minions withdrew from the series, which was nevertheless renewed by the network for a fourth season. Dushku received a $9.5 million settlement, Weatherly got to go on playing Young Dr. Phil, and everybody was happy as a clam, right?
Except for me, and everybody else with at least two “little gray cells” to rub together, who would like very much to know exactly what mind-buckling horrors Dushku endured to justify a nine and a half million dollar payoff. Hell, I’d be willing to listen to Weatherly (or anybody else) make “sexually suggestive comments” for a lot less than that, wouldn’t you?
The whole affair makes me think about newsman and author Bill O’Reilly, whom the left loves so dearly to hate, and who was fired — without anything even remotely resembling due process — from the Fox News Network for allegedly referring to a black female employee as “brown sugar”, when it turned out that she was (allegedly again) accustomed to describing herself that way. O’Reilly had hosted the highest-rated cable news show for 16 years, according to Wikipedia (yeah, I know), written best-selling history books, and was referred to as “the biggest star in the 20-year history at Fox News”. It makes you wonder why institutions like FOX are so grimly determined to commit suicide.
The same genetic culls who fired O’Reilly (watching the Murdoch family clumsily and stupidly mishandle Western Civilization’s one and only freedom-oriented television network reminds me of the only way my favorite baseball team can be fixed: trade the owners) also made the network’s founder Roger Ailes walk the plank under similar accusations; the poor old guy died before he could defend himself, so he remains innocent (I know this is a difficult concept for today’s snowflakes and pajama-boys to grasp), having never been proven guilty. Miscarriages of justice like these seem to be happening more and more frequently.
When I was just a little kid and older bullies threatened to tease me to tears, my mother always reminded me: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me.” Later generations seem to have forgotten that useful adage, although that may not be an accident. Consider: libertarianism — that Jeffersonian mortal threat both to “progressivism” and conservatism, consists of nothing, once you boil it down, but what I call the Zero Aggression Principle, the One Law which holds that nobody (including the government) has a right to _initiate_(physical) force against anybody else for any reason whatever.
(I make no apologies to self-described “thick” libertarians who short-sightedly want to gum up an elegant, parsimonious philosophical and political invention by tossing in a lot of irrelevant junk; I think of them as thick-witted libertarians. But, as usual, I have digressed.)
The right-left power establishment, which believes it owns and operates us like the “dolls” in Dushku’s science fiction series, has a huge investment in making the Internet — a revolutionary entity where individual liberty and the Zero Aggression Principle rule, because physical force cannot be initiated — look dangerous. This requires generating all kinds of obviously stupid myths — like the Internet “dumbing people down”, turning innocent kids into evil terrorists, and convincing society that free speech is a threat and words are the moral
equivalent of bullets.
They are not.
Somehow, we have lost the idea of due process. Mere accusations can, and will, destroy you. What the hell ever happened to the presumption of innocence? A $9.5 million settlement for “sexually suggestive comments” — words? What the hell ever happened to the First Amendment? And to courage and moral character?
I think they got lost somewhere in a “safe space” at school or in somebody’s mother’s basement.
And before anyone suggests that these rules, due process and the Bill of Rights, apply only to the government, I will go to the wall insisting that, after more than two centuries, they have come to form the very foundation of civilized existence, and that corporations, like production companies, television networks, and online “social media” that routinely seek certain powers and immunities from the government that you and I do not enjoy, must be compelled — at bayonet-point, if necessary — to recognize and respect the highest laws of the land.
It worked in Little Rock in 1957.
Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com and watch for the forthcoming ONLY THE YOUNG DIE GOOD and ARES. He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at https://www.patreon.com/lneilsmith, to which you can contribute, directly. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may also be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.