Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Heckle & Jeckle

A man from my sister's home state of West Virginia was recently fired for heckling President Bush at a political rally.  Evidently the heckler's presence at the rally was due to tickets given to his employer, a graphics design firm, by a client.  When the heckler's behavior at the rally offended the client, the client complained, and the heckler was terminated.  I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like grounds for a lawsuit.

Heckling goes with the territory of being a public speaker.  There's a long tradition of it in America, and although we no longer tolerate throwing rotten fruit and vegetables at orators, certainly a few choice verbal barbs fall within the purview of the right to speak one's mind and the inalienable right to make an ass out of oneself in public, I right I cherish and would die to defend.  Heckling cuts through the scripted, polished, buffed and waxed nature of these rallies, and makes the speaker respond with some kind of unvarnished, non-vetted real tone, if not substance.  The nature and content of that response is often illustrative of the candidate's character and ability to think on his feet. 

GWB has shown time and again that he is more than capable at responding to such challenges.  But to fire the heckler?  That just seems wrong.  You ought to be able to have a political viewpoint and be able to keep your job.  I hope he sues.

1 comment:

kbhk1963 said...

The heckler is going to file a lawsuit and doesn't want his job back!!  We are rooting for him.  FYI, the rally was in Hedgesville which is just 10 miles from Shepherdstown.