As a Ziegler talk-radio listener, I picked up this book somewhat on a whim -- and then read it in one sitting, riveted and unable to put it down. The clarity and wit of his writing make it a real joy to read. By exposing and exploring the eruptions of 'speech punishment' that have occurred over the past 25 years or so, Ziegler builds an incontrovertible case for his assertion that America's beloved 'Free Speech' is being choked to death. You don't have to be a political geek to enjoy this book -- you just have to be a person who would like to be able to express your opinion without fear of retribution. It is a terrific read -- even a necessary read.
Not really new2009/7/13
Joseph M. Creaney
I found the book intersting mostly re-hashing of the last 10 years of the slow encroachment of political correctness. Zeigler is a libertarian and agrees with the conservative world view. Anyone who is engaged in politics would recognize many of the examples from the book.
I think the first 100 pages could have been sumerized into about 10 because they are all high profile cases. From Fuzz Zeller to Howard Cosel to Clinton to many other examples.
I do think the depth of the book is thin. Yes, there is a free speech problem in the country but it is much older than the mid 80s. There was all kinds of censorship as far back as we have had mass media and there is nothing new going on. There was all kinds of intimidation and censorship as far back as the first outlawing to dirty movies when film was invented. I think looking at the history censorship would have been useful back to FDR using the IRS to go after hostile papers and the slow encroachment of censorship in the 30s as well as the FEC pulling licencs of those stations critial to Roosevelt.
There are good point in the fact that those on the left and right work from different premices. He called is fratured media where people self segregate into information they like and seldom expose themselves to information they don't like. There is no single outlet from his point of view that takes all sides serously. He goes into many of the reasons that news is hardly more than entertainmant because too little time is allocated to importan issues. Each outlet focuses on its niche and is more conserned with targeting a specific demographic for advertising.
The book is informative and generally accepts many of the premices of the right but there are also comment on how the right has gone after free speech so really this book does take on all sides but generally sees ore fault on the left and thier inconsistand enforcment of political correctness.
READ THIS BOOK!!! America's future may depend on it!2006/1/7
I've lived in Southern California my whole life and oddly enough, the first time I heard John Ziegler wasn't on the radio, but rather over my home telephone when he called to request that my mom be a guest on his program. I listened that night on KFI-640 as he grilled my mother, Judy Ahrens, over her vote to not allow cross-dressing teachers or students in public schools because he thought it broke the law. My mom disliked him for his aggressive interview style and refused to listen for months, but I was immediately hooked (and my mom is now). I decided to order the book (through his website [...]) and finished it in one week. Ziegler is the most honest and quick-witted radio broadcaster I've heard to date. He makes a strong and depressing argument for why our nation's dialogue is broken, taking equal shots at liberals (Clinton) and conservatives (Hannity). He draws examples from speech double-standards he has witnessed in the world of sports (golf & football), TV commentary shows (Larry King), music (Dixie Chicks), entertainers (Whoopi Goldberg), and political commercials (Swift Boat Vets). He often jokes on his radio show that "we broadcast every day as if it could be our last, because it often has been." I hope this book is not his last because his passion and knowledge of the issue will be a needed voice if those of us who want to protect free speech ever hope to survive.
An important book for our times2008/3/13
This book covers some very important ground about the media's role in crafting and enforcing the rules of political correctness; and how fear of "speech punishment" mutes our own free speech rights and makes a genuine and productive national dialogue impossible. Anyone interested in free speech should read this book.
The only criticisms I have is the book is written in *exactly* the same voice as the author's radio show. I was expecting a bit more academic approach.
I Wrote This Book2013/10/12
I wrote this book and I have to say that much of what I wrote has been vindicated by what has happened in the years since it was written. I hope you will get a chance to read it.