Bernie Reeves: In Defense of DG Martin
DG Martin has made a mistake by referring to Republicans in the NC Legislature as Nazis. But it should be clarified he did not say this on-air as host of WUNC-TV’s Bookwatch program — as erroneously reported — nor on his Who’s Talking radio program on 97.9FM-WCHL. My experience has shown DG to be liberal but fair-minded. The Nazi comment is out of character.
As is known in these parts, I am a conservative. Yet DG Martin has asked me to be a guest on his WCHL radio program regularly. He says on-air each time that I am a favorite of his audience in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metro. Though our conversations are spirited, he has never censored anything I have said and has treated me with respect.
I do not approve of DG’s analogy that labels Republicans in the NC Legislature Nazis — yet it is consistent with his role as a book show host to create a literary reference for his opinion, in this case Beasts in the Garden by Erik Larson. But I respect his First Amendment right to present his views.
I say that with some irony. DG, a liberal, is now the object of personal attacks for speaking his mind — the modus operandi of the Left in the US and North Carolina to attack conservatives. If anyone dares say anything that contradicts the smug and righteous leftist view, off come the gloves. This behavior has led to the decline of free speech in our society, codified and enforced by the politically correct police gestated by radical scholars on our campuses in the 1970s.
Their purpose is rarely to debate or set the record straight. The goal is to engage in slanders designed to discredit and stain the person who dares utter an opinion contrary to the party line. Now DG is finding out what it’s like to be attacked for stating an opinion the other side dislikes.
Yet, in our radio debates, DG has never resorted to abuse or personal attacks. And his service to the public via his North Carolina Bookwatch program is estimable and provides a forum for authors in North Carolina.
DG made a mistake and deserves criticism. But I fear citizens of the Right are in danger of engaging in the same tactics as the Left when they resort to hyperbole and personal attacks against contrary opinion.