Blogger Hube — a former colleague at a long-defunct blog called “Oh, That Liberal Media!” — raises questions about Alan Muller, the fellow I interviewed last night who accuses Chris Coons of anti-free-speech thuggery. Hube’s post cites nothing that particularly concerns me; mainly, he quotes a man who had some run-ins with Muller and considers him quite difficult to get along with. OK, and?
But I’m still glad for the post, because it gives me the chance to make some points that need to be made:
1) I obviously don’t know Muller and can’t tell you his story is accurate. He did not seem like a kook on the phone; just someone whose politics are wildly different than mine. But the point of my post was not to say: hey, look! Based on this post we know for a fact Coons is a thug! It was mainly to say: hey, look! These are serious accusations, backed up by some documentary proof of overbearing government action, and someone in the media ought to look into it. It’s a disgrace that, in this highly visible election, the first person to pick up the phone and call the guy making accusations like this was . . . me.
2) The man who had the run-ins with Muller wrote a comment on Hube’s post saying: “I sure would like to hear Chris Coons[‘s] side of the story before I would believe [Alan] Muller’s representation of him.” That’s a fair point. I sent the campaign an e-mail tonight and essentially told them I would print any response he has, within reason.
3) The bigger context for that post is the willingness of Democrats to use the power of government to intimidate those who are engaged in speech they don’t like. I went on Tammy Bruce’s radio show today at lunchtime to discuss the piece, and we discussed how my piece fits into that context. Regular readers know that I am (RINO that I am!) mostly skeptical of any notion that leftists are intrinsically bad people who display worse character traits than conservatives — with exceptions for things like responsibility and adherence to principle. But anti-speech thuggery is one way we’re different. Whether it’s Democrats’ threatening to pull Fox News’s broadcast license because they don’t like the content; or Harry Reid & Co. writing a mafia-style letter threatening ABC’s broadcast license over “The Path to 9/11”; or the DNC threatening Sinclair Broadcasting’s broadcast license over an anti-Kerry documentary; or Obama’s thugs threatening networks’ broadcast licenses over criticism from the NRA; or, most recently, Kathleen Sebelius suggesting that insurance companies had better not claim they’re raising rates because of ObamaCare, or they may find themselves regulated out of existence . . . based on these examples and many more, the public has a special need to fear Democrats’ bringing down the hammer when they engage in free speech.
And if Chris Coons is that type of thug, best we find out now.
Big Media, do your job.
UPDATED to correct the gender of the person who had had run-ins with Muller.