MSM check their privilege: find it wanting

Journalists Mobilize Against Free Speech
Read the whole thing, but following are a few excerpts.

Motivated by self-dealing arrogance and venality, the Maim Scream Media™ has a goal.

That goal is reducing the Bill of Rights to a single clause. Here’s Steve Coll, two-time Pulitzer winning dean of Columbia Journalism School:

“Those of us in journalism have to come to terms with the fact that free speech, a principle that we hold sacred, is being weaponized against the principles of journalism.”

Translated, “Free speech is only sacred when we utter it. We are actually the “sacred” part.” The fact that virtue beaconing, click baiting partisans already wield journalism as a weapon against freedom of religion (unless the religion is environmentalism or social justice), speech (if they disagree with it), press (any competition), assembly (of the non-SJW kind), and petitioning the government (regarding election fraud, abortion, or firearms, for example) seems petty in comparison to the journalists’ sacred calling, right?

To paraphrase Monty Python, “Gentlemen, you can’t have a free conscience here, this is journalism class.”

“When I was a journalist, I loved Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s assertion that the Constitution and the First Amendment are not just about protecting ‘free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate,’” wrote [Richard] Stengel, the undersecretary of state for public affairs and public diplomacy during the second Obama administration. “But as a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier.”

Outlier? This used to be called exceptionalism. And Stengel should look up “championing,” too.

“All speech is not equal,” Stengel writes. “And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails.”

Some speech is more equal than other speech. And I’m sure Stengel has in mind just the right people to guard the guardrails.

And then we have Masha Gessen at the New Yorker:

“The news media have traditionally borne the responsibility for insuring that the actual purpose of the First Amendment is fulfilled,” they write. “Yet Americans are content to leave this essential component of democracy to profit-driven corporations with next to no regulatory oversight.”

Very clever. Pretending the New Yorker seeks no profit and bashing capitalism, arrogating the purpose of the 1st Amendment to the New Yorker, and making regulation of the competition seem a disinterested, and holy, quest – all in one clueless sentence. Or, maybe it’s a plea for nationalization of the “real journalists.” Except that they would then get their ‘fair’ share of the filthy lucre laundered by taxpayers, it’s hard to imagine what would be different.

Now come Anand Giridharadas and Oliver Darcy; seeking rent.

Giridharadas is an “MSNBC talking head, New York University journalism professor, and former New York Times writer, Vice talk-show host, and Aspen Institute fellow.

CNN reporter Darcy was “promoting a CNN segment dedicated to the urgent issue of throwing other cable networks off television.”

[Giridharadas-] “It’s time for this question to be front and center: Should Fox News be allowed to exist?. Brain-mashing as a business model shouldn’t be legal.”

[Darcy-] “Just a reminder that neither @Verizon, @ATT, nor @comcast have answered any questions about why they beam channels like OAN & Newsmax into millions of homes. Do they have any second thoughts about distributing these channels given their election denialism content? They won’t say.”

I’d favor just letting Fox self-immolate and let people use their remotes to change channels.

But, Parler wasn’t the end of this.

Rallying the Tropes

The Left Aims to Pressure Big Tech to Silence Conservatives

That headline misses the real point. Oh, that’s part of it, but the real agenda is even more corrupt. Scarborough is advancing AOC’s call for regulating thought. Maim Scream Media™ just wants to write the regulations.

Normally a vicious attack by some noxious leftwing blowhards on a leftwing corporatist institution warms my heart, but this is actually an attempt by an increasingly irrelevant group of mendacious talking heads to weaponize the First Amendment against a rival which is eating their lunch.

And note that a Duck-Duck-Go search for – AOC’s call for regulating media – and the same search on Google search using the ‘!g’ parameter via Duck-Duck-Go, returns no reporting on AOC’s demand from CBS, NBC, NPR, ABC, NYT, WaPo, etc. etc..

Fox News, Reason Magazine, Forbes, and foreign papers, yes. But not the fifth columnists hiding behind a narrow definition of the word “press” in the First Amendment.

Doing what they do

The electrons had barely come to rest before my prediction yesterday was fulfilled: Biden Says Rioters Who Stormed Capitol Were Domestic Terrorists

Mr. Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.

We already have such laws of course, probably more than we need given TSA, but we refused to apply them all last summer. People were fired at the New York Times when they unaccountably published an Op-Ed by Tom Cotton pointing it out.

We went all summer acquiescing to extended occupation of US territory by declared insurrectionists who – across the country – committed massive property destruction, murder, extensive arson, and pervasive looting of government. And, opportunistically, against private citizens and businesses having no connection to the grievances. We were told it was a “A summer of love” and “People will do what they do.”

This Wednesday we had a bit of property destruction and a little looting directed at government in a single city. And maybe an unjustified police shooting. After which everyone went home. But it was the wrong property, the wrong lootees, and an unarmed white female. This time it’s different.

I hit the “publish” button yesterday mere hours before Joe Biden’s knee-jerk “DO Something” reaction was to threaten revival of uber-progressive racist Woodrow Wilson’s Sedition Act of 1918:

The Sedition Act of 1918 curtailed the free speech rights of U.S. citizens during time of war.

Passed on May 16, 1918, as an amendment to Title I of the Espionage Act of 1917, the act provided for further and expanded limitations on speech. Ultimately, its passage came to be viewed as an instance of government overstepping the bounds of First Amendment freedoms.

President Woodrow Wilson, in conjunction with congressional leaders and the influential newspapers of the era, urged passage of the Sedition Act in the midst of U.S. involvement in World War I…

…The provisions of the act prohibited certain types of speech as it related to the war or the military [and what wouldn’t?]. Under the act, it was illegal to incite disloyalty within the military; use in speech or written form any language that was disloyal to the government, the Constitution, the military, or the flag; advocate strikes on labor production; promote principles that were in violation of the act; or support countries at war with the United States.

In regard to speech, proto-President Biden has already benefitted from the interventions of Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Apple, Instagram, Snapchat, and a growing list of corporate adjuncts of the “Democratic” Party whose inconsistent judgment is substituted for the 1st Amendment.

They’re telling us President Trump incited insurrection with his pre-‘Stop the Steal’ rally. Well, Ann Althouse has done a wonderful thing by fact checking this claim, providing examples from the address. This is short and a must read: The 7 most violence-inciting statements in Donald Trump’s speech to the crowd on January 6th. Sadly, it’s a Google blog, and I’d rather not send them the traffic. But Althouse nails it, so I’ll view it as subversive to Google.

The state of social media alternatives to Twitter, as an example, is not encouraging. Parler is in the news because its app has already been kicked off Google’s store and has been threatened by Apple with delisting unless they (Parler) start repressing speech according to the Progressive narrative. On that news I opened a Parler account.

I have had a Pro account at Gab since 2016 to support them monetarily. It is difficult to donate to Gab, since no payment processor (Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, etc.) will allow it. Gab is the wild, wild west. They’ve achieved pariah status. You have to send a check or Bitcoin.

If Parler doesn’t accept a de facto form of Twitter moderation rules – and their terms of service could easily be bent that way without change – the same fate may await them, and I can’t see a way to donate to Parler. I’ve asked them about it.

If they stand up for their principles, they’re going to need it. They’ve been trying to thread the needle between Twitter and Gab. So long as any small group can effortlessly impose their sense of being offended, that needle is imaginary.

Gab has already suffered a concerted effort to destroy it. It hangs on, but monetization has been made so difficult that I wonder about how long that will last. I don’t login to Gab much at all, and I don’t read the stuff on Gab I don’t like, and there’s lots of it. Possibly this will be true as I check Parler, too. The fact that Gab can offend me, and Parler may possibly offend me, is exactly the point.

Supporting such platforms is a speech action (whether the Dems get Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission overturned or not) individuals can take to reduce the stranglehold of Big Tech on free speech.

Publishers are rolling over to cancel publication of books to which the Cancelists object. GoFundMe and Kickstarter, as examples, are erasing funding campaigns at the hint of pressure from the SJW/Antifa/BLM/
Progressive axis. People are losing their jobs over having peacefully assembled. Alinsky’s advice:

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

… has been highly refined.

I already miss 2020.

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.
-Eric Hoffer

2021 Twitter – trending

What with pandemics and riots it’s easy to lose track of other Leftwing panics. Like net neutrality; psychologically engineered to please large corporations who oppose free speech.

I’m old enough to remember when we were all going to die if the misnamed ‘net neutrality’ protocols weren’t invoked immediately.

The Left doesn’t forget. When they get over their paroxysm over opening the economy, and tire of insisting opposition to arson and looting is racist, they’ll go back to this.

With the full throated support of Silly-Putty Valley lobbyists petitioning the General Government under the provisions of the First Amendment they despise.

The Censoring Left: ‘Net Neutrality’ for Thee – Not for Me

“Net neutrality” is not unlike “defund the police.”

The Spanish flu app

I don’t want to send any traffic to this totalitarian screed, so no link.

Apple and Google are building a virus-tracking system. Health officials say it will be practically useless.
The tech giants have refused officials’ pleas to allow the collection of location data and to help contact-tracing teams learn where new infections have spread.

It’s a Washington Post article, execrable even by their abysmal standards. It assumes the CCP virus pandemic logically requires suspension of individual rights. The poor official’s pleas have been ignored. Well… not so much pleas as authoritarian demands.

Let’s start with some truth in headlining: It’s a people tracking system, not a virus tracking system. Viruses do not carry cell phones. Too bad.

The authors do go so far as to quote, without rebuttal, the director of research at a D.C. think tank “devoted to reducing the power of monopolies,” that if virus exposure tracking apps do not default to continuously tracking the location data of every individual, and record this in a centralized, health official accessible database:

“You have a private government [Google and Apple] that is making choices over your society instead of democratic governments being able to make those choices.”

Freedom respecting government does not pose this choice, except to informed volunteers. The WaPo scribblers do not even consider leaving privacy choices to individuals: Mob-majority governments which routinely reveal private information to health officials is the only useful approach. The Chinese Communist Party’s social credit program has already incorporated this insight. We don’t need that here.

Daring Fireball nails it, and gives a great overview creating no WaPo traffic. RTWT

WaPo reporters Reed Albergotti and Drew Harwell parade before us a series of public health officials and Progressive Think Tank spokesperps unleashing their inner fascist. It is discomfiting that the WaPo can find so many. Albergotti and Harwell conclude that Apple and Google are to be roundly castigated for placing individuals over the collective.

They are telling us salvation is in trusting the politicians and bureaucrats who oversaw such luminaries as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, secured the DNC email server, and were held accountable (not) for the 21.5 million stolen records at the United States Office of Personnel Management (Including fingerprints!), 26.5 million at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 76 million at the National Archives and Records Administration, and 191 million from the U.S. Voter Database. Just to mention some of the more egregious examples of government care for citizen’s information.

And this talk about “private government,” with no mention of Hillary’s bathroom email server is hilarious. And this,

“If it’s between Google and Apple having the data, I would far prefer my physician and the public health authorities to have the data about my health status,” she said. “At least they’re constrained by laws.”

…displays appalling ignorance of certain former Secretaries of State and Presidential candidate’s approach to public information. Here’s a woman whose health had a legitimate public interest. But, when she collapsed next to a NY bollard, we were told to ignore it. OK. Ignore me too, unless I tell you differently.

These critics of individual rights, you’re likely aware, are mostly the same people cheering on Facebook and Twitter in the quest to label as “hate speech” anyone who disagrees with the CDC, WHO, or the Chinese Communist Party theories of CCP virus contagion. And they seem blind to the fact that the actual monopolies are the governments and apparatchiks they promote.

I’ll admit it is a consistent political philosophy if you view individuals whose decisions you don’t like as deplorable. They should not speak freely (and corporations should stop them from doing so) and the government must be made aware of your whereabouts at all times (by those same corporations). These Quisling-wannabes have become known colloquially as ‘Karens’.

There certainly are public health officials who would disagree with the point, content, tone, and totalitarian policy suggestions of this ‘news’ article, but the ‘journalists’ couldn’t be bothered to find even one.

Such complaints about Google and Apple are surprising only to the extent the complainants haven’t suggested we each be assigned a personal tracking drone.

If the Weimar Republic had invented the WaPo preferred app in 1918 to track Spanish flu, Mengele would have inherited it. You could imagine he’s the culmination of the petty tyrant public health officials WaPo reporters seek out in order to write stories bashing private enterprises still devoting at least lip service to individuals and to freedom.

Apple and Google are building a virus-tracking system. Health officials say it will be practically useless. OK, so don’t use the data individuals choose to send you.

When you let me directly and precisely monitor your every move, I’ll think about letting you monitor mine. Fair’s fair.