The be-all-end-all for liberals – once the absolute champions of free speech – has become the silencing or cancellation of anything or anyone they disagree with.
That is the warning from progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald. And it is a notice everyone, conservative and liberal should stand up and take notice of.
Greenwald is perhaps most famous for his writing on first amendment and anti-war views and writings – and of course the Edward Snowden revelations.
His latest warning comes as the left is pushing a concerted effort to cancel and deplatform Joe Rogan, and if successful, “no one is safe from their petty-tyrant tactics.”
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Glenn Greenwald has been on a tear tracking and exposing the new liberal obsession with censorship. It is the liberal’s new “North Star,” their new guiding light. And they are of course, very selective in their outrage.
“American liberals are obsessed with finding ways to silence and censor their adversaries. Every week, if not every day, they have new targets they want de-platformed, banned, silenced, and otherwise prevented from speaking or being heard.”
He continues, saying that in the past, most liberals were focused on what they deemed “hate speech.” But that definition has broadened to be essentially whatever or whomever they disagree with.
But there are exceptions to where the demonized speech comes from. If it coming from one of the left’s “most favored” news outlets, such as CNN or the New York Times, the criteria tends to be more flexible. This is because those news sources have already been deemed “acceptable” by the left.
But words mean things. The words “disinformation” and “misinformation” have real meanings, but the left has hijacked them, and they are now merely liberal buzzwords for “information we don’t agree with.”
The latest on the receiving end of leftist ire is podcaster Joe Rogan. “The Joe Rogan Experience” can be heard on Spotify and boasts roughly 11 million listeners per episode.
Rogan interviewed a cardiologist and a virologist who were critical of U.S. handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rogan also stated that, while he was not against vaccines, his opinion was that young healthy people really did not need to be vaccinated.
This prompted aging rocker Neil Young – himself once a free speech supporter and enemy of the establishment – to issue an ultimatum to Spotify, either to pull their most highly rated show or he would pull his music library from the platform.
The reason? Young claims that Rogan was spreading disinformation.
The move by Young prompted other equally aging rockers Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren to also pull their music catalogs from Spotify.
On Monday, CNBC reported that Rogan had apologized to Spotify.
Rogan stated that he was appreciative of Spotify’s support but, “could do more” to inform his listeners – essentially accepting the framework of those who were attacking him. He said that he does the scheduling of guests for his show and that, “I don’t always get it right.” Rogan also said he was OK with Spotify putting content advisories on content that talks about COVID.
But then came this: Rogan added that he would consider scheduling more “mainstream” experts to follow “controversial” ones, and that perhaps he needed to research topics more. The final thud of Rogan’s cave-in, he apologized to Young and Mitchell.
What Joe Rogan might not realize, but Glenn Greenwald is desperately trying to explain, is never apologize to the left. It just isn’t good enough. They are like sharks and sense weakness, and will go in for the kill.
Greenwald also says that for Democrats and the left, it is more than battling political opponents. They believe they are battling ideology that is spear-headed by Donald Trump. Their embracing of authoritarian tactics like censorship, they feel, are totally justified – while demonizing everyone they disagree with as authoritarians.
Greenwald summed up what advocates of free speech are up against,
“If liberals succeed in pressuring Spotify to abandon their most valuable commodity, it will mean nobody is safe from their petty-tyrant tactics. But if they fail, it can embolden other platforms to similarly defy these bullying tactics, keeping our discourse a bit more free for just awhile longer.”
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