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I’ve been one of your biggest fans for about the past 30 years. When I came cross a copy of AmSpec during the Carter malaise, it changed my life. My exposure to the economic ideas being championed by the early supply-siders came first through AmSpec, and I went on to become a supply-side economist myself. I worked for Jude Wanniski for seven years during the '90s. I really owe a good part of my success to the ideas and perspectives I first picked up on in your outstanding magazine.p>But I was really taken aback by your take on the Johnny Miller/Rocco Mediate affair. At first I thought it must be tongue in cheek and there’d be a punch line putting it all back in proper order. If you thought Imus was unfairly persecuted for what was a much more offensive slur, how could you believe that Miller deserves the same treatment? I was watching that broadcast, and the ethnic element didn’t even occur to me. I thought he just meant that Rocco seemed like a regular guy who could be cleaning your pool or doing any other kind of ordinary labor, as opposed to the country club types who populate the tour. That was his appeal and that’s what Miller was picking up on. It’s really astonishing to me, but you seem to be taking the politically correct position on this that you would normally castigate others for mercilessly. Miller doesn’t deserve that, and I can only imagine that many of your faithful readers today must be scratching their heads trying to figure out what in the world compelled you to write such a silly piece. br> — David Gitlitz /p>
I read with interest your article on Johnny Miller’s comments during the recent U.S. Open Golf Tournament on NBC. I couldn’t disagree more with the conclusions you reached both on a micro and a macro level.
First, regarding the specific comments made by Miller about Mediate, Miller was praising Mediate not demeaning him. You may disagree with the way he worded his praise but the point Miller was trying to make I believe was that Mediate was not the prototypical, affluent country club golfer with the perfect swing honed from years of private lessons and videotape. He was trying to depict Rocco as the “everyman” golfer who did it his way and was surprising everyone in the Open by making it work. Miller’s words may have been indelicate (see his comments about Craig Parry’s golf swing or Justin Leonard’s performance in the 1999 Ryder Cup before making his historic putt or his comments about Phil Mickelson’s meltdown at Winged Foot for some history and context), but they hardly constitute being labeled a “slur.”
On the macro level you state, “Yet this touchiness about slurs is not going to go away — and in many cases should not. Often the slur betrays a deep contempt for others merely because of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Contempt is not a civilized value.”
Who gets to determine whether a slur has been committed? Rocco wasn’t upset by Miller’s comments so it must be YOU or the Italian-American group that’s raising holy heck who gets to make the call.
So, first you get to determine it’s a slur and then you get to determine that it shows “a deep contempt for others merely because of their race, ethnicity, or gender.” Miller says he didn’t mean it that way. Rocco says “Okay.” You say, “Too bad, suspend him.” Or something.
Mr. Tyrrell, you have made a tremendous contribution to the conservative movement over the years and for that contribution I am grateful. It is a mistake, however, to attempt to fight the “speech police” by pointing out how groups other than the usual, blacks, Hispanics, women etc. are also being slurred, expanding the definition of a slur, and taking it upon yourself to determine what speech is acceptable and what is not.
I have managed to get through my 60 years of life without once being “offended.” This fact has undoubtedly made me a happier person. I firmly believe that if people spent less time looking for reasons to be offended they’d be happier, too. Being “offended” is a condition suffered by liberals. Not us.p>Thank you for all you do.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?