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:
At least they're finally admitting to being against free speech pic.twitter.com/qrfm2lSknt
— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) August 22, 2017
Here’s the New York Times in 2019:
Move over, Climate Change. pic.twitter.com/eJvhzoAhfK
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) October 4, 2019
And here’s the New York Times in 2021:
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) April 2, 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.
The New York Times. pic.twitter.com/rpfkZWyXSf
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 2, 2021
This is the second major op-ed published by the NYT in the last several months arguing against free speech.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 2, 2021
They know that their speech is not at risk.
Since the web, the free market has been building against the legacy media outlets while they responded with a limp "join 'em, eventually" strategy.
Reclaiming the 4th estate is their only chance to live their agenda-first fantasy
— Dan Farfan (@DanFarfan) April 3, 2021
I used to think the remedy for bad journalism was more journalism. Not anymore.
— Alastair (@_AlastairX_) April 3, 2021
who would've thought that journalists and liberals would be the ones calling for censorship? strange times.
— Hec (@hlrjr2) April 2, 2021
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.
“We need to silence everyone who disagrees with me!”
— Jack in the East (@talkradio200) April 2, 2021
In other words: "I used to believe in freedom of speech. Not anymore."
— Rabindra ®️ (@ccRabindra) April 2, 2021
The founders never could’ve possibly envisioned bad speech!
— marc flombone (@MFlombone) April 2, 2021
Presumably the @nytimes gets to keep speaking though. We only want to shut down people we disagree with. All echo chamber all the time!
— Joshua Oster-Morris (@craftyc0der) April 2, 2021
Tim Egan, you are a confused man.
— Rawhide (@Rawhide87317236) April 3, 2021
Why is it so difficult for them to realize any and all speech will eventually be censored?
— TrueWest (@Trestresjolie) April 3, 2021
This guy would be fired from his job for saying the N-word in public, but thinks society doesn't police speech enough. ?
— InTheRightColumn (@TheRightColumn) April 3, 2021
Those who cannot argue their position try to gain the upper hand by silencing their opponents. When will you realize that you are fascist?
— Kat's Yell (@Katyellig) April 3, 2021
This from the paper that launched a month of hang wringing over their completely fake, now retracted Sicknick story. The gall of this
— K245 (@AJHodgeIV) April 2, 2021
Yeah, they quietly corrected that one a month later.
False content produced by journalists is the administrative class preferred method of propaganda
— Live Free or Die (@thorvest_peter) April 3, 2021
Timothy Egan is correct; he should shut up.
— Captain Kahuna ?? (@Captain_Kahuna) April 2, 2021
He believed in it right up to the point his opposition got a voice.
— 9bod1strtroll. (@bakedandblitzed) April 3, 2021
He used to believe in freedom. Now he's a fascist authoritarian.
— David H. (@libertytrader17) April 2, 2021
We’ve barely survived though the last 200 years of free speech. Barely.
— Vilified Ostracized (@brakinggnus) April 2, 2021
I used to think the remedy for the NYT was coding classes.
Now I see a bright future in solar panels.
— ? and not quite ⚫️ yet (@Omar73237561) April 3, 2021
Speaking of kids and lawsuits, how about that Nick Sandmann story?
YIKES: ‘Free Speech is Killing Us’ hot take in the NY Times is SO scorching that it’s melting irony detectors https://t.co/Sh81od3FVZ
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) October 4, 2019