In an interview with the Daily Beast, left-wing comedian and sometimes actor Patton Oswalt lashed out at his own over the ever-increasing speech policing coming from left-wing political correctness. He singles out the leftist Salon for a special skewering. For some bizarre reason, Oswalt attempts to use this criticism to also attack Fox News. Nevertheless he still gets it right as far as just who the speech fascists are today:
When [Salon] write[s] articles “Did The Onion Go Too Far?” or “ Is Patton Oswalt Supporting Rape? ” They already know the answer, but they know by feigning ignorance they can create all this debate about it. It upsets me because I used to really, and still do sometimes, love the articles Salon writes. They used to have Heather Havrilesky and Glenn Greenwald, and now they have become Fox News with all this look-y look-y shit. It hurts progressives. It’s very personal but the fact is that that they want comedians to think twice, three times, four times about any kind of comedy.
It’s like, no. Us liberals, comedy is our best weapon, and if you’re going to take that away from us and make Margaret Dumonts and let the right-wingers be Grouchos, we’re completely fucked. I don’t want to sound like a supervillain, but I won’t fucking allow it. That is going to hurt the progressive movement in this country more than anything, is people suddenly going, we’re the scolders, we’re the shushers, we’re the ones offended by everything. Whereas one of the best weapons against conservatism is satire and offensiveness and bad taste—those were always our best weapons, and they’re fucking them up for everybody.
Do you think it’s becoming harder to be funny if there are fewer things you are “allowed” to joke about?
Right now it seems hard, but here’s what great about comedy: comedy and outrageousness mutate and evolve faster than the scolds and shushers. I agree with what Lindy West said. I’m not against rape jokes, I just want better ones. We’re going to find even more refined and clever ways. Any comedian that is making a rape joke is doing so because they’re disgusted and sickened by rape.
Oswalt seems to believe that the Left’s speech policing makes it harder for him to attack the Right … or something. In the history of the Left’s ongoing censorship crusade, there is no recorded incident I know of that has ever made it more difficult for leftists to attack conservatives. (See: Palin, Sarah)
Screaming Faux News! while making a valid and important point about your own makes Oswalt sound like an idiot. He also sounds like frothing-at-the-mouth partisan.
Bashing conservatives isn’t an argument for free speech.
Free speech is an argument for free speech.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC