Lynching Free Speech

0803_freespeech_630x420The end of free speech will not necessarily come when there are soldiers in the streets, secret police in the alleyways and a mustachioed man screaming at you on a television set that can’t be turned off no matter how hard you turn the knob or click the buttons.

Some of these things existed in totalitarian countries, but they were there to sweep up the hardened dissenters who refused to be silenced. The vast majority of citizens did not have bugged phones or men in trench-coats following them around.

That was what their friends and neighbors were for.

The first line of offense by a totalitarian society against freedom of speech is crowdsourced to the people in the streets. No secret police force is large enough to spy on everyone all the time.

Nor does it need to. That is what informers are for.

Some of the informers are committed fanatics. Others do whatever they are told. And the worst do it for the pleasure of destroying someone else. Whatever their varying motives, ideology or malice, such people become even more dangerous in groups where they become a morality mob.

The Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell’s 1984 is repeated on a regular basis in our society today with hysterical lynchings like those of of Justine Sacco; one of a long list of disposable victims of opportunity. The Two Minutes Hate was a Pavlovian exercise to stimulate the hate reflex. Modern counterparts like #hasjustinelandedyet with its overt malice are the genuine thing.

The process by which these ugly events happen has a good deal in common with any other form of mob violence. There are familiar elements from Shirley Jackson’s disturbing story, The Lottery. The crowd knows what is coming. It derives pleasure from a victim who does not yet know what is about to happen and eagerly anticipates the moment of shocked revelation when that will change.

“When is Justine landing?” they whisper eagerly to each other. Sadism is no good if the victim doesn’t know what is being done to her. The anticipation sharpens their appetite.

Behind it all is a moral structure. The crowd in the Two Minutes Hate does not randomly lash out. The very name with its time limit is a demonstration of civilization. For two minutes they will become hateful animals in reaction to a profound ideological offense. And then they will turn the outrage machine off.

Anyone can be a mob, but they are a morality mob. They do horrible things because the ends, such as fighting racism, justify the means. They hate for two minutes and then go back to their daily lives.

Structure maintains the illusion of morality. Like The Lottery, it has to pretend that it isn’t random so that the participants can make believe that they are doing this for some nobler reason than the primal joy of bashing another human being’s head in with a rock.

Modern social media is The Lottery. Sometimes you win the lottery and become famous. Your Twitter feed gets turned into a CBS sitcom. Other times you lose the lottery and your equally stupid tweet gets you picked to be stoned to death.

Each time you participate in the global mass of the Internet, you are pulling a ticket out of the lottery. And even if you don’t participate, a crazy lesbian waitress can tell the world that you refused to give her a tip, a former friend can make your letter go viral and what passes for reporters in the new media looking for pageviews can make you a target to fill a daily quota.

The Internet is going crazy for, the headlines on the same sites that create the frenzy say. The Internet is exploding. The Internet lashed out. The Internet lynched someone. But it’s not the Internet. It’s the cowardly individuals in the morality mob hiding behind their collective malice in a hashtag who want to hurt someone from the physical and moral safety of the mob.

The morality mob is attracted to pettiness. It rarely takes on big things because it knows its own weakness. A morality mob is a bully without the courage and it needs easy targets that it knows it can hurt.

The modern Internet morality mob began in China. “It was just the latest example of a growing phenomenon the Chinese call Internet hunting, in which morality lessons are administered by online throngs and where anonymous Web users come together to investigate others and mete out punishment for offenses real and imagined.” That is how the New York Times described it.

The phenomenon has since spread to America, but it began in a collectivist society ruled by the iron hand of the Communist Party.

Totalitarianism relies on harnessing the darker emotions in the human catalog; fear, hate and the sense of power that derives from causing harm to another beneath the mask of the self-righteous inquistioner whose moral authority allows him to both inflict and enjoy the torment.

Beneath these responses is a deeper sense of helplessness and insecurity. The anonymous mass of society has become even more chokingly cramped and anonymous on the Internet than in the biggest twentieth century cities. For some of the uglier faces in the crowd, the only way to feel real is to hurt someone. And their leftist ringleaders know exactly how the game is played.

The morality mobs on the Internet are of the left which holds the commanding heights of social morality dictating what behaviors are acceptable and which are not.

Morality mobs crowdsource the left’s values enforcement. While its activist groups concern themselves with Phil Robertson, its morality mobs band together to target ordinary people. The organized left can make examples out of famous people while the ad-hoc left can make examples out of ordinary people by making their morality mob lynchings go viral.

The left responded to criticism of its actions in the Phil Robertson case by arguing that they are not violating the First Amendment. And they aren’t. But free speech can be structurally suppressed without ever officially involving the authorities in the dirty work.

If the outcome is the end of free speech, then the details of how it got that way become academic. If instead of a top-down solution, the actual death of free speech involves a mid-level intervention by an oligarchy of media and new media outlets, activist groups and fearful businesses banding together to make free speech impossible while the authorities go on smiling and insisting that speech is still free; then the destination is the same.

Only the road we took to get there will have changed.

The First Amendment was not just a legal safeguard against government abuses, but a statement that an open society is best. The letter of the law protects the people from government intervention, but the spirit of the law is an argument for an open society in which the freedom to worship, to speak and to protest against the government make all our freedoms possible.

The left aspires to a society in which dissent is suppressed. And a society without dissent is totalitarian whether it is ruled by the hateful mob of the Two Minutes Hate or by Big Brother.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • Lysander Spooner
    • Daniel Greenfield

      Like the Rap Genius situation, it’s a warning that our existence of the internet depends on a handful of arrogant powerful companies

      • laura r

        all controversial internet material should be printed out & copied in mass. get going, its a big job. even if you have disk backups, who knows what will be down the pike. we cant depend upon electronics.

  • johnlac

    I’ve read the comments on the website (CNN?) that reported the Sacco sacking. Because Sacco tweeted a mildly (by sane standards) comment about hoping not to get AIDs in a place, S.Africa, where AIDs is rampant, many “wonderful” liberal types were glad she got fired. A number of posters, mostly identified as conservatives, stood up for Sacco’s free speech rights.
    The truly sad and terrifying thing is that we have come to a point in our history where apparently half the country thinks you should be fired or punished some way for expressing your beliefs or in Sacco’s case making a lame joke. The liberals (who should really be called fascists) commenting on the website thought what Sacco tweeted/said was the most horrible thing in the world i.e joking about hoping not to get a disease.
    If we have a substantial pct. of the population who think people should be fired for a lame joke, we are halfway to a fascist country ourselves. And the really, really sad thing is the libs who are happy Sacco got fired don’t realize their inner fascism.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      More than halfway really. All that’s missing is an official infrastructure.

  • Edward Cline

    I’ve always contended that if you’re waiting for fascism to debut in this country, don’t look for jackboots or Munich-like Nazi rallies or secret police in leather coats breaking down your door at 2 a.m. America would have its own style, which would conform to Saul Alinky’s rules: identify the victim, target him, isolate him, smear him, and banish him to the Shetland Islands if you can’t get a charge of “hate speech” to stick. And the “secret police” no longer sport leather coats. They’re SWAT teams controlled by the DHS, the NSA, the ATF, and the FBI.

  • medlaw

    Another brilliant piece by Daniel Greenfield – worthy of, and a modern day continuation of Eric Arthur Blair, better known as “George Orwell”.

    America is but a hair’s breadth removed from the totalitarian scourge which must be vociferously and zealously resisted and defeated – with true and determined “fire in the belly”.

    Message to the totalitarians: We are here. We will fight you. We will triumph over you – Get used to it!

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Message to the totalitarians: We are here. We will fight you. We will triumph over you – Get used to it!


      • Elisabeth Wolff

        I will fight limitations to free speech until I draw my last breath.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          We all must and thank you for the important role you have played

        • Drakken

          Bravo Elisabeth ! Keep up the good fight, you are not alone.

        • Conscientious Rejector

          Amazingly pompous.

          • Elisabeth Wolff

            What have you done lately to preserve free speech?
            Would you actually give your life for your God-given right to sy what you want to say?

          • Conscientious Rejector

            So are you saying that you have done a lot to “preserve free speech”? More likely preserve some fruit from your garden. Please don’t lecture people about their “God-given right”. BTW, my remark was a super shiny example of “free speech” but it must’ve blinded you as you don’t even recognize the very thing you mistakenly think you have mastered.

          • Drakken

            Let me guess? You voted for Obummer didn’t you? How quaint, your nothing but a statistic.

          • Conscientious Rejector

            Actually I voted for Bush and Romney and I thought about voting for your party but Hitler’s grandson just doesn’t have the experience.

          • Nabuquduriuzhur

            I take a risk with every Op-Ed and with every blog entry.

            With a million+ readers, at least I’m reaching someone out there.

            Seems like I end up saying a lot of things that people already know, but don’t analyze them, nor put them in print.

          • jeepwonder

            So you give a voice to those who don’t know how to reach the numbers you do. Thank you.

          • Conscientious Rejector

            What are you talking about?

      • Murph

        Message to the totalitarians: We are here. We will fight you. We will triumph over you………….but only if you take away our TV and football.

    • darioqqo948

      my Aunty Sienna recently got a year old
      Jaguar only from working off a home computer… Recommended Reading

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    Great article; terrible theme. Daniel explains perfectly the psychology behind the increasingly powerful personal destruction mob. Hate your neighbor, anyway you can. Destroy his/her reputation, anyway you can. The French Revolution, on steroids; facilitated by the speed of modern communications. Fear and loathing have become a part of everyday life; just for showing up and breathing. When will it end?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      This is a pattern that keeps being repeated throughout history. The left likes to pretend that this was what America was like under McCarthyism. It wasn’t. But it is becoming this under Obamaism.

      • Conscientious Rejector

        “Daniel explains perfectly the psychology ” Welcome to Daniel’s lovefest.

    • Drakken

      Where and when will it end you ask? When the shooting starts.

      • TheOrdinaryMan

        When the shooting starts? Why? Hopefully, it will end by the time the shooting is over.

        • Drakken

          There is only going to be the Victors and the vanquished, the Victors dictate the terms, that is where it finally ends.

          • Conscientious Rejector

            Be prepared to accept the terms when you end up on the short end of the stick.

  • Texas Patriot

    Great article, Daniel. Fear is the greatest threat to democracy, and truth is its greatest friend. As Thomas Jefferson said, one man with courage makes a majority. Keep up the great work!

    • Conscientious Rejector

      Aren’t all Texan’s patriots?

      • Texas Patriot

        CR: Aren’t all Texan’s patriots?

        We’ve had our share, that’s for sure. Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, and Admiral Chester Nimitz would certainly be near the top of my list and any list I could imagine, but I really can’t speak for anyone else.

  • Jason P

    There is a difference. Charlie Sheen is forgiven but not Mel Gibson (by the leftist thought police.) Both were high and outrageous. Sheen was “not himself” but Gibson was “revealing his deep soul” or so the left would have us believe.

    Robertson, however, is a different story. He was chosen by the media to caricature the religious right. And conservatives play right into the left’s hands when they defend him. The left controls the media and that requires a careful and planned counter-attack. Choose your symbols; don’t let your enemy define the terms; pick your battles carefully.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I believe in picking battles, but sometimes it’s also a good idea to deliberately spring a trap and inflict harm on the enemy.

      I think that may be the case here with A&E backing down. It’s the closest thing to a win in this column that we’re racked up in a while.

      • lyndaaquarius

        as the cartoonish Leftist media blather on,under the radar The American People are mobilizing towards the 2014 elections.Achieving victory then is the only reasonable action we can take to defend and protect ourselves.Getting to be Showtime.

    • Well Done

      The left’s hands are full, but like the child who tried to grab all the cookies, the left are in too far now to back down. Phil is very much mainstream. The “religious right” is a fictional construct by the left, kinda like “unfettered capitalism” or “unregulated industry”.

      • justquitnow

        How is the “religious right” a construct of “the left”. But “the left” isn’t just your construct to hold the world outside what you believe.

        • jeepwonder

          The mainstream of the nation isn’t marxist like the media pretend. There is also no unfettered capitalism.

          Neither are based on reality. So, he was spot on and you’re just here to blather.

          • justquitnow

            I agree that we have a mixed economy. Capitalism with regulation. The media doesn’t pretend that we are marxist…what does that even mean?

          • jeepwonder

            It means that polls show the majority of the US is center right in thinking.

      • fgh

        There are people who vote on religious convictions on the left as much as on the right. The left has their preachers and their interpretation of the bible. In some cases they want the world to be a certain way and thus that is how they interpret the bible.

        Liberal preachers

    • jeepwonder

      We play into their hands when they attack a Christian like Robertson and we don’t defend them.

    • laura r

      it was the phrase (or close to it): starts w/homosexuality & MORPHS from there. then he goes on to talk of bestiality, sleeping w/lots of women. (a stretch for me). his expression does sound like a characture. the whole thing is like a big rural sitcom. its entertainment folks, hes entertainment, he’s a business man who gets paid. regardless, i do respect him for not retracting.

    • Lisa Johnson

      What is indefensible about Phil Robertson? He has a masters degree, he built a multi-million dollar company. His lifestyle and comfort in his own skin helped propel a small television show to the status of number one in cable t.v. A&E may have thought he was a person to laugh AT but got a huge surprise. The elitism of the right has killed the conservative movement. Your considering Robertson unworthy of defense leaves you alone to opine pointlessly with other elites of the right while Democrats get elected right and left. Enjoy your superiority while the rest of us take GLAAD down, etc.

      • Jason P

        He’s crude and backwards. He’s an embarrassment. Yes, we live in an age where “authentic” means down-and-dirty. Our look-down culture tells us that gangsta-rap is “real.” Let the left look foolish and crude. Let’s aspire to more … yes, let’s have an elite to set an example.

  • Flashbang

    The media must begin to pay a price–a steep price-for their crimes against We the People.

    • Daniel Greenfield


      • DogmaelJones1

        Amen to that.

    • Drakken

      God might forgive them, but the People won’t, I think there will be quite a few lamp posts that will get a lot od use and repeat business.

      • Flashbang

        If we do not break their grip we shall perish as a nation.

        • jeepwonder

          We have cracked the grip on power. Newspapers are filing for bankruptcy and approved media sources and networks have lost viewers. We need more, we need to find a way to discredit them with the low information voter to destroy the last of their dying power.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      But “we the people” have empowered the media to carry on as they do.

      • Flashbang

        No not we the people . WE Congress:

        Thursday, December 13, 2007
        FCC Proposes Greater Media Consolidation – by Stephen Lendman

        October 17, FCC chairman Kevin Martin proposed lifting the 1975 media
        cross-ownership rule that forbids a company from owning a newspaper and
        television or radio station in the same city even though giant
        conglomerates like Rupert Murdock’s News Corp. and the (Chicago) Tribune
        Company already do. On November 13, he expanded on his earlier plan
        claiming changes will only allow cross ownership “in the largest markets
        where there exists competition and numerous voices.”

        That’s not
        how Free’s policy director, Ben Scott, sees it in his
        statement on the same day saying: “Chairman Martin’s lofty rhetoric
        talks about saving American newspapers and ensuring a diversity of
        voices. But the devil is in the details. His new rules appear to be
        corporate welfare for the (media giants) in the biggest cities (and)
        most worrying….the proposed rules appear to contain a giant loophole
        that could open the back door to runaway media consolidation in nearly
        every market (in) another massive giveaway to Big Media.”

        If the
        ban is ended, that’s what will happen, and the trend author and
        journalist Ben Bagdikian documented since 1983 will continue unimpeded.
        He did it in six editions of his landmark book, “The Media Monopoly,”
        plus his newest 2004 update titled, “The New Media Monopoly.”

  • Clare Spark

    Mobs and hotheads will always be with us, but the internet and social media are also aids to networking against authoritarians of every stripe. See “Criminal minds and the pathology of rural America.” When will conservatives take a good look at the French Revolution and see it as horribly flawed in the Terror, but also a step forward in democracy, inspired in part by the American Revolution and its highest ideals?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Social media can be used for good or evil like any other tool

      • John E Coleman

        Daniel , How ?? could we [ as citizens of the USA } ask our Military POINT BLANK ! if it would follow Obama’s Orders and carry out Martial Law !!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      “When will conservatives take a good look at the French Revolution and see it as horribly flawed in the Terror, but also a step forward in democracy, inspired in part by the American Revolution and its highest ideals?”

      It was a baby-step for the French, but a step backwards in comparison to the model they could have (in theory) followed across the big pond.

  • John

    Universities and colleges have also been leading the way via codes and policies prohibiting ‘hate speech.’ Under the guise of promoting civil discourse, these codes are used to censor and silence anyone who dissents from the prevailing orthodoxy on campus.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Academia is the testing ground for the social controls of tomorrow

      • laura r

        these young people scare me. i have had run ins w/them, yes i took it to the wall. called corporate head, wrote letters etc. no one tells me how to speak, especially if im spending $$$. btw, i dont use slang, or get personal. the young college grads are on a “mission”. they forget they are off campus. the problem is that campus life has now crept into the real world. i thought my experiences were isolated incidences (1990s & yr 2004).

        • jeepwonder

          Programming is a good term for it.
          They no longer receive an education (teaching them to think) but an indoctrination that teaches them ‘what to think’.

          And they’re not taught it’s only for campus, that’s the danger. That kind of explains why obama nationalized student loans, doesn’t it?

  • Jeff Ludwig

    Thank you for writing this column. Your recent columns are so prescient and focused that it is mind boggling.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      thank you

  • NHTom

    If you’d like a taste of a police state, just submit yourself to the practices of the TSA should you want to fly anywhere.

    • laura r

      thats why i stopped flying. last flight was 2009. in 2010 they introduced scanners, enhanced patdowns. america flys more than ever now. guess they cant miss that trip to vegas or disney world. they kind of get off on this stuff in a perverse way. if people stopped taking vacations, maybe those practices would fall away. isnt $$ the bottom line?

      • DogmaelJones1

        I stopped flying years ago, because of the TSA. I used to drive friends to the airport and pick them up when they returned, but refused to even enter a terminal, because if I saw a TSA goon even just have a snack in a restaurant, my blood pressure would soar. Americans are held hostage by the TSA. If you need to go anywhere on a plane, it’s on their terms or you don’t fly. So, I don’t fly. I won’t even fly to a friend’s funeral.

        • laura r

          good for you. i flew w/connecting flights plus customs from 2001 to 2009, 14 r/t’s. the TSA were very respectful. those people quit later on, & they hired the lowest of the low. (from all i read & saw on youtube). also in 2010 they seperated you from your pocessions. prior to that they let you run to retrieve your valuables. lets not forget jetblue & holding the passengers hostage. i believe it was done on purpose.

  • Samo

    I remember a story about several hundred Chinese gathered on a bridge watching a suicide jumper on a ledge. They started hollering “Jump”…. “Jump”.
    The bridge collapsed under their combined weight.
    Very many of them died.

    • UCSPanther

      Sounds like the work of karma…

    • Tim

      During the Skyscraper fire in Sao Paulo Feb 01, 1974 a crowd gather and yelled for people to jump.

      Different people, same psychology

      The Joelma fir was the 1st time I heard about mob psychology.

  • Dallas25305

    Liberal Socialist believe in free speech, but only for themselves. Any speech that opposes their marxist ideals or criticizes the rules of Political Correctness they have invented must be shut down. Liberal Socialist always need to lie and shut down the speech of others, because if the truth of what they intend to do is known no one would vote for them.

    • justquitnow

      What universe is this in? Wouldn’t Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, you and the other truth tellers and promise-keepers be rotting in a FEMA trailer somewhere by now? What speech is shut down….how do the hysteronics serve anyone.

      • Drakken

        SShhhhhh little libtard, the adults are talking, so back to the kiddy table for you.

        • justquitnow

          will you stop trolling you cult moron. Yes…everyone you don’t like is a libtard…OK…I got it, now kiss off. 4 posts now of nothing.

          • John E Coleman

            My dear P.O.S., How would you like sitting on this POST ??

          • justquitnow

            John you’re a little incoherent. What are you trying to get out.

          • John E Coleman

            What I would like to get out is YOU !
            On the street , just you and I so I could slap the $hit out your stupid A$$!
            The Post I speak of , is the one between
            my Legs right above my Testacles ! Kibish ???

          • justquitnow

            er…OK John…I think we’ve all learned a little something about trying to shut down free speech.

          • John E Coleman

            ” WE ” Tonto ask ; What You mean, WE ? White Man

            OK ! You have the Rarely Found Blessing of Admission ,
            of which I wish I HAD More of as well !

            Step # 10 !

            We ! I hope ? Will just , Agree to Disagree.
            Dominus Vobiscum !

          • John E Coleman

            IT Would be a good idea if You

          • John E Coleman

            WELL ? would Jha PUNK ???

          • Drakken

            Semper Fi John!

          • John E Coleman

            Once A Marine , Always A Marine !! even at 74.

            Dominus Vobiscum !

          • Drakken

            Funny how a window licking shortbus rider as yourself can actually string a few words together without help? Well maybe your mommy helps you and gives you a cookie while telling your how your very special you are. How cute.

        • John E Coleman

          Dakken It appears ” Quit while ahead” just summed it all up ! The truth shall Set his ASH on fire !

      • Ministerial

        I remember you. You have not changed. You just are digging a deeper hole.

        This is an example of how you stifle free speech. Mr Lopez knows of several other or more that are afraid to come out of the shadows because of the Leftist Tyrants and their Red Guards and Black Bloc.

        December 27, 2013
        Life on GLAAD’s Blacklist
        By Robert Oscar Lopez

        We see it all the time. There are the attacks on Ann Coulter. In Sweden there was an actual bomb attack because a person posted on line.

        Yes we know your kind. Go ahead preen.

        • justquitnow

          How I stifle free speech? WTF are you talking about? Ann Coulter got “attacked” by a pie years ago…a freaking pie. I swear you boring old cultists just can’t make a post without calling me a lefist or giving me some belief. Even on posts when I’m criticizing that very kind of fallacious activity…so you’ll forgive me I just ignore you when you puke up some cult dogma. BTW…just because you’re not cool doesn’t mean that there is a conspiracy against what you represent.

          • Ministerial

            Coulter 2004
            Kristol 2005
            Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) 2010 (because Afghanistan was the good war while Iraq was going on. It was justified because we were attacked. but now that Iraq is over it is now the bad war. Such facile liberal logic. The left eating its’ own. The tactics of the left are still with us. They won;t cow Levin for now, but they are trying)

            Pie attacks, glitter bomb attacks. the leftists getting invitations for conservative speakers revoked is ongoing.

            I see how you jumped on Coulter’s attack but completely ignored Lopez. Figures.

          • justquitnow

            Dude….Coulter was your example. You need to get “left” out of your head. Being able to lump everything you don’t like in the world into an amorphous group who’s beliefs you get to define….is well..unsound.

            Lopez’s article is about being put on a list by GLAAD because of what he writes and blogs about and says on television. GLAAD doesn’t have mafia like control over the world’s media. No one but a real news junkie or someone directly involved would even know who Lopez is. I don’t know who he is…when I clicked his name to see a pic or something, I got an ad about increasing my testosterone.

            What does Carl Levin have to do with it…I …what? Look your examples are completely weak and spread out over a decade.

          • A Z

            Spread over a decade, which shows that the left keeps yup the tactic. Now you will complain that there is a paucity of attacks. It is because I did not want to take the time to look them all up.

            Both Coulter & Lopes are part of the same phenomenon.

            Lefties will out right attack someone, shout them down (Code Pink, Act up, Femen), black list them, complain to linguini spined University President to get speakers invitation revoked. They use several tactics and for the most part if not all it is the left doing it.

            Like I said you are not worth much time at all. It is not because you remind me of Ethan Krupp, but you are pretty a lock step leftist and have no integrity or breadth.

            I gave a AGW proponent a thumbs up in voting and in words. but he is much classier than you.

            Whatever, you’ll be sick for a long time. Have a nice life.

          • justquitnow


            The article is called “Lynching Free Speech” and people are using language like “shut down” “stamped out” “attack”…what when it comes down to it, it’s glitter bombs. Next time just say “yes we’re being hysterical cultic boobs and we love it!”

          • A Z

            Lopez was not glitter bombed or pied. He was shut down by GLAAD

            Try Again Harder! :)

  • Gasserino

    I wonder if everyone rising in defense of the Duck Dynasty star was as adamant in defending the freedom of speech of the occupy wallstreet protesters as well? Did they welcome a voice of dissent so pivotal in a free society or cast them as lazy whiners? Or does defending someone with whom one does not share an ideology run contrary to the cult of victimization so prevalent in America these days?

    The first amendment protects the right of a person to state their
    opinion, but does not exempt a person from the consequences of their
    speech. Mr. Robertson chose to answer questions for a magazine and his answers were published without being censored. He was then reprimanded by his employer for the contents of the article, no doubt because they violated the carefully constructed “morality clause” of contract he and his family members signed in good faith. Mr Robertson agreed to sensor himself when signing that contract, then plays (or is cast as) a victim after he violated said contract out of either ignorance or indifference.

    I wonder why so many devotees of an unfettered free market are so desperate to intercede in a contract dispute between a private employer and it’s employee. It’s almost as if people’s deeply held convictions fade in and out of focus in whatever way is necessary to support their current worldview.

    • laura r

      i have been trying to express this, thank you. robertson violated his contract, so they put him on suspend. they did that so they could figure out what the next step would be. he did have the “right” to speak out, but the employer has the “right” to suspend. (if its a written agreement). gladd had to “right” to complain. i respect robertson for the fact that he didnt apoligize or retract. all is well in the corporate world. the bottom line won, which is the $$. everyone had an opportunity to express their views, as well as the consumers. ok, now can we move on? enough w/ducks.


      Actually, your assumption that Robertson somehow violated his contract is pretty tenuous – in no way, shape, or form did he say or do anything that could be considered immoral (or constitute “moral turpitude” as such language used to read), and I would not be a bit surprised if he could mount a strong case for breach of contract. But your larger error is to believe that those of us on Robertson’s side are “desperate to intercede in a contract dispute” when we understand that is a matter for the courts.

      The problem here is that the Left attacks civilization on many fronts, only the last of which is political. While the Left is now so brazen it openly advocates repealing the first amendment (see Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to do just that two years ago), the road to actual (government) censorship must be paved by first trying to suppress speech in other ways (the “heckler’s veto” they try to exercise from time to time is in fact a kind of vigilante censorship). Thus, back in the 80’s “hate speech” codes were installed on various University campuses, subjecting students to disciplinary penalties (significantly including what could be called “re-education camps). The attempts by the Left to circumscribe debate by simply calling its opponents names such as “bigot,” “homophobe,” “racist,” etc. are too numerous to mention – if you don’t already know this, you must spend your days sleeping.

      Thus any valid criticism of Barry Obama’s reckless spending or penchant for trashing the Constitution is met with the accusation that “you’re only saying that because Obama’s black” rather than an actual argument. Similarly, the purpose of pressure groups such as GLAAD is to shut down debate – no one must ever say that homosexuality is immoral or even abnormal because – well, because we say so! And this is why so many have sprung to Phil Robertson’s defense. No one should lose his livelihood because a group of bullies like GLAAD can intimidate gutless corporations into suppressing the speech of their employees or contractors.

      Finally, as to the Occupunk protesters, nobody tried to bully or intimidate them. Sure, many of us Conservatives called them anarchists or Marxists, but we were simply describing them, not shutting down such “debate” (if the term is applicable to the inarticulate whining of this unhygienic bunch) as they may have initiated. I for one certainly wanted them out of the parks they were defiling, but that was because of legitimate health concerns. And in this era of Obama and MSNBC, do you really think the socialist viewpoint is in danger of being suppressed? But Conservative viewpoints are another matter – they are in danger of being suppressed, by thugs inside of government and outside of it in organizations like GLAAD.

      • Gasserino

        Has the debate been shut down or is the side you agree with simply losing? I’m not aware of where in the Bible homosexuality (an act between two consenting adults) is equated with bestiality (not an act between two consenting adults), or how saying that blacks were happier under segregation (all those lynchings and church bombings were a hoot), is not a blatant and racist revision of history. The fact is if you work in the entertainments business and you say something controversial (or in this case mind bogglingly ignorant) you may well face negative consequences. Did you cry out as loudly when Alec Baldwin was fired for his inflammatory comments? What if A&E decided on their own to suspend Phil because it might hurt their bottom line to not do so and not because of the pressure from all powerful advocacy groups.

        As for Obama, it is unfair to call anyone who has a problem with him a racist. Some folks hate him just because he’s black and some just because he’s a democrat but that’s not everyone or even a majority of people. If you point to specific policy decisions you disagree with you are engaging in thoughtful political debate, heck on many I will agree with you. The issue I have is when folks hate everything about the man no matter what he does. When this attitude is so wide spread I have a hard time believing that rational thought ever entered into the equation.

        Lastly, I implore you to Google “confirmation bias” and consider that maybe the scarcity of large media reports of Nancy Pelosi trying to repeal the 1st amendment is due to the fact that it’s factually not true and not the result of a vast left-wing conspiracy. There are many reputable sources for news that are not CNBC or the Huff Post or Fox News. If you accepted without a second thought that Obama was spending $200 million a day on that trip to India a while back or that Obama is trying to start caliphate in the U.S. maybe you need a new source for news that is not an echo chamber build to keep you angry or afraid.

        All to often “the left,” is an all powerful boogeyman for folks to dump all of their anxiety and fear into. It’s not that we’re all human beings with differing points of view, but with many of the same goals at the same time. It’s that you are the righteous saviors of all things just and we the evil or deluded fools hell bent on America’s destruction.

      • laura r

        no one knows what was in his contract, he may have just over stepped a tad. he wasnt fired. the filming was finished, they were resuming jan 15th. looks like a smart & convenient business move for his employee. i doute he was ever going to be fired.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      OWS freedom of speech wasn’t challenged. The problem was that they decided to make long term occupation of public spaces.

  • Drakken

    Today they try to silence peoples voices, tomorrow, they will hear the sound of rifles as a response. So leftist continue on this path, the response from freedom loving Americans should make you cringe in fear, but your too stupid to understand simple human nature.

  • Jason P

    Another point, Daniel (if you don’t mind my calling you Daniel). We should consider taking a page from the leftist handbook. Remember how once the left could no longer defend communism, they adopted an indirect defense: anti-anti-communism. They would no longer say that communism is great but that the attacks on communism were an hysteria, unfair, misdirected, etc.

    In a sense you are adopting this posture in your article. You are going after the left’s hysteria over traditional values, politically incorrect statements, etc. The full tactic, however, would concede some ground. It goes something like “I don’t share R’s hostility towards gays but his religion is his business and he shouldn’t be black-listed blah, blah, blah… ” One can attack his attackers while making it clear he’s not in our camp.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Reduce them to their extremism.

  • Ellman48

    “The left aspires to a society in which dissent is suppressed.”

    The Left has achieved this objective in Soviet Russia, Communist China, Communist Cuba, to name a few of their ‘successes’. It is working diligently at achieving the same result in America. Frankly, it is difficult to foresee how it will be stopped. At one time, not so long ago, the election of a Socialist Marxist as President of the US was inconceivable and unthinkable. Did the nation learn its lesson from this debacle? No. So what’s to prevent Big Brother and the Two Minute Hate from appearing in the next generation, if not sooner? Only a cataclysmic event, national or world-wide in scope.

    • marvin boggs

      socialists targeted education in the early 1900’s;
      they’ve been working at it a long time,have been wildly successful at gaining control of it,and now we’re seeing the effects of that,all across our society.
      Legislators,judges,doctors,scientists,MEDIA,teachers,etc,all a product of a socialist education system. All indoctrinated in socialism,and applying it in their everyday lives.
      Never forget that the socialists have a dominance at nearly every university,and at most every public grade school.
      socialist indoctrination begins at an early age and continues throughout high school and college.
      THAT is what is really hurting America,and I’m not so sure we can overcome it,it may already be too late. it took a long time for the commies to become entrenched in education,and it will take a long time to weed them out,if it can be done at all.

  • Conscientious Rejector

    “The left aspires to a society in which dissent is suppressed. And a society without dissent is totalitarian whether it is ruled by the hateful mob of the Two Minutes Hate or by Big Brother” I agree with this but, unfortunately, I have seen many things on conservative and right wing sites to make me believe that the left does not have a monopoly on the phenomenon.

    • Lou

      The Moral Majority was incorporated around 1979 and disbanded around 1989. The Tea Party has been around in various form for 3 or 4 decades. It is diverse and it is not made up off all born again Christians. “I am just telling you because you seemed concerned”

      It’s Tax protest, “Rent is too high” roots go back far.

      The worst the right has done if you want top paint it that way is 2 middle aged ladies knocked on the door on afternoon/evening and invited the family to join the their church one of a dozen or so. It seemed like they were there for an hour. I asked my parents why they did not kick them out after 5 minutes and they said you cannot do that.

      I have seen far worse from the left. they take over organization and charities. They take student activity fees at college. They run student groups off campus and try to disestablish and run others off campus. Leftists told me that they would get rid of the Greek fraternity /sorority association, the foreign student associations, Star Search (They did all the logistics in bring musical acts to campus; you understand once you have Marx, Stevie Wonder, mariah Carey and all other performer’s are not needed. It is a waste of time better put to studying … well Marx’s Das Kapital), College Republicans and all other student organizations.

  • justquitnow

    Way to claim Orwell and 1984…and talking about the 2 minute hate while writing an article about “the left” as boogeyman. Zero self awareness.

    • Drakken

      It really comes down to how you want to see this country run, according to you it should be a socialist utopia, people of my right ilk, want it run as our founders intended, a Republic, and you leftist are doing everything you can to destroy our country, we on the right are not going to allow you to do so.

      • justquitnow

        Yes, thank you for describing the primary false dichotomy of the cult. You nailed it. Me being a “leftist”…all you man, all your projection. You also lack self awareness. Three responses to me in the last couple of hours and they all say the same repetitive nothing. Can you not find anyone in this whole wide world that will just play the role and argue what you want them to believe? Eat sh*t Drakken, stop wasting my time.

        • d

          I tried to get an ideal of your posts at Media matters to get a sense of what perspective you are coming from. I could not scroll down far enough to read your posts needler.

          • justquitnow

            Idk what a post needler is? I post there and here mainly…i’ll post on other sites, but only a handful use disqus. My history with posting on Frontpage goes back over a decade. They were the last to adopt Disqus. They even went off Disqus back to something else and back again recently. Plus I was banned from here several times…my free speech rights “shut down”…lol.

            Media Matters has a big problem with trolls and sock puppets and bots. It’s going to be hard to get anyone’s perspective but looking at a history of comments. Clearly I am not a fan of cult thinking and believing in any form. Speaking of which I have like 20 Drakken replies…if he keeps it up, I’ll start thinking he’s a bot.

        • Drakken

          Shhhh shortbus, the adults are talking and little commi wantabees like you, just can’t have your way, and please travel a bit and see the world for what it is, not for what you wish it to be, dumbazz.

      • A Z

        Drakken is not a bot. He is a former Marine (except they don’t say former) who served in Somalia (or claims to).

        He is not a bot. He passes the Turing Test. However the truthfulness of his service would take a little while to ferret out through use of argot, general knowledge, specific knowledge of the military, etc.

    • Mark Nowotarski

      Sad, isn’t it.

    • A Z

      Drakken is not a bot. He is a former Marine (except they don’t say former) who served in Somalia (or claims to).

      He is not a bot. He passes the Turing Test. However the truthfulness of his service would take a little while to ferret out through use of argot, general knowledge, specific knowledge of the military, … etc.

  • RJohn

    “The morality mobs on the Internet are of the left which holds the commanding heights of social morality dictating what behaviors are acceptable and which are not.”

    Yeah, the same low-life’s that claimed, “You can’t legislate morality.”

    So, don’t try to force you morality on me. Instead, Golf-Foxtrot-Yankee.

  • Well Done

    SWAT teams are run by the EPA, as well, and the EPA can write its own rules then send those teams out to enforce them.

    • DogmaelJones1

      This is true. I forgot the EPA. For all we know, the HHS might have its own SWAT team on call. And, there’s the INS, as well.

  • onecornpone

    Both sides of the spectrum are susceptible to this “crowd” mentality. The anonymity of the web gives tyrannical personalities in both camps license to shed their civility and become utterly deranged, in specific circumstances.

    Philosophically naive religious zealots, law enforcement types and mental misfits seem to be the most proficient at organizing a mob of allies against even the most objective or timid of skeptical voices.

    There are a lot of people out there in the cyberworld, with a lot of anger to shed. Once their ire is raised, an individual skeptic can become the standin for that hated former employer, ex spouse et.c., that their egos have never quite recovered from.

    From there it is not hard to grasp precisely how the community snitches in communist societies evolve into serious sanctimonious ogres.

    • jeepwonder

      I was pondering, how your views would apply to founding fathers, like Paul Revere the night he rode?

    • autdrew

      Law enforcement types? Can you expound on why you think leo’s are prone to online mob attacks? It’s been my understanding that they are trained against making snap judgements. I see your point on the other two but am not sure re leos.
      Did you mean law & order types?

  • American1969

    Free Speech only applies to Leftists. All others need not apply. The people that love to scream “tolerance” and “diversity” are the most intolerant people around!

  • Nhóm Đào Tạo

    So you give a voice to those who don’t know how to reach the numbers you do.

    ve may bay di London
    ve may bay di Berlin

  • Lisa Johnson

    This may be off topic but it seems to me that the left has successfully transformed the clinical, medical words “anus” and “vagina” into profanity – because they came out of Phil Roberson’s mouth. Nobody noticed. Should I stand corrected here?

  • autdrew

    Sigh…He didn’t say blacks were happier under Jim crow, that is spin put on his comments by detractors.
    He spoke of himself, about his experience with the people he knew. He called himself white trash & talked about his hoeing fields with them in a pre entitlement era. He did not extrapolate his experience to all black people. He said He,Personally, Never Saw Mistreatment. Does that mean it didn’t happen? No, it merely means that this man, Phil Robertson, did not personally witness it.

    • Gasserino

      Obviously Phil never hung with his coworkers on voting day, or at dining establishments, in any phase of the judicial system or even when the yokels found out that a black man whistled at a white lady. Yeah, that’s what makes institutionalized racism so snazzy. There is no need to have those inconvenient fellers in the white hoods around since the cops do their job for them. All that AND plausible deniability for the God fearing folk who simply have to look the other way. Those were truly the salad days.

      • autdrew

        Once again putting words into someone’s mouth they didn’t say.
        He didn’t say they were the salad days. Seriously, can you puhleez stick to what he actually said and not what you want to read into it? If you don’t know the man and don’t know what his situation was as white trash, how can you possibly know what he “meant”?
        Wait! God? Is that you for real? I MUST be talking to God because you know so much about what’s in a man’s heart right?!
        But I thought we had that rule about bearing false witness and all, my bad /sarc

        • Gasserino

          You got me. It is God and I sayeth onto yo Autdrew: Gays is icky, yo. Their sinful congress produces that which I hate most: not more Christians! Also, why aren’t you working to force sexual assault victims to marry their attackers as I commanded?

        • Gasserino

          You got me. It is God and I sayeth onto you Autdrew: Gays is icky, yo. Their sinful congress produces that which I hate most: not more Christians! Also, why aren’t you working to force rape victims to marry their attackers as I commanded? :)

  • Softly Bob

    And of course don’t forget Winston Churchill’s famous quote:

    “The Fascists of the future will call themselves anti-Fascists”

    This is frighteningly true, as the Leftists who claim to be champions of freedom and are so keen to call everyone else Fascists are actually the real Fascists.

    You are right. Don’t expect to see jackboots and swastikas – expect to see Tree-huggers, eco-Nazis and a variety of other ‘hippies’ and ‘beatniks’ all declaring peace but systematically working to slowly remove liberty and check for dissenters amongst the ranks. This is where it all starts. Where it finishes is another matter altogether.