Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blogging – The new bully?

I have been wanting to write about the Benham brothers, but facts seem to be elusive. I was also at odds as to what approach to take. As of today it's only the brothers speaking. So far HGTV has been silent on the matter. It is for this reason I can only use the brother's words to base my writing. Now to start at the beginning.

This week it came to light that two brothers were suppose to have a house flipping show on HGTV. The show never aired because of statements made by the brothers. As with Phil Robinson, it came down to their comments about homosexuals. Even though they try to make it about traditional marriage, it's much more. David and Jason Benham have often quoted bible verses as they crusaded against same sex marriage. For this reason they have been saying they were bullied off the air by the homosexual agenda because they are Christians.

I have been looking for evidence of that bullying. Usually some group or organizations is named as the culprit. It was not until last night I learned who these bullies were. Benham said that after the show was announced in New York, “that's when the blogging began.” then referring to HGTV Benham said: “They got bullied.” This made me sit up, take notice, and ask myself, “How can bloggers bully?”

As a blogger, albeit small time, I have spent a decade spilling my thoughts and facts – that I feel are well researched – onto the web. I'm sure I have spoken negatively about many people or groups for something they said or did. Could anything I ever wrote be considered bullying? Of course not.

If HGTV executives changed their mind because of information they gathered from bloggers it can in no way be considered bullying. Even if the blogged information was wrong, in the end it's still an HGTV decision. If the blogs in question had slanderous information then the brothers can go after them in litigation. From what I've seen the blogs simply quoted the brother's words or those of their father.

David and Jason Benham are making the media tour presenting themselves as a victim of bloggers, while saying they aren't claiming victim status. If people like me are the new bullies – then I say welcome to the brave new world. As long as free speech and the Internet exists, people like myself will exist. We will sometimes write with a bias and even make mistakes. We will sometimes be wrong or misinterpret facts, but in no way can the blogger ever be called a bully.

The brothers appear to be conservative so should act like one. They do say they stand by their words and wish HGTV well, yet they place blame on bloggers who operate under the 1st Amendment. I'm sure their victim status will lead them to a bigger and better television gig.

They also blame the cancellation on the homosexual agenda. I know a heck of a lot of gay people and they all want only one thing, to be treated equally under the law. They want to live their lives with the people they love and have a government that doesn't tax and regulate them differently. I have written about the progressive agenda that does sometimes operate under the homosexual label. In this case it's not even those who are to blame.

The brothers cannot blame anyone other than themselves. They, like others, don't seem capable of understanding how their words sound to the average gay person. Phil Robinson made the same mistake as the Benham brothers. When you compare the homosexual to rapists and murders you cannot then turn and embrace them.

David and Jason Benham, here is my bullying to you. You are free in America to say whatever you please about whomever. You will also suffer the consequences of your words. When you say a negative and then a positive about someone in the same sentence, one doesn't counteract the other. Words have meaning and stand alone. As long as you speak out and compare gays to rapist, pedophiles, and murders, expect to be bullied by bloggers and many others in society.

The 1st Amendment empowers Americans the right to speak freely, but speech is rarely free – there is always a price. When I write I will be embraced by some and shouted at angrily by others. I know well the price of speech. You just learned your price.

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