Rush Limbaugh, Ozzie Guillen and the First Amendment

So Ozzie Guillen said some stuff about Fidel Castro. Who cares what Ozzie Guillen says about Fidel Castro, right? I don't. But Ozzie Guillen is the manager of the Miami Marlins. So it's fair to say the Marlins care.

People in Miami aren't happy about what Ozzie Guillen said about Fidel Castro. That means the Marlins can't be too happy. Ozzie is having a press conference tomorrow to, no doubt, apologize and explain that in fact, he hates Fidel Castro and does not respect him. I don't care about that either. But people in Miami do. So the Marlins care too.


Entertainer Rush Limbaugh said some things that outraged some people. Some of his advertisers heard about it. Rush sort of apologized. Some people weren't satisfied. Not sure what his advertisers think about it now. Now some, including Sarah Palin, argued that Rush's First Amendment rights were being infringed by folks complaining about Rush's speech. No doubt some will argue the same on behalf of Ozzie Guillen. Both groups would be wrong. The First Amendment prohibits government interference with free speech. Citizen boycotts are not state interference with free speech.

BTW, this is true for the Dixie Chicks, Jane Fonda, Glenn Beck and any number of artists (this happens a lot in Miami BTW) who have suffered from citizen complaints and boycotts about what hey have said.

This is not a First Amendment issue.

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    Is anyone surprised that Palin has (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:31:25 PM EST
    no idea what the First Amendment means?  

    Seriously, the day we start holding Palin up as a font of constitutional wisdom and analysis will be the day we know the apocalypse is nigh.

    The First Amendment is ... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:19:03 PM EST
    ... strictly an amendment of convenience to so many people, i.e., I will uphold your right to say whatever you want, for so long as I agree with what you say.

    Palim is stirring the base the same way (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:34:33 PM EST
    Obama was stirring it with his SC comments.

    I think both of them knew they were wrong.


    I'd bet a dollar that Palin's knowledge (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:38:29 PM EST
    of constitutional matters would fit on the head of a pin - a very small pin - with a lot of space left over.

    While I think Obama took a gamble with the Court in making his comments, I'm pretty sure he knows what the First Amendment says and what it means.


    Well yes, I know that you can't stand Palin (2.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:41:19 PM EST
    she doesn't fit in to the club very well and but hey, to each his own.

    BTW - Obama was talking about the SC and the Obamacare flap, not the First Amendment.


    I'm well aware of what Obama was (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:39:47 PM EST
    talking about, jim; I started out making a comment only about Palin's mangling of the First Amendment, which has nothing to do with whether I can stand her or not.

    You decided to excuse Palin's misrepresentation of the Amendment by saying she was playing to her base and further equating her comments with Obama's comments about the Court.

    They aren't the same, jim, but predictable on your part to try to make it so.


    Anne they are exactly the same (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:57:30 PM EST
    and are for the same reason.

    BTW - Is there an echo on here??


    you are consistent jim, (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by cpinva on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 04:34:45 AM EST
    i'll give you that. consistently wrong, but consistent.

    no, the president's comments, regarding the USSC had nothing to do with the first amendment. something he knew, and, as usual, you don't. his comments had to do with the USSC being the final arbiter of the constitutionality of laws passed by congress, not the first amendment. you know why it had nothing to do with the first amendment? simply put, no one (at least, no one with a minimum of one working synapse) questioned his right to make the comments.

    some people (the usual suspects) questioned whether or not it was a good idea for pres. obama to make his comments. some people (again, the usual suspects) opined that he was "threatening" the USSC with his comments. a nutty 5th circuit judge went out of his way to be publicly even nuttier than usual, and demanded a 3 page, single-spaced, 8th grade report, having nothing whatever to do with the case at issue, from the gov't atty's, explaining why the USSC was, in fact, the final arbiter on laws constitutional. no doubt he'll mount it over his fireplace, next to the squirrels.

    but jim, no one, nowhere, questioned the president's constitutional right to make those comments.

    as i said, you are consistently wrong.

    as for mr. guillen's comments, re: fidel castro. again, not a 1st amendment issue. simply another public demonstration of corporate stupidity, writ large. oddly, we have yet to hear from any of dictator battista's victims, and how they feel about fidel. i expect we won't be. the strange thing about revolutions is that they, historically, are only successful when at least a fair % of the affected population supports them. otherwise, they die on the vine.

    what you or i (or battista thugs transplanted to miami) think about mr. castro is irrelevant. only the thoughts of those living in cuba really matters, and the majority of them still support the castro revolution and regime.


    cpinva (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:27:57 AM EST
    A lot of people smarter than you or me took his comments to be as I noted.

    Said comment was:

    BTW - Obama was talking about the SC and the Obamacare flap, not the First Amendment.

    He and Palin's comments were just a way to stir the base. (As I pointed out.)

    I haven't the vaguest idea as to your rambling rant unless you had a bad day and needed someone to yell at.

    I am here to serve.



    No, Obama's comments were not intended to (none / 0) (#38)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:59:05 AM EST
    simply "stir the base."  

    Then you are (1.00 / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:23:13 AM EST
    saying that he was trying to intimidate the SC?

    right. (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by sj on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:33:40 AM EST
    Because those are the only two possibilities.  

    Strange and surreal.


    No, Jim. And don't try to put words in my mouth. (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:09:11 AM EST

    No jim (5.00 / 0) (#78)
    by cal1942 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:24:39 AM EST
    Their remarks were not the same.

    Obama said that the court shouldn't rule on the merits of a law passed by Congress and can rule only whether the law violates constitutional prohibition.

    Obama's right.  After all, ruling on the merits of the law would be judicial activism - something you Conservative types are always going on about.  In Obama's position I'd have made the same statement. In fact I'd have gone much farther.  I would have asked Congress to add four more justices to the court.

    Sarah Palin, however, was making a charge that had no merit whatever.

    Whether either or both were intended to fire up the base isn't relevant.

    Sarah Palin's remarks demonstrated a lack of knowledge.  No surprise.  Fittingly, her base is congenitally ignorant.  


    I'm not sure he does. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 05:47:45 AM EST
    What would make you think ... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:58:21 PM EST
    ... Palin has the slightest understanding of the First Amendment?

    What Jim is saying is that (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:10:22 AM EST
    Obama is stirring his base of individuals who think understanding the Constitution is very important, and Palin is stirring her base of phucking crazed idiots.....it's all the same thing :)

    Well, you're half right (1.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:25:07 AM EST
    I said that they were trying to stir the base.

    BTW - Congrats. Half right is better than your usual.



    1 -rated (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by DFLer on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 12:20:24 PM EST




    Jim (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:53:44 AM EST
    Until further notice, I never want you to think I'm batting a 1,000.  I'll even settle for Jose Canseco's batting average :)  Who seems to be about to enter this fray maybe cuz he's just going to annex Cuba :)

    That's too funny (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:59:28 AM EST
    Jordan Fabian thinks maybe we should hold off a bit on making Canseco Secretary of State.

    GONG!!! (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:47:58 AM EST
    One is a Constitutional Law Professor and one is a moose hunter who took advantage of Canada's healthcare system.

    I'm not a constitutional scholar. (none / 0) (#39)
    by observed on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:06:59 AM EST
    Explain to me how Obama's remarks showed he didn't understand the Constitution.
    I don't see it.

    I think it is even giving Palin too much (none / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 11:00:22 AM EST
    credit to say she is trying to stir up the base. I think she is just continuing her eternal quest for attention. I don't think she really gives a darn about GOP politics anymore.

    Got her out of Alaska man! (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 01:33:41 PM EST
    Got a McMansion in Arizona now real cheap, it was on the MLS foreclosured properties list.  No more moose hunting trying to deal with boredom :)  I wonder if she stalks McCain?

    Going Gault is Unconstitutional? (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:57:28 AM EST
    Ayn Rand for thee, not for me?  I love the GIANT hypocrites that insane wingers have become.  Shame on them....all of them.

    This story is ridiculous. (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:56:01 AM EST
    A handful of pissed off Cubans in south Florida have directed US foreign policy towards Cuba for far too long. The government's own IG called the US policy towards Cuba as schizophrenic. The fact that the Marlins management is letting this control who manages their team is ridiculous.

    I Am So Tired... (none / 0) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 04:31:34 PM EST
    ...of idiots thinking their right to free speech means they can say whatever they want with no repercussions from anyone.

    I never really got the whoopla about Rush anyways, he says something that offensive at least once a month.  

    Like Ozzie Guillen, who cares.

    I think (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:25:27 PM EST
    it's the proverbial straw and camel situation. Rush has been saying this garbage for literally years and something happened in the collective minds of a lot of people to just say enough of the trash talk, we're sick of Rush and we aren't going to patronize businesses that advertise with him anymore.

    You don't like The Big Guy (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:32:58 PM EST
    Wanna shut him down??

    Get him off the air??

    Because he said something in very poor taste and insulting to a woman engaged in politics??

    Fine. I've already said he was out of line.

    But please, no lectures when Bill Maher has said more and just as worse.

    But a least Maher recognize the hypocrites and said stop.


    Rush Limbaugh has been spouting this stuff (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Angel on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 05:43:08 PM EST
    for decades.  He is an ignorant buffoon, and anyone who listens to him shouldn't be taken seriously.  

    Glad to know that you condemn (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:37:35 PM EST
    Media Matters.


    And so nice to see that you are fair and balanced.


    What does "fair and balanced" have (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Angel on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:47:49 PM EST
    to do with my opinion of Rush Limbaugh?  You post the strangest comments.  Seriously.

    Seriously?? (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:56:10 PM EST
    and anyone who listens to him shouldn't be taken seriously.




    Anyone who finds Limbaugh (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by observed on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:53:45 PM EST
    worth listening to is an idiot.
    I agree that the mere fact of listening to Limbaugh isn't objectionable, in and of itself.
    I hope this helps.

    You really think those are zingers, (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by sj on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:21:49 AM EST
    don't you?

    Glad to know that you condemn (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:37:35 PM EST

    Media Matters.

    What a strange, surreal place your mind is.

    Almost forgot:



    Suddenly a different tune (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:53:56 PM EST
    Don't like people going after Rush, yet you were a big fan of boycotting the Dixie chicks.

    Funny how that works ...


    My point (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:15:56 PM EST
    being that Rush has been saying this crap for decades and never apologized for any of the crap he has said. I personally could care less about the jerk. The people who should want to shut him down should be the GOP who he is doing a ton of damage to. The guy's a scum bag but hey, if guys like you want to circle the drain with the loser, I'm not going to stop you. He's already cost the GOP in elections and if he keeps at it, he's going to make sure Obama gets a second term.

    I think I'm with Bill Maher... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:43:24 AM EST
    Rush Limbaugh/Ozzie Guillen/Whoever have free speech rights, and the public has the free speech right to boycott and try to get somebody fired, but I tend to think that route is fighting arseholery with arseholery...better to just ignore the speech you don't like, or if it is too nasty to be ignored, fight back with speech of your own that doesn't involve demanding a scalp.  Just my opinion.

    Kdog (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 02:37:17 PM EST
    I agree but I will add this footnote.

    When the issue is political leadership during wartime when we have troops at risk and especially  when the spewer does it outside the US to an international audience.....

    I reserve the right to tell them, "You are giving aid and comfort to the people who are killing our troops. Please shut the f... up."


    That would be an example of... (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 02:43:56 PM EST
    confronting speech you disagree with with speech of your own.  Totally kosher.

    Add... (none / 0) (#67)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 03:13:16 PM EST
    if you took the leap from saying "shut the f8ck up" to campaigning to get somebody fired, that would be crossing the arsehole line...again, only in my opinion, such a campaign would be within your rights, I just think it's a d*ck move.

    Wow, you give Natalie Maines way more credit (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 02:44:42 PM EST
    than most would think she deserves.  She was "giving aid and comfort to the people who are killing our troops"???  I think she was just recognizing what a lot of people in this country and beyond were already saying and thinking.  You were certainly free to tell her to shut up but she was just as free to say what she did.  

    And what do you think (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 03:46:54 PM EST
    this is about?

    What is going on at the home front has been important in every war that was ever fought.


    So you're trying to say that the deaths in Iraq (5.00 / 6) (#70)
    by Angel on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 04:23:11 PM EST
    are the fault of Natalie Maines for speaking her mind before the war started?  You will go to any length to blame anyone other than George W. Bush,  Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, et al, for this war and how it was run and the thousands upon thousand of deaths and the trillions of dollars spent.  Get a grip on reality, dude.  

    Dear God Jim (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:42:54 PM EST
    Vietnam with you over and over and over again.  I'll say it again, my husband keeps this cheap $5 hat in his office that I was given in Crawford TX that has written on it in Sharpie "Talk to Cindy".  It hangs on his hat rack next to his Cavalry stetson and his desert boonie hat that he wore in Iraq and had his name embroidered in Arabic on it so that strangers would know what to call him and hopefully humanize him to them.  So much humanity was lost.  This is a democracy, there were no WMDs....so what noble cause MUST BE ASKED by American patriots of ethics and conscience?  Without the little people of the United States making their demands during times of war when the war machine is cranked up, he is nothing but cannon fodder....nothing but meat.

    It's about a NK, communist general ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 07:10:31 PM EST
    ... who "saw the light" and the lure of capitalism, spinning tales of being the first to ride his tank through the gates of the presidential Palace and accept the surrender of the SK leader - all without a single witness.  As a former NK interrogator, he also claims no Americans were tortured in Vietnam.  But because he says bad things about anti-war protesters, the wingers like to cite him as though he has some sort of credibility.

    Not sure which is funnier ...

    ... Bui Tin or the wingers.


    In what universe is saying (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 03:32:18 PM EST
    ... you were ashamed that GWB is from Texas (her home state) and that you're against the war "giving aid and comfort to the enemy"?

    Beyond ridiculous.

    BTW - Not that it matters, but when she made the comment, the Iraq War hadn't yet started.


    And as a result of the condemnation (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 05:53:15 PM EST
    ...The Dixie Chicks played to sold out houses and their recordings rode high in the charts and they made a few million bucks apiece.

    What a country!

    I'm pretty sure the Grateful Dead never lost money by being anti-war.


    I was able (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by CoralGables on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 07:10:10 PM EST
    to grab a pair of tickets at about 75% of the list price on ebay right after the hubbub and caught them in Madison Square Garden. It was a great show.

    It went down something like that (none / 0) (#75)
    by Rojas on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:21:59 PM EST
    In fantasy land....
    The reality is something else.

    No (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by cal1942 on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:35:26 AM EST
    She was criticizing our foreign policy.

    Her remarks were legitimate and quintessentially American.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:39:41 PM EST

    Perhaps you missed the calls for the government to go after Rush.  Leaving calls like these out of your discussion makes your criticism of Palin seem uninformed at best.

    FCC should clear Limbaugh from airwaves

    File an FCC complaint against your local station that carries Rush

    Have the FCC Remove Rush Limbaugh From the Radio


    FCC is different (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:19:24 PM EST
    Too complicated to explain in a comment.

    For the record, I don't ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:43:59 PM EST
    ... agree with the sentiments of some people who would have the FCC boot Rush Limbaugh from the public airwaves. You don't like Rush Limbaugh because he's obnoxious, fine. You don't have to listen to him.

    That said, I'd offer that an organized public boycott of those companies which continue to underwrite his program is a perfectly valid response to his a$$holery. At some point, if he's not selling ads and costing EIB Broadcasting (which is actually Limbaugh's employer, not the FCC) a lot of money, the marketplace will probably dictate that his show should be cancelled.

    But were EIB Broadcasting to, let's say, endorse President Obama's re-election, and they then fire Limbaugh for failing to publicly support Obama (since the president is someone with whom he disagrees personally and really doesn't like), than I'd offer that he could make a valid claim that his employer violated his First Amendment rights. (Please see my comment regarding Novosel v. Nationwide Insurance.)

    But the general public itself is a nebulous mass, and thus can't logically violate Rush Limbaugh's First Amendment right to freedom of expression, Abdul; people can only tune him out voluntarily, as I do.

    And the FCC can probably only remove Limbaugh from the airwaves if he's makes incindiary threats of bodily harm against select individuals or groups of people, or he suddenly takes his inspiration from George Carlin's "Seven Dirty words" list and starts reading the naughty bits from Harold Robbins novels on the air.


    Well Don (none / 0) (#22)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:03:45 PM EST

    We seem to be in complete agreement.  Boycotts are in no way a first amendment violation.  Calling on an arm of the government to silence a speaker you don't agree with is behavior that should be called out out of bounds as Palin did.

    Palin was limiting her comments ... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:51:55 PM EST
    ... to those who were calling for FCC/government action against Limbaugh?

    Yeah, I agree, as long as the person ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:16:22 PM EST
    ... doing the denouncing isn't engaged in hypocrisy, i.e., otherwise calling upon the government himself or herself to do something about someone whom he or she doesn't like.

    That's what got Sarah Palin in trouble while she was governor, when she fired Walt Monaghan as her public safety director, ostensibly because he refused to terminate her former brother-in-law's employment as an Alaska state trooper.

    So in that regard, one could justifiably accuse Palin of perssonal hypocrisy on the subject, even though she's still quite right on the general sentiment about wielding goverment power as a means to conduct a personal vendetta.


    Just drove home (none / 0) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:08:24 PM EST
    to Miami. Sports talk radio is nothing but Fidel tonight. My hometown is nuts. And why the Marlins would have Ozzie fly back to Miami to do a press conference while the team is in Philadelphia is beyond me.

    I get it... (none / 0) (#49)
    by indy in sc on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:04:53 AM EST
    I'm surprised the Governor didn't declare a state of emergency.  Given your handle, I'm sure you know that in Miami, the only acceptable statement about Castro is "Cuba Si, Castro No".  Anything else is just asking for a lot of trouble.

    The Miami Marlins understand that they need to repair this quickly with the local community or their beautiful new stadium and high profile new manager will just be a (very expensive) failure.


    We have tix to see the Phillies (none / 0) (#76)
    by Peter G on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:12:12 PM EST
    play the Marlins on Thursday evening at Citizen Bank Park, in Philadelphia.  Not sure what the correct way is to show them some support without endangering our own safety.

    Definitely don't wear Marlins gear;).... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 07:58:22 AM EST
    I think you'd be safe from drunken Philly Phanatics with a "Free Ozzie" sign, or even better, a "Charlie Manuel Is Allowed An Opinion" sign.

    Or maybe fake beards and cigars?


    "Free Ozzie" (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Peter G on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 08:42:42 AM EST
    Bingo... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 08:57:33 AM EST
    just bring a copy to the game.  Or bring 10, and toss a few in the Marlins dugout.

    BTD, what about the case of ... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:09:58 PM EST
    ... Novosel v. Nationwide Insurance Co., 721 F.2d 894, 896 (3dCir. 1983)?

    In Novosel, the court ruled that a private corporation, in this case Nationwide Insurance, infringed upon its employee's right to political expression by terminating him, because that employee refused to participate in the Nationwide's lobbying efforts at the Pennsylvania State Legislature to pass a no-fault insurance law. In remanding that case back to civil court for trial, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted that:

    "Although Novosel is not a government employee, the public employee cases do not confine themselves to the narrow question of state action. Rather, these cases suggest that an important public policy is in fact implicated wherever the power to hire and fire is utilized to dictate the terms of employee political activities. In dealing with public employees, the cause of action arises directly from the Constitution rather than from common law developments. The protection of important political freedoms, however, goes well beyond the question whether the threat comes from state or private bodies. The inquiry before us is whether the concern for the rights of political expression and association which animated the public employee cases is sufficient to state a public policy under Pennsylvania law. While there are no Pennsylvania cases squarely on this point, we believe that the clear direction of the opinions promulgated by the state's courts suggests that this question be answered in the affirmative." (Emphasis is mine.)

    (It should be noted that at no time did Mr. Novosel offer any public statements in opposition to either his employer's political position or impede its lobbying efforts in Harrisburg, nor was he a government relations specialist whose job it would have been to promote the Nationwide's interests at the State Capitol. He was simply a district claims manager who apparently disagreed personally with the legislation, and thus could not in good conscience support it.)

    The Court nevertheless argued that Mr. Novosel's freedom of political expression was infringed upon, when Nationwide Insurance pressured him to lobby the legislature on an issue with which he was not in political agreement, and then fired him for his unnwillingness to publicly support their efforts in Harrisburg.

    My question is purely hypothetical:

    Let's say Ozzie Guillen refuses his bosses' entreaties to offer a mea culpa regarding his prior statements about Fidel Castro, subsequently leading to his summary dismissal by the Miami Marlins.

    Wouldn't Novosel v. Nationwide Insur. then possibly apply under that scenario, since the Marlins -- purely for purposes of public relations, I might add -- are pressuring Guillen to publicly denounce Castro, even though he doesn't necessarily agree personally with that sentiment? Or is Novosel too narrow a ruling, given that Guillen already offered a prior public political statement with which his employer decided to disagree ex post facto?

    I'll await your response, and defer to your judgment. Aloha.

    I'd have to read the case (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 08:18:28 PM EST
    but I'm not understanding the analysis outside of a contractual argument.

    If there is a provision in Guillen's ... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:06:12 PM EST
    ... contract regarding the promotion of positive public relations in the greater Miami area, then I'd argue that the Marlins could take justifiably issue with his statement about Fidel Castro, and give him the public opportunity to either clarify or modify his remark, or at least get him to say the usual disingenuous "I'm sorry if I offended anyone yadda, yadda, yadda."

    But if his contract is primarily limited to the performance of his duties as manager (aside from the usual morals clause), I'd offer that compelling him -- under pain of termination -- to actually denounce the former Cuban leader politically should probably be ruled out of bounds. An employer should be prohibited from using economic coercion as a means to force an employee to either make political statements or engage in political activity, particularly when he or she would otherwise not be inclined to do so on his or her own.

    Anyway, that's strictly my opinion. But I'd still be interested in hearing your thoughts on Novosel as it relates to one's First Amendment rights to freedom of expression.

    Good topic for discussion. Aloha.


    it's a DJI (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:46:32 PM EST
    Dumb Jock Issue.  Much like DBI, Dumb Broadcaster Issue.  

    Speaking of freedom of speech (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:03:46 PM EST
    A member of Zimmerman's family has called out AG Holder for his lack of action re the Black Panther's threats of violence and other hate speech.


    We live in interesting times.

    So the F what? (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Repack Rider on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:46:39 PM EST
    Who cares what they think, since it is not remotely connected to the subject here?

    Apart from all the factual ... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:20:30 AM EST
    ... inaccuracies, leaps of (il)logic, the anonymous nature of the letter and the hilarious comparison of Zimmerman to Tom Robinson (a black field worker who was wrongfully arrested, tried and convicted of raping Mayella Ewell and shot seventeen times while trying to escape), ...

    ... that anonymous letter posted on a blog is spot on.


    The Zimmerman's are clearly racist. (none / 0) (#52)
    by observed on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:45:50 AM EST
    What idiots.  And no, i'm not referring to the incidents surrounding the shooting.

    gawd, that letter....how ridiculous (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:50:01 AM EST
    These people need to shut up. They are not helping themselves.

    Couldn't agree more (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 10:10:08 PM EST
    Being a celebrity or sports star means you owe some if not most of your salary to the public at large and when you offend great swaths of the public you should not be surprised when there is backlash.

    5 Game Suspension (none / 0) (#46)
    by vicndabx on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 09:43:26 AM EST

    I think it's a little crazy but I understand speaking out for/against something your employer may have a differing position on.

    5 games? (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:53:35 AM EST
    That is nuts...they knew they hired a colorful manager known to speak his mind unfiltered, that's Ozzie...and that's why I get a kick out of him.

    Wonder if that is gonna be enough pounds of flesh to appease the whiners, the only place left to go from there is to fire him...which might set a new squeaky wheels get the grease world record were that to happen.


    If the Mariners stink again (none / 0) (#57)
    by shoephone on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 12:15:25 PM EST
    this season, I'd be happy for us to take Guillen  as manager.

    when you hire Ozzie... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 12:54:11 PM EST
    ...you get the baseball equivalent of Roseanne Barr.  Never a dull moment, and if there is one, then something is wrong. ;-)

    My man Ozzie... (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    needs a disclaimer attached..."not for use with overly sensitive fan bases or spineless owners".

    Seattle baseball could use some drama! (none / 0) (#63)
    by shoephone on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 02:04:14 PM EST
    Although anyone who's lived here knows the town is filled with timorous passive-aggressive types, so Ozzie may not go over too well. Even Pinella (who I thought was great) had lots of whiny detractors.

    What in the world does ... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 07:22:31 PM EST
    ... a personal opinion about Fidel Castro have to do with Major League Baseball? Way to hit the reset button with the community, Miami Marlins! The front office has taken collective leave of its senses.

    If I were Ozzie Guillen, I'd call the suspension a violation of my First Amendment right to freedom of political expression, claim that the Marlins are in breach of contract, and take a walk while telling the media, "Hey, who needs their crackpot-coddling crap?"


    It has a lot to do with the community (none / 0) (#82)
    by indy in sc on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 08:43:24 AM EST
    that the MLB team serves.  I think you guys are too focused on Guillen's right to his opinion and not focused on the fact that the Miami Marlins are a business, nothing more and nothing less.

    When the leader of your business makes a statement that deeply offends the vast majority of the people you seek to have as customers, you have to deal with it.  IMO, the Marlins did the right thing from a business standpoint.  They are trying to mitigate the damage he caused, which was real regardless of whether you think the Cuban community is being oversensitive or unreasonable.


    The vast majority? (none / 0) (#84)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 11:26:48 AM EST
    You grossly overestimate the inflamed hype. The local Cuban-American sports talk show host predicted the over/under for protestors would be 40. The number of media members was estimated at 100.

    Absolutely (none / 0) (#85)
    by indy in sc on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 01:00:57 PM EST
    the vast majority.  Not everyone who was offended is necessarily going to show up to a protest (particularly one in the middle of the work day).  I don't find that to be indicative of the extent of the damage.

    We're talking about baseball here--if it was football or basketball, the Cuban community would still represent a significant part of the fan and customer base, but perhaps not a majority.  For baseball, they are the majority--no doubt.


    I find it hard to believe... (none / 0) (#86)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 01:15:47 PM EST
    anybody really gives a sh*t except a very small number of hardliners in the cuban-american community.

    I think business owners often vastly over-estimate public opinion based on the feedback of a few whiners.  They cater to weirdos who have made a cottage industry out of writing letters and clogging the phone lines with their "outrage" over nonsense.  

    Normal people spend no more than 30 seconds thinking about what the manager of the local ballclub thinks about politics, and get on with their lives.  Most cuban-americans are normal people too.


    Ha (none / 0) (#87)
    by indy in sc on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 01:29:56 PM EST
    Most cuban-americans are normal people too.

    You've clearly never spent a significant amount of time in Miami. ;)

    I promise you that the Marlins did the right thing from a business standpoint.  It is very deeply rooted within the community and passed on from generation to generation.  It is true that 2nd and 3rd generation Cuban Americans are less impassioned on the topic than their parents and grandparents, but it is still extremely sensitive.  Many still have family there and cannot speak up for fear of reprisal against their families.  

    Normally, I'd agree with you that a few vocal people are erroneously taken to represent the majority--in this case, speaking as someone who has spent more than half my life in Miami, I can assure you that it is true.


    Actually I have... (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 01:46:32 PM EST
    lived for a few years in South Florida, though not half my life.  I think the next generations are even less impassioned than you think.

    There may still be a large number who still support the embargo and vote Republican, but not supporting the local ballclub because of what the manager said in a Time magazine interview? I just ain't seeing it.  It was a chance for the very few hard-liners to get some press and feel relevant and that is all.  If the city doesn't support the ballclub it is because it's still a football town, or the club isn;t winning, it won't have anything to do with Ozzie.


    Well you're definitely right (none / 0) (#89)
    by indy in sc on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 01:54:14 PM EST
    about one thing--regardless of any controversy with Ozzie, the town was/is probably not going to support the Marlins that much because it is a football town (followed by basketball as a close second with the advent of LBJ).

    The Ozzie comments just made it so that, instead of a couple thousand people showing up, maybe a few hundred show up.  It's all relative!


    You're definitely right... (none / 0) (#90)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 02:00:31 PM EST
    that it is a unique dynamic down in Little Havana, I hear ya...we just perhaps disagree on how deep that rabbit hole goes.

    Elian Gonzalez showed us passions still ran very deep 30 or so years after the revolution, no doubt about that.  But that was almost a generation ago now...otoh some southerners still have a hard on over the civil war for crying out loud, so who knows;)


    I'd be willing to bet (none / 0) (#91)
    by CoralGables on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:11:02 PM EST
    they average close to 30,000 this year which will put them in the upper half of attendance. And that comes from someone that didn't spend half a life in Miami. It's from someone that has spent just about 96% in Miami.

    This Year (none / 0) (#92)
    by indy in sc on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:32:55 PM EST
    because of the new ball park--I don't think those numbers will be sustainable going forward if past is prologue.  I hope it is sustained beyond the novelty of the new park for the sake of the park employees and vendors and local economy.

    I don't give two blanks about ... (none / 0) (#59)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 12:40:42 PM EST
    Rush or Ozzie.  And I'm not that interested in BTD's narrow reading of the Amendment. But I'm always bothered by the fact that the amendment says:

    Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

    Yet, of course, congress has made many laws abridging these rights.  Not to mention the others outlined in the amendment.

    I think the amendment is an expansive statement about free expression.  Not a narrow one about government censorship.