Corporate media outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times have recently claimed President Donald Trump attacks the First Amendment when he criticizes corporate media outlets for unethical journalistic practices and labels them the “enemy of the people.” Nevertheless, Trump has taken no legal action against any member of the corporate media (unlike the previous President), and has not advocated doing so. On the other hand, just this past month, the aforementioned corporate media outlets were actively involved in lobbying Silicon Valley tech utilities to censor independent media outlet InfoWars. Isn’t that an actual attack on the First Amendment?
The most popular show on television today is canceled and every trace of it removed from the record; a consequence of the show’s top star committing the unforgivable Sin. This Sin is not spousal abuse, not child molestation, not even murder. In these twisted times, the unforgivable Sin does not even require a victim. In fact, it does not even require intent. Continue Reading
Milo Yiannopolus, Roger Stone, Paul Nehlen, Jared Taylor, Baked Alaska, Ricky Vaughn, and thousands of supposed “Russian bots” are just a few of those Twitter has permanently banned, seemingly for expressing unpopular political viewpoints. Wikipedia chronicles the various prominent accounts Twitter has banned and suspended. Nearly all belong to right wingers. Internet viewpoint discrimination goes beyond Twitter. YouTube (Google) routinely deletes accounts and videos of right wingers, particularly in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. The problem of Internet censorship is also not isolated to social media. Most notably, after featuring a joke about the woman who died at the Charlottesville protests, Andrew Anglin’s popular site The Daily Stormer has had to jump from host to host, prompting concerns among civil libertarians. Once a last refuge for free speech, the Internet has become increasingly less so. Perhaps we have reached the breaking point. Is it time to adopt an Internet Bill of Rights to protect our God-given right of free speech on the web? Continue Reading
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Ever since the NFL season started, there’s been constant discussion about the decision of certain players not to stand during the national anthem and presentation of the flag before games. This talk reached a fever pitch last week after President Trump, during an Alabama rally, referred to the players who refuse to stand as “son[s] of bitch[es].” Detractors of the president and supporters of the players protesting the anthem are attempting to frame national discourse over the issue as a matter of the First Amendment. They, of course, are correct, but perhaps not in the way they might expect.
Earlier this month, civil liberties advocate and journalist Glenn Greenwald (along with Ryan Grimm of The Intercept) wrote an article warning about a bill before Congress with potentially dire consequences for free speech. If passed, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, S.720, would make it illegal for Americans to engage in organized boycotts against the state of Israel. Participation in such activity could lead to a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Unfortunately, the bill is very likely to pass. Continue Reading
Bill Maher recently received criticism for referring to himself as a “house nigger.”
In America, free speech is a sacred right. That is, until it threatens corporate interests. We’ve seen the scenario repeated. Someone says something offensive. Interest groups become aware and threaten sponsors of the speaker’s platform with boycott. Sponsors relent to protect their corporate image, and, ultimately, the speaker loses the platform. Continue Reading
Donald Trump’s election as President was, in part, a reaction to PC culture; a culture which regards the utterance of certain speech as worse than the offense of violent crimes. Unfortunately, the election of Trump has not eliminated this culture. Instead, it has evolved. Some of those who spoke out against PC culture before Trump’s election now enforce their own version of it. Take a look at a couple recent examples: Continue Reading
Earlier this month, a new threat to liberty emerged as originalist Justice Antonin Scalia died in Texas, vacating his seat on the Supreme Court. On that day, the stakes of the 2016 presidential election grew exponentially. Now, whoever gets elected will either maintain the status quo in the Court or create a new, more dangerous majority. Continue Reading
This past week, shortly after he announced he was mounting a second run for the presidency, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, shocked libertarians with his declaration (to at least three news sources) that the face covering worn by many Muslim women, the burqa, should be banned from public places. Though Johnson later retracted the comment (after much condemnation from libertarians), it provides evidence that his instincts on free expression, particularly of unpopular views, swing statist rather than libertarian. Continue Reading