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Conservative writer: right shouldn't cheer Baldwin firing

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2011 file photo, Alec Baldwin attends the Museum of the Moving Image salute to Alec Baldwin in New York. On Friday, Nov. 15, 2103, MSNBC suspended Alec Baldwin for two weeks for inflammatory remarks he made to a reporter earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File) AP Photo/Peter Kramer, File

Charles Cook of the conservative National Review defends what some might call the indefensible: Alec Baldwin's right to keep his job at MSNBC after having hurled a gay insult at a photographer.

Cook writes:

However tempting it might be for the Right to celebrate when one of their antagonists is canned, it should take a deep breath and resist. One does not beat the would-be arbiters of speech by joining them, nor does one persuade people that a reflex is wrong by indulging in it when the other side is on the hook. As a rule, the Right has long prided itself on its disinclination to call for scalps, on the eminently reasonable grounds that such a precedent merely opens the door for all sorts of witch-hunting and leaves anyone even remotely controversial at the mercy of rapidly changing fashions. As a rule, it has recently been conservatives who have led the fight against speech codes, against political correctness, and against trying to punish people for what they believe. Why stop now?

Baldwin's short-lived weekly show was canceled last week.

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