Back Then …
I suppose it might be people in their sixties or older who will remember “first-hand” the famous Nixon tapes that were highly influential in his ultimate resignation from the presidency [a person 18 years old in 1972 would be sixty today]. They were full of insertions of “[expletive deleted]” voice dub-ins to keep his apparently foul mouth from being heard on radio and TV or read in print-media transcripts.
Last Fall to Now …
Fast-forward to last Fall, and Donald Trump’s lewd remarks were plastered everywhere with “bleeps” to eliminate similar expletives. Since both of these men were/are Republicans, I should point out that there are also Democrats who clearly had the same problem.
In going through the media coverage of the January 21 women’s march protesting the inauguration of Mr. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, and being appalled at the vulgarity of some of the speakers, I decided to extract the full text of the two I considered the most egregious. My goal was to look through that text and determine where I would substitute “[expletive deleted]” if wanted to discuss these speeches with my twelve-year-old granddaughter. Ashley Judd’s speech was 658 words, and contained 11 [expletive deleted]s. Madonna‘s was 358 words, and contained 3 “[expletive deleted]”s. I should add that I was a bit lenient in setting criteria for defining “expletive”. There were actually some full phrases and sentences I did not screen from Ms. Judd’s speech which, although not containing actual vulgarities, were very suggestive of vulgarities previously or subsequently expressed in their contexts — and leaving those phrases and sentences in text to discuss with my granddaughter would make that discussion very awkward. Bottom line, these speeches contained vulgarities at least as offensive as that contained in the infamous tape of Mr. Trump released by NBC last year, and in some instances — in my opinion — more offensive when contained in a speech being heard by hundreds of thousands of people live and [I assume] millions through the media.
So one might say “But Ms. Judd and Ms. Ciccone [Madonna] aren’t President or running for President”. Well, I might counter that by observing that Ms. Judd seriously considered running for U. S. Senator in Kentucky in 2014 [against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell], and again last year [against Senator Rand Paul]. And who knows, if there are enough people who were “inspired” by her January 21 speech and/or Madonna’s, she [or Madonna] may run for President in the future. If either of them do, it will be very interesting to see if the media plasters their “2017 video clips” across headlines and airwaves the way they did the “2005 video clip” of Mr. Trump.
The only real difference between Donald Trump’s lewd comments 12 years ago and those of Ms. Judd and Ms. Ciccone 11 days ago is that Mr. Trump wasn’t trying to influence anybody when he made those comments in 2005 and these two women clearly were trying to influence people [particularly women] in 2017. The fact that Mr. Trump was a candidate for president when his twelve-year-old comments were revealed [not when they were made] is irrelevant in that context.
Hillary Clinton essentially endorsed the January 21 march, offering supportive comments without even mentioning the lewd statements by these two women [which one could logically assume means she had no problem with that part of the event]. So the other main Presidential candidate, who constantly put down on her opponent for his twelve-year-old lewd remarks to one person, apparently thinks the same level of vulgarity in public speeches by her supporters is just fine.
Net Takeaway For Me
My net takeaway from all of this boils down to these thoughts and observations:
- It never ceases to amaze me how millions of people seem to assume that actors and entertainers are somehow automatically knowledgeable about larger matters [politics, philosophy, economics, …]. Stated another way, why should anyone care what Ms. Judd, Ms. Ciccone, Tom Brady [he is getting flack about his apparent conservative leanings], … or anybody whose main asset is name and face recognition, thinks about anything other than continuing to be very good at what they do for a living?
- According to several sources, media coverage of the January 21 Women’s March included well over three times the air-time / print-space as that for the January 27 March For Life. Several sources also reported verifiable examples of a clear attempt on the part of the Women’s March organizers to at least minimize participation by if not completely exclude women [or men] who were pro-life. This is a great example of two things: 1) how activist groups manipulate people to drive their agendas; and 2) the extreme liberal bias in the mainstream media. To the credit of pro-life people not allowed to participate in the Women’s March, they made up for it by being a part of one of the largest March For Life events in it’s 43-year history.
- If you watch video clips from the two events, the difference between them in the overall atmosphere and “tone” is stark. The Women’s March had a hateful, vitriolic — almost militant — tone, with shouts and chants and placards that seemed mostly entitlement-focused. The March for Life had a much “smoother” overall tone, with shouts and chants and placards more oriented toward generating awareness and providing information.
Of course, these were my takeaways. Yours may be different, and that’s fine. Thank God we still live in a free country, and we can all have [and express] our opinions.
Charles M. Jones