STILL DON’T THINK DEMOCRATS ARE IN LOVE WITH CENSORSHIP? Lenin knew that part of establishing a one-party state was to control the media. One of the first things he did in 1917 was pushing a Decree on the Press in November 1917 that gave the government the emergency power “to close down any newspapers which supported counter revolution.”
Today, the word “disinformation” has replaced “counter revolutionary” but it’s really the same thing: a set of statements that the State (and its ideologues) deem “false” and “dangerous.” You’d think the media, which unabashedly leans left (which is their right) would be wary of such power. After all, today’s “lie” might be tomorrow’s “history.” Moreover, if the First Amendment — which they claim to love — means anything, it is the notion that there must be room for error in public discourse, or as Justice Brennan put it:
“That erroneous statement is inevitable in free debate, and that it must be protected if the freedoms of expression are to have the “breathing space” that they need to survive.”
Post-Trump, we are witnessing a New McCarthyism, where lists are made, and commentators call for “detoxifying” or “cleansing” the public discourse and psyche of any remnants of the motive force behind the previous administration. Self-described “progressive” columnist Jason Sattler said in USA Today that:
“I want to believe that Biden will be able to achieve far more than just detoxing our body politic from Trump while minimizing the unpardonable harm that this wannabe dictator and his GOP co-conspirators did to this country.”
This sounds more like something from the Cheka than it does from genuine “progressivism.” The frightening part — and we should be frightened — is that lawmakers, supported by media outlets, are encouraging the purge. It’s a multi-pronged attack. Cancel culture is encouraged by the media every day, because at the end of the day the by-product of manufactured outrage is more readership. One of the other prongs is to use the power of the State to silence dissent, which can always so easily be labeled “disinformation.”
Mediaite reports that the movement of State control has begun. Democratic representatives Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney demanded that television providers including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Apple, and Amazon say whether they planned to continue providing Fox News on their platforms, in addition to Newsmax and One America News.
You’d think that any “progressive” publisher would recognize the dynamic here. But you’d be wrong. Vice News, one of the wokiest outlets on the web is ironically owned in part by The Walt Disney Company (16%); A&E Networks (20%); TPG Capital (44%); and (surprise, surprise!) Soros Fund Management (10%). And Vice is cheering on the Democratic lawmakers. In their story, the sub-head sets the tone and the narrative:
Lawmakers are demanding answers from Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cox, and other cable companies who have ‘done nothing’ to stop disinformation on OANN, Newsmax, and Fox News.
In what ought to labeled an Op/Ed, Vice goes on to “report” that:
“While “big tech” has received the lion’s share of criticism for doing too little to combat disinformation in recent years, less talked about has been the role traditional cable TV giants play in circulating dangerous, bad faith nonsense.” [Eshoo and McNerney wrote that] “Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm.” Eshoo and McNerney also noted that carrying conspiratorial channels not only helps foster radicalization among the “alternative facts” set, it poses a direct threat to public health.”
Even worse, Vice, cheerleading for State control of media, plants a meme we’re sure to see repeated elsewhere. The article gives a passing nod to (OMG!) free speech by saying that:
“Largely because any new laws or restrictions intended to prevent news networks from carrying dodgy purveyors of disinformation would likely run afoul of the First Amendment. As such most wouldn’t survive a legal challenge, especially given the Supreme Court’s rightward lurch in recent years.” (Emphasis added).
You get that? Those “dodgy purveyors of disinformation” are sadly, protected by the First Amendment, and wouldn’t you just know, the First Amendment is now a right-wing thing. It can be laughed off, but I don’t think it’s funny. Much like those with experience in the Second Amendment sphere, genuine defenders of the First Amendment are more and more going to be understood by the public as “right-wing nuts”, “insurrectionists” and “purveyors of disinformation.” Be advised that failure to condemn them will brand you a “fellow traveler.”
Disinformation, indeed. The ghosts of Peter Zenger, Eugene Debs, Lenny Bruce, Mario Savio and William Brennan are surely weeping, and the ghosts of Lenin, Mao and McCarthy are grinning. (Bumped, by Glenn).