In 2017 I wrote about Kathy Griffin and Ted Nugent making offensive statements regarding the President of the United States. The main thrust of my editorial at the time was that while they are both guaranteed the right to free, the right wing punditry was quick to lambast Griffin for her remarks but eerily silent regarding their favorite hard rocking, gun toting, 2nd Amendment promoting celebrity. The problem was (and is) that you can hardly claim moral outrage about Griffin depicting a decapitated Trump but not be equally offended at Nugent’s thinly veiled threats to then-President Obama. It’s hypocritical to have it both ways and not find them to both be in bad taste.
Of course Ted Nugent and bad taste go hand in hand. Anybody who has seen him on TV in the last 20 years should know that by now, but “The Nuge” took it up another level over the weekend by referring to the outspoken Parkland shooting survivors as “mushy-brained children” with “no soul.” Every time I think I’m fully inured to the ways in which human beings can be vile to one another, someone like Nugent comes along to set a new and LOWER benchmark for humanity. Perhaps we should say “man’s inhumanity to man” but then again that would imply that Nugent is himself a man and not merely an aging rocker turned NRA robot with a guitar in one hand and an AR-15 in the other.
As Laura Ingraham recently learned though, free speech can be quite costly when advertisers flee your programming in droves. Luckily for “Nuge” he doesn’t have a show on FOX News, though it wouldn’t surprise me if he had been offered one in the past (or was in the future). Even Republican strategists seem to have wised up to the fact that people like Ingraham and Nugent can’t silence the Parkland survivors like David Hogg. Sayeth Steve Schmidt: “Maybe that’s what happens after you’ve been down range of an AR-15 that kills your classmates and comes close to killing you. You lose all fear. Because this kid’s not scared. He’s not scared of the NRA. He’s not intimidated and scared by Laura Ingraham.”
I can only presume that none of these kids will be scared of a gun toting whack job either — one who was already irrelevant when I was a teenager, and that was 30+ years ago. (Yes I’m old, and I’ve got the gray hair to prove it.) It’s my sincere hope that as Nugent exercises his right to free speech, these brave children will continue to exercise theirs as articulately as the young Mr. Hogg routinely does. Not once has anything he’s had to say about guns struck me as “mush brained” or “soulless.” He seems quite clear on what he and his classmates aim to achieve, and even if Nugent lobs the same thinly veiled threats toward them he did toward POTUS 44, they won’t be silenced — unless of course their silence is a statement in itself. Either way you can’t shut them up Teddy. Scratch THAT cat.