We’re reminded of a number of posts we did early on in the Trump administration, where academics and even journalists were rethinking the whole First Amendment, and suddenly it wasn’t so easy to be a “free speech absolutist” anymore, what with alt-right crazies like Ben Shapiro and Ann Coulter being invited to speak on college campuses.

Here’s the Washington Post in 2017:

Here’s the New York Times in 2019:

And here’s the New York Times in 2021:

Timothy Egan writes that just as the founders could never have envisioned the AR-15 while writing the Second Amendment, they also “could not have foreseen speech so twisted to malevolent intent as it is now.” “Toxic misinformation, like AR-15-style weapons in the hands of men bent on murder,” Egan writes, “is just something we’re supposed to live with in a free society.” Well, yeah.

He proposes three solutions: media literacy classes for high schoolers, lawsuits, and legislation:

Republicans may resist most of the above. Lies help them stay in power, and a misinformed public is good for their legislative agenda. They’re currently pushing a wave of voter suppression laws to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

I still believe the truth may set us free. But it has little chance of surviving amid the babble of orchestrated mendacity.

Egan obviously doesn’t see the irony in saying the government should regulate “toxic misinformation” while accusing Republicans of “pushing a wave of voter suppression laws” in the nation’s largest newspaper.

Right? But it’s a kick they’ve been on since 2017 — right around the time they were pushing the Steele dossier and Russian collusion at every opportunity.

Yeah, they quietly corrected that one a month later.

Speaking of kids and lawsuits, how about that Nick Sandmann story?


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