When the Teabaggers Came for the Voice-Over Actors, I Said Nothing, Because I was not a Voice-Over Actor…
Some of you may not have heard about this:
Basically, what happened was that this voice-over actor, D.C. Douglas, called Freedomworks and left a voice message they found impertinent. Unfortunately, he also left a callback number. So Dick Armey’s elves got busy and researched the guy, found out he had done voice-over work for Geico, and issued a fatwah against him, encouraging their deeply confused and deranged followers to call his personal number to harrass him and to call Geico and complain.
Geico, predictably, fired him.
We’ve seen these types of bullying tactics from the right before. But in most cases it has played out as a vendetta against public figures who made public comments that made conservatives cry. This guy did nothing of the sort – he made a phone call and offered up a private expression of his opinion. If that type of “free speech” is not protected, then there’s no free speech. And it’s not the same, at all, as cases like Don Imus’. He got fired for making an offensive comment on-air. To draw any parallel between this case and Imus’, Douglas would have had to have made his comments in a commercial Geico was airing. He didn’t – he made a private phone call. This guy had every right to call these people up and tell them his opinion. He wasn’t abusive, he wasn’t calling repeatedly and harrassing – he just said something they didn’t like. And because he said something they didn’t like, they started a scorched-earth campaign against him.
If that’s not a violation of civil rights, I don’t know what is.
On his blog, Douglas indicates that he isn’t going to hire a lawyer to sue Freedomworks, but he’s open to having an attorney take on the case pro bono. Here’s hoping that someone will take him up on that.