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Simon Says: JetBlue, O’Reilly and the Daily Kos

bluefounder.jpg JetBlue founder Bill Neeleman In the first of what will be a regular column, Pajamas Media CEO Roger L. Simon takes on Bill O'Reilly in the controversy surrounding the sponsorship of the YearlyKos Convention by JetBlue Airlines.

by
Roger L Simon

Bio

July 17, 2007 - 11:02 am

As many of you know, JetBlue has decided to be a sponsor of the YearlyKos Convention. While some, like Bill O’Reilly, are objecting to this, I think on balance it’s a good thing.

Now I admit largely to ignoring the Daily Kos. The site is far too knee-jerk “progressive” for me and choir-preaching leaves me cold. Call me sentimental, but I like to read more complex views and it’s too easy to imagine everything on Kos before you even click on it. Sometimes it even approaches self-parody. At PJ Media, we are making an effort to open our site to diverse opinions to stimulate discussion (something that never happens on Kos, to my knowledge). And I salute people like David Corn and Max Sawicky for coming on here.

But the question is not whether you like the Daily Kos or PJ Media. It’s whether you respect JetBlue’s – or any other corporation’s – right to make its own business decisions. JetBlue’s leadership has determined that associating themselves with the Kos Convention will sell tickets for them. You may differ in that analysis, but I would imagine they have done market research.

Those of us who value open discussion on Internet sites – for general reasons of speech and more specific ones of advertising support – should be happy that JetBlue has seen fit to sponsor a site as extreme as the Daily Kos. It’s good for all of us. (O’Reilly, of all people, should be applauding this.) What comes around goes around – as the clich√© goes.

Before you start to throw bricks at me, obviously there are limits to this. Advertising on Jihadist or Nazi sites or the like should not be countenanced. But, whatever you feel about it, the Daily Kos does not fit in this category. This is a democracy. They are people with whom you or I may disagree. We should say so and denounce their views as vigorously as possible. But we should not attempt to restrict their speech in any way – or their sponsorship.

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Novelist-screenwriter Roger L. Simon blogs here.

Roger L. Simon is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, novelist and blogger, and the co-founder of PJ Media. His book, Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming Out Conservative in Tinseltown, was re-released in an updated edition in 2011.
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