Anarchism at Fox News

Amanda Marcotte is just a little surprised to find Fox News pundits saying “You can’t legislate behavior.” Huh, yeah, I’m surprised by that too. You can’t legislate behavior? So there are no laws against murder, theft, assault, fraud, rape, kidnapping, extortion? Or are we to understand that murder, theft, assault, fraud, rape, kidnapping, extortion are something other than behavior?

And whatever happened to the old law&order brand of conservatism? Did it get washed away in the flood of tea, or what?

Anyone who has ever subjected herself to right-wing talk radio or Bill O’Reilly’s show knows that conservatives have an affinity for a good, old-fashioned bully. Even so, it was a bit surprising to see Shannon Bream on Fox News host a segment worrying that anti-bullying rules at schools violate “free speech.” Bream was deeply concerned that homophobes and anti-choicers wouldn’t be able to express their “political views” at school.

Maybe Bream really does think that people of her political persuasion really can’t make their case without bullying. That would be a bit…incriminating.

“But we see in some of these cases in some of these schools that kids who want to put on pro-life displays, who are pro-Second Amendment, those kinds of things, things that are viewed as a more conservative viewpoint, in some cases the bullying stuff is being used against them so they can’t speak their positions,” Bream argued, declining to offer any examples. Does “speak their positions” mean arguing for an abortion ban in debate class, or is it more a situation where kids are “speaking their positions” by targeting individual students for harassment because they believe those kids are gay? I guess we’ll just have to assume the worst!

Exactly. Bream herself said it! It wasn’t those pesky liberals!

“You can’t legislate behavior,” David Webb, Fox News contributor, said, causing one to wonder when it was that conservatives decided that having school rules is fascism, man. Where was Webb when kids needed him after getting detention for cutting class or speaking out of turn?

He actually said that. Well at least there’s no law against laughing at Fox News contributors.


  1. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    They don’t know what they want, but they know how to get it.

    /it’s coming sometime, may-bee-uh…

  2. says

    “You can’t legislate behavior,” a Fox News contributor said, “except for the gays, of course! If we make that illegal again, nobody will be gay anymore!”

  3. A. Noyd says

    Also, the perpetual failure to recognize free speech (as it’s meant here) as something that can be taken away by bullies. When you’re one person who has dozens of bigots shouting you down, your speech is not free.

  4. Randomfactor says

    What the hell can you legislate EXCEPT FOR behavior? Doesn’t every single statute everywhere legislate human behavior only? It is certainly not illegal for heroin to exist–only for someone to possess, sell or use it.

  5. says

    …and whatever happened to the old law&order brand of conservatism?

    Am I the only one who, hearing the phrase ‘law and order conservative’, gets flashbacks to bad 70s loose-cannon-cop B-movies?

    ‘Coming this fall: ‘Law and order conservative’… Hedge fund manager by day… Vigilante on a mission by night… He’s got a job to do, and to get it done, he makes his own rules…

    (/’And if, to get that job done, he’s gotta taunt some kid with a weight problem until he’s traumatized, and you’ve got some kinda problem with that, well, listen, pal, you obviously don’t know these streets!’)

  6. M can help you with that. says

    Regardless of their position on any particular set of laws at any particular moment, Fox consistently defends reinforcing absolute hierarchies of power — whether it’s favoring men over everyone else, heterosexuals over everyone else, white people over everyone else, reactionary Christians over everyone else, etc., it’s always about really brutal forms of hierarchy. In other words: the opposite of anarchism.

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