Wow would be my minimalist reaction. I remember growing up watching movies with John Cusack in them. He usually played the role of an outsider but was always kind of a hero. I certainly admired him as an actor. Has he stopped taking his Prozac though?

Please see this story regarding John’s recent Twitter posting:


John Cusack is openly a Liberal in every sense and probably has no appreciation for Fox News. However, I’m starting to wonder if he can even stomach the ultra liberal rants of MSNBC. Based on this latest Twitter posting, I’m more inclined to say that he has seriously fallen off his rocker and he can’t get up.

It’s no secret that I’m a Conservative with several Libertarian views. I have many friends with Liberal views although the majority if my friends share viewpoints that are closer to mine. None of my friends would ever go so far as to write something like this though. Additionally, I would never write this about MSNBC either.

So the questions that comes to mind: Where does free speech come to an end? Where does liability kick in? In other words, at what point does the right of free speech cease or at least become intertwined with liability for the actions of one’s self and others? We all know that free speech is no longer protected if those words incite a riot or are considered “fighting words”. In my opinion this is balancing very close to that exception. Cusack goes so far as to be almost specific in the actions. He hasn’t drawn out a plan, but it’s getting close. Naming specific people (targets) likely would convince many on a jury to find against him.

Consider if I were to post this: “I can no longer stand the liberal rants and view points of the Angry Squirrel. I can no longer stomach his naive and unfounded positions based solely on bleeding heart rhetoric and not fact. We need to have a satanic slaying at his home in Kansas City, KS on 9/11/2010.” OK, this is obviously not true and I would never wish any harm to come to anyone, especially the Squirrel. Now, imagine if anyone actually cared what I said…say I’m Tom Cruise (the head nut job), Will Smith or John Cusack. I would have rock star status, not IT Guy status. The point is, who is going to read a post and act? Probably only someone that was already nuts, but could this be what prompts someone? Should this be protected?

Eminem has dealt with similar issues with his music. There are questions being raised about Eminem’s latest work again (Love the Way You Lie) because of the domestic violence lyrics. I’m a rap/hip hop fan so I personally enjoy the music and don’t think too much about the lyrics. However, there are a number of people that do and some may be swayed by statements such as this. Where do we draw the line?

How about desecrating the flag which is a huge hot button of mine? Should we allow people to urinate on the American flag? How about burning the flag?

Yesterday we saw James Lee take over the Discovery Channel building and hold three people hostages over his extreme beliefs. What if this person was “encouraged” by someone like Eminem or John Cusack? Does that make him any less guilty? Does that reduce the guilt of the actor and impute some of that guilt on the person generating or spawning the idea? Accessories?

If I were the judge hearing these cases, here is how I would rule.

  1. John Cusack would be found not guilty but my ruling would include that this is very close to inciting violence. If his post were any more specific (like mine was about the Squirrel) I think it clearly violates the free speech exceptions and he’s liable for the actions of others if they choose to follow his direction.
  2. Eminem would be found not guilty as well. He doesn’t spell out specific plans or specific people. Will someone tie their girlfriend/wife to the bed and burn the house down because of his song? That is very possible.
  3. The flag. The US Flag should be a protected symbol. It IS a symbol of our Country, our freedom and what our veterans have fought hard to protect. In my opinion this should clearly be an exception to the right to free speech because this WILL incite riots and the words/actions would be deemed fighting words.
  4. James Lee (Had Lee survived) – Sorry, you will be locked up until such time that we can generate enough electricity to kill you…slowly; or until your fellow inmates take their own wrath upon you and your idea to sterilize the people of the world. You’re a disgrace to your family, people sharing your view and you will give people like me less reason to embrace your environmental ideology. Guilt of the accessory or the instigator would depend on what actions/discussions had taken place but there would be a good chance I would see them as guilty too.

I’m interested in other people’s reactions to this. Let me know!