Sunday, January 10, 2021

This Is What a Witch Hunt Looks Like

In less than a week, we’ve gone from a demonstration that got out of hand at the Capitol to a level of retaliation that would make the Spanish Inquisition proud.

Consider: Trump supporters are kicked off their planesfor singing the national anthem… and simply for voicing their support for the president. In another incident, the pilot threatened to dump everyone off the plane if they didn’t stop chanting “USA.”

Meanwhile, with a heart symbol above a post showing that Parler has fallen from the top of the Apple App Store, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wordlessly expresses his glee that three corporate monopolies — Apple, Google, and Amazon — engaged in anticompetitive collusion to topple the upstart competitor that was attracting conservatives fleeing from Big Tech censorship.

And without a shred of self-awareness of how his own argument could be turned around on him one day, CNN’s Brian Stelter, whose job exists because of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press, writes an article expressing why conservative TV news should be denied the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press.

Of course, he doesn’t state it that way. The piece instead reeks of concern-trolling propaganda:
Somehow, these companies have escaped scrutiny and entirely dodged this conversation. That should not be the case anymore. After Wednesday's incident of domestic terrorism on Capitol Hill, it is time TV carriers face questions for lending their platforms to dishonest companies that profit off of disinformation and conspiracy theories. After all, it was the very lies that Fox, Newsmax, and OAN spread that helped prime President Trump's supporters into not believing the truth: that he lost an honest and fair election.
Translation: These biased media companies made concerned citizens, which we’re going to smear as “domestic terrorists,” question the official narrative on a completely clean election that we will not allow them, or you, or anyone else, to ever question for any reason whatsoever. And they should be silenced for doing so.

There’s more loaded language in there than you could fit in a U-Haul truck. You might as well be reading Pravda.

Then we get to the heart of it:
Tech companies have community guidelines governing the content posted on their platforms. Do cable carriers? If so, what are they? Surely, these companies — many of which boast about their social and civic responsibilities — have limits to the content they disseminate. It's hard, for instance, to imagine they'd carry a fringe and conspiratorial network like InfoWars.

So why do AT&T (which I should note is CNN's parent company), CenturyLink, and Verizon carry OAN? Why do AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and Dish carry Newsmax? And why do they all carry Fox — which is, frankly, at times just as irresponsible and dangerous with its platform as its smaller competitor networks?
And there it is: Why do these companies, which I’m going to name by name so you can target them with your woke wrath, allow these vile news networks to exercise their First Amendment rights on their platforms?

The obvious goal here is to demonize all conservative thought as dangerous far-right polemics, so that all conservative thought can be cleansed from the national conversation — and so that only the enlightened woke far left can fill your head with their propaganda.

We also have to talk about Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed Air Force veteran murdered in cold blood by a Capitol police officer... because she's now being de-personed in all major media. They did this after 9/11, and now they’re doing it to an American citizen. Because when you de-person someone, you make that person into an abstraction that’s simpler to attack. If she were a protestor, you might have some sympathy for the fact that her life was taken. But if she’s an invader, well, what do you do with invaders? You shoot them. Justification by propaganda.

Naturally, you could never imagine the media slandering George Floyd like this.

Related to the Capitol protest, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (because who else?) is demanding that if Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz don’t resign, then the Senate should expel them. If that weren’t enough, Students and alumni of Yale Law School are calling for both men to be disbarred. And for what? For raising an objection on the floor of Congress to the electoral vote count from a handful of states — which is literally all they did, and which was rejected anyway? (And which Democrats have also done in the past?) No, for supposedly fomenting violence and stirring up conspiracy theorists — which they never did.

And then there’s Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser. Mozilla, whose mission statement is literally this…

…is now arguing this:

Does the cognitive dissonance hurt yet, Mozilla?

Over the past year, we’ve seen our world taken over by one hysterical moral panic after another. This overblown reaction to one event, which pales next to an entire summertime of violent leftist mayhem, mirrors the overwrought reaction to a virus with well over a 99% survival rate.

And these moral panics all come from the same source: from a citizenry raised on trigger warnings and safe spaces, who then went on to college and demanded to be protected from opinions different from theirs. Those people now either control all our major institutions or have sympathetic ears within the institutions.

Thus, “Wear your mask and don’t you dare leave your house, you selfish super-spreader” has simply morphed into “Trump is a Nazi, and if you have an opinion different from mine, it needs to be annihilated by any means necessary.”

The mobs today don’t carry pitchforks and torches on their way to the town square to burn the witch, but the impulse is exactly the same.

Sadly, human nature never changes.

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