Belmont Club

Outrageous Fortune

American Spectator says that Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) has received a notification that her PayPal online account has been discontinued. “[A]fter a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy,” the PayPal e-mail said. “Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime.”

Everyone has to take responsibility for what they say. The reason comments on this site are moderated is because there are always lines that shouldn’t be crossed and you try, insofar as you can, not to cross them. But whether or not one agrees with Pamela Geller, it is far from clear that PayPal should be in the business of determining what constitutes “hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime.” For example, PayPal as of few minutes ago served Revolution Muslim. I’ve attached a screenshot of the site showing the PayPal button just above the the picture portraying Barack Obama as Hitler.

Now PayPal may have reasons of its own for allowing one and not the other. For considering Pamela beyond the pale but showing consideration for a site whose voiceover, when you get it to it, extols the virtues of sharia law and the desirability of giving your spare wife to a Muslim Brother, and portrays the president in the likeness of the Great Dictator. Who knows but some might agree?

But in order to avoid that discussion and other discussions which may ensue, it might be wiser to leave such determinations to the legal system or to the market.

Ed Driscoll reported that Warner Brothers recently asked YouTube to pull the “We Con the World” video parodying the peace flotilla from Gaza. Warner’s problem with the video wasn’t politics but copyright.

That’s not to say that political motivations aren’t being read into it. Driscoll writes, “[Caroline] Glick notes that the video was pulled by Warner/ Chappell Music, Inc. The blogger who made the exceptional ‘Burning Down the House’ video, which pointed the blame for the financial crisis of the fall of 2008 squarely on government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Clinton-era Community Reinvestment Act also had his video pulled by a Warner-related entity, until he replaced the music with generic backing tracks.” However that may be, there is a good reason for companies to keep business and politics separate and even work at preserving the appearance of it even when the distinction is not factually maintained. There always comes a time when the prevailing political winds shift and the shareholders ought not to be held hostage to the vagaries of such fortune.

Yet to some extent anyone who acquires an audience, such as Pamela Geller has, inevitably attracts flak. Long ago I told an audience at the Rockefeller Center in New York that “you don’t have to care what you say when you only have a hundred readers a day, but you must be exceedingly careful when you have ten thousand.”  Pamela has gotten to where her audience is substantial enough for people to take notice. Inevitably that brings some kind of Nemesis after you. The rule of thumb appears to be the bigger you are the harder they want you to fall. Rush Limbaugh said, “I know I’ll be destroyed eventually.”

In an e-mail sent to Zev Chafets, author of the new book “Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One,” Limbaugh admitted, “I know I am a target and I know I will be destroyed eventually. I fear that all I have accomplished and all the wealth I have accumulated will be taken from me, to the cheers of the crowd. I know I am hated and despised by the American Left.”

The message was sent the day after President Obama laughed at comedian Wanda Sykes’ joke about Limbaugh’s death during last year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

In a diatribe against Limbaugh, Sykes said: “Rush Limbaugh, ‘I hope the country fails’ – I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?”

The dinner was broadcast nationally on C-SPAN, and a clip has been posted on YouTube.

Obama can clearly be seen laughing as Sykes delivers her line about Limbaugh’s kidneys failing.

Limbaugh probably will be destroyed.  And that’s how it is. Fair ain’t got nothing to do with it. Once you get past a certain point you’ll have writers renting vacation houses near your home and pundits wondering whether you’ve had a breast augmentation operation. Celebrity, even minor celebrity, ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t do it for anything except the muse and a good conscience. And then you try to dodge the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. But if you catch it, then you can always console yourself if you believed in what you did.

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least:
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,–and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings’.

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