New York Times Notes Conservatives Outlawing Speech, Libs Being Snitty. These Are The Same.
There is so much gibberish in this 2500-word screed about censorship and cancel culture and whatever other anti-free speech goblins haunt the dreams of the New York Times editorial board that yr Wonkette strongly suspects a conspiracy between the board and the pharmaceutical conglomerate that makes our blood pressure medication.
Gosh, did we just cancel the New York Times editorial board? By its standards, yes!
At least the board was kind enough to mix up freedom of expression and freedom of speech in the very first paragraph so we didn't have to waste any time learning that it doesn't know what the hell it is talking about:
For all the tolerance and enlightenment that modern society claims, Americans are losing hold of a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned.
How many times do we have to have this conversation? There is no "fundamental right" to voice an opinion without people getting mad and deciding they want nothing to do with you. Can we respond to the Times by calling the editorial board a bunch of walking septic kidney cysts? Yes. Can the Times editorial board shame and shun us without sanction for calling them a bunch of walking septic kidney cysts? You bet.
You have to read through another 11 paragraphs to get to the Times contradicting the argument it apparently tried to make in the first one:
It is worth noting here the important distinction between what the First Amendment protects — freedom from government restrictions on expression — and the popular conception of free speech — the affirmative right to speak your mind in public, on which the law is silent. The world is witnessing firsthand, in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the strangling of free speech through government censorship and imprisonment. That is not the kind of threat to freedom of expression that Americans face. Yet, something has been lost; the poll clearly shows a dissatisfaction with free speech as it is experienced and understood by Americans today.
So people in America can still speak their minds in public without worrying about being censored or imprisoned by their government, but people who disagree with them might yell at them and make them feel bad. Okay. Then what are we doing here?
The irony that this argument is coming from a newspaper that still employs Bret Stephens as an opinion writer after he tried to get a college professor fired for calling him a bedbug on Twitter is not lost on us.
The Times Opinion/Siena College poll found that 46 percent of respondents said they felt less free to talk about politics compared to a decade ago. Thirty percent said they felt the same. Only 21 percent of people reported feeling freer, even though in the past decade there was a vast expansion of voices in the public square through social media.
A couple of years ago, the Times turned over some valuable editorial page space to Sen. Tom Cotton, who as part of his 24/7 gig cosplaying as Fascist Lurch wrote a piece exhorting the president to summon the military to put down the Black Lives Matter protests that were then raging in various cities. The voices in the public square of social media hollered about the piece to the point that the Times lost subscribers, freelancers stopped working for them, and editorial page editor James Bennett resigned.
This was an example of social media allowing long-marginalized groups the ability to proffer opinions they might have always held but did not have a means of expressing where the elite might hear them. One could argue this is an expansion of that freedom of expression the Times is so concerned about. Not the Times editorial board, though, which would like to police who is allowed to respond to its work and in what manner. All that rabble yelling on Twitter! So gauche! Just because someone says something racist doesn't mean you have to use harsh language!
Having dispensed with liberals for being too shouty, the Times proceeds to completely contradict its earlier assertion that America is not Russia by reminding us that conservatives have lately been passing laws that literally make some speech illegal:
These bills include Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which restricts what teachers and students can talk about and allows for parents to file lawsuits. If the law goes into force, watch for lawsuits against schools that restrict the free speech rights of students to discuss things like sexuality, established by earlier Supreme Court rulings.
So like Vladimir Putin's Russia, free speech is being strangled by government censorship. And conservatives are the ones doing the strangling. Glad we could clear that up.
There is a lot more blah blah blah and enough whine whine whine to make us wonder if the Times had secretly rehired Bari Weiss, who infamously once tried to get her college professor fired because he said something she didn't like, and who has gone on to a lucrative career joining with like-minded weirdos to complain in widely read media organs and newsletters that they are being silenced for their views with no apparent self-awareness whatsoever.
The Times isn't really worried freedom of expression is being limited. It is concerned that people aren't being particularly nice when arguing about opinions they disagree with. (Being on the receiving end of which can very much suck!) They have somehow conflated being less than polite with censorship.
But of course it would be untenable if they had to admit there are two sides, and one is a bunch of goddamn fascists.
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