one small goose-step closer to thirteen o'clock

Surprised we haven’t had a thread on this. A scottish comedian, posts a open joke about teaching his dog to give a nazi salute on the command “gass the jews”.
He explains that he does it because the dog is so cute and can do no wrong in the eyes of his girlfriend so he teaches is the most offensive thing he can think of.

He is convicted of a hate crime in a court of law, he might go to jail.

Offensive? some will be offended no doubt and I reckon anyone choosing to make a joke has to face the court of public opinion…but having an obvious joke criminalised is a very worrying path to go down.

Free speech only means something if you allow it for those things you find offensive.

Ridiculous. I think it’s funny as hell and I’m a Jew.

I’m also a Jew and while my funny bone remains untickled, the notion of prosecuting for this is absurd.

Political Correctness is a crime against humanity.

And the pug gets off scot free.

I’m offended that the author wrote

They use numbers in the Scottish language?

A few notes:

  1. In my experience, court cases are often misreported, especially ones destined for recreational outrage in the right wing blogosphere. I’m not convinced I’ve gotten all the relevant facts - certainly not from the rightwing opinion piece you linked to and not from more neutral sources such as the BBC either. I’m sure more rleevant facts will emerge during sentencing on 23 April.

  2. The “I was joking! Can’t you people take a joke?” defence is one I regard with extreme cynicism. This is a favourite of the elementary school bully on up, whenever they are called out on their bullying. In the era of Pepe the Frog and Kekistan, I don’t accept it at all as an “obvious” joke.

  3. He taught the dog to raise its paw when he said “sieg heil.” This wasn’t some flippant spur of the moment joke - he took time out to train the dog to do this over a number of days, if not weeks. I doubt that worked in his favour.
    WOOKINPANUB, Bryan Ekers:**

at least one other Jew disagrees with you two:

I don’t know nearly enough about this case to have anything close to a definitive opinion. But given the history of how frequently “political correctness gone mad!” stories have turned to be grossly misrepresented (when not outright fraudulent) I’m hesitant to say that the accused/defendant did nothing wrong.

I guess the lesson here is never cross a Scotswoman. You might think those Irish Catholic girls are vengeful when crossed but they have nothing on a Presbytarian Scottish woman.


well, to be clear, I’ve no idea if CNN is right wing or not. It was just the first one that popped up for me.

Well the court case, as reported, seems to clearly show that it was a joke intended for a small audience of specific people.

That seemed to be the whole point, to get this cute little furball acting like the most offensive creature possible, The joke he played on his girlfriend wouldn’t work unless it was something really, really horrible.

why does it matter how offended/non-offended numbers stack up? The rights of free speech can’t be dependent on the number of people holding a given view.

I can imagine further facts coming to light that would put this chap in a less sympathetic light but in terms of the incident as reported it is ridiculous that he is being prosecuted. Do you agree that, if it is a joke, prosecution is a bad thing? What are your thoughts on the limitations of free speech and humour?
I’m left witth the impression that there are some circumstances where you think it could be right to prosecute on the basis of a joke. I hope not.

Even if he was totally serious why should someone face jail over teaching a dog a trick?

How does putting the video on you tube annoy the girlfriend?

I find myself questioning his sincerity. I’m getting so cynical in my old age.

Even if every single thing you have written here is true, the outcome of this case is still ridiculous.

There is no dispute that he was charged due to the content of the video, and that he was convicted because of the content of the video, under the Communications Act of 2003. All you really need to know to judge this case can be found within the video itself.

I believe that any reasonable person would believe that this was a joke. And again, even if it wasn’t, that simply makes it offensive and repugnant; it should not make it criminal.

And your last point is also, in my opinion, irrelevant. Firstly, the fact that a joke can take some time to create doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. I’ve seen jokes on the internet where people spend hours covering a person’s workspace in post-it notes, or wrapping all of their possessions in aluminum foil. The fact that the prank takes preparation doesn’t change the fact that it’s a joke.

If i bought a parrot, and taught it, over a period of weeks, to say “Fuck you” or “Trump is an asshole” or “Christians are morons” or something else that people might find offensive, should that be a criminal offense? If you believe that the answer is “Yes,” i hope i don’t find you defending the idea of free speech anywhere else, because you clearly don’t believe in it.

On preview: puddleglum was much more succinct.

Because it occurred in a different country, with different standards of free speech rights from those here in the US. Their standards may not suit you, and you are not only free to criticize them here, you are free to not go to that country if you don’t want to.

If the debate is about free speech rights vs. “hate” speech restrictions, personally I am all on the side of free speech rights. I don’t think legislating restrictions about speech that some folks find despicable serves the cause of a free society. But I have limited sympathy for this particular maroon.

I have a question for Novelty Bobble: how can you say that the joke was only intended for a few people when it was posted on Youtube?

[quote=“Novelty_Bobble, post:9, topic:811080”]

well, to be clear, I’ve no idea if CNN is right wing or not. It was just the first one that popped up for me.[ /quote[

I was commenting on the author of your link, not the site hosting it. (I don’t regard CNN as being problematic, compared to say, Breitbart or Daily Mail. However, the author of the linked piece is clearly conservative- anyone seriously using the phrase “political correctness run amok”, is not left of centre.

In the reports I’ve read its not at all clear that it was accepted as a joke by the court. I imagine that will be clarified at sentencing. In any event, I don’t believe that “it was a joke you guys” works anywhere outside of high school.

I’m not sure a pug could ever be a “cute little furball”…:dubious:

The link was provided as a counterpoint to WOOKINANPUB and Bryan Ekers assertions that they, personally, as Jews, did not consider the video to be offensive or problematic. Nothing further is intended or implied.

A quick casual glance at his Twitter for the past week or so shows him retweeting Paul Joseph Watson (Editor-at-large of Infowars), Nigel Farage, who was a leader of the far right UKIP and an appearance at a “Free Speech Panel” with anti-“SJW” Youtuber Sargon of Akkad. And of course, an image with that stupid fucking frog.

This is not the best company to keep if you want to use the “I’m not an anti-semite, it was just a dumb joke!” line.

I do not consider, if you pardon the expression, teh assertion that a statement was a joke, to be an automatic get out of jail free card.Do you?

Same response as above.

puddleglum, you’ve inadvertently highlighted another problem I have with legal reporting,as judging from the phrasing in many reports, six months in prison would be the maximum sentence for the offence he was convicted of and not the likely sentence. Based solely on same inadequate reports and my own limited knowledge of Sottish law, I would consider a custodial sentence unlikely.

Well I’m smack bang in the middle of said country and I think it is bullshit of the highest order.

You don’t have to have any sympathy for him, the most important thing is for supporters of free speech to say that this is a legal reach too far. Be in no doubt, if you don’t say it loudly and strongly for the dickheads you don’t like it’ll be too late to whine about it when it is you and yours on the wrong end of a joke gone wrong.

It says in the reports that he shared it only with a small group of subscribers and one of them broadcast it more widely…but…why would it matter even if that were not the case? Would you change your opinion on the rights and wrongs of such a case? It would make no difference to me.

It really feels like you are stretching for a reason to feel OK about him being prosecuted. I hope that isn’t the case.

Yes, of course. I believe in freedom of speech and I don’t think there is a single person in the country that I’d trust with being the arbiter of what humour is and isn’t allowed.

I notice how conservatives always leap forward to defend free speech when it’s something that offends other people. But they throw tantrums anytime somebody else says something that offends their sensibilities.

I haven’t noticed any significant difference in reactions when either side has its ox gored.


True, it is human nature to a certain extent but…they can’t have it both ways, it is like being a “little bit pregnant”, nope, either it is free for all views or it is not “free” for any reasonable definition.

I agree with your first sentence, but i’m pretty sure the content of the Act, precedents, possibly other applicable laws, etc are also relevant.

Do you have an objection to the very concept fo hate speech? Or just this instance?

A more apt comparison would be teaching the parrot something that amounted to hate speech which would fall foul of applicable Scottish law and posting to Youtube. “Fuck you” would clearly not meet that standard. Any other strawmen?