Censorship Glenn Greenwald Media Criticism

Greenwald: The Pressure Campaign on Spotify to Remove Joe Rogan Reveals the Religion of Liberals: Censorship

All factions, at certain points, succumb to the impulse to censor. But for the Democratic Party's liberal adherents, silencing their adversaries has become their primary project.
Joe Rogan interviews Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Aug. 6, 2019, roughly six months before he endorsed the Vermont independent for president.

By Glenn Greenwald / Substack

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 (by “liberals,” I mean the term of self-description used by the dominant wing of the Democratic Party). 

For years, their preferred censorship tactic was to expand and distort the concept of “hate speech” to mean “views that make us uncomfortable,” and then demand that such “hateful” views be prohibited on that basis. For that reason, it is now common to hear Democrats assert, falsely, that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not protect “hate speech.” Their political culture has long inculcated them to believe that they can comfortably silence whatever views they arbitrarily place into this category without being guilty of censorship.

Constitutional illiteracy to the side, the “hate speech” framework for justifying censorship is now insufficient because liberals are eager to silence a much broader range of voices than those they can credibly accuse of being hateful. That is why the newest, and now most popular, censorship framework is to claim that their targets are guilty of spreading “misinformation” or “disinformation.” These terms, by design, have no clear or concise meaning. Like the term “terrorism,” it is their elasticity that makes them so useful. 

When liberals’ favorite media outlets, from CNN and NBC to The New York Times and The Atlantic, spend four years disseminating one fabricated Russia story after the next — from the Kremlin hacking into Vermont’s heating system and Putin’s sexual blackmail over Trump to bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, the Biden email archive being “Russian disinformation,” and a magical mystery weaponthat injures American brains with cricket noises — none of that is “disinformation” that requires banishment. Nor are false claims that COVID’s origin has proven to be zoonotic rather than a lab leak, the vastly overstated claim that vaccines prevent transmission of COVID, or that Julian Assange stole classified documents and caused people to die. Corporate outlets beloved by liberals are free to spout serious falsehoods without being deemed guilty of disinformation, and, because of that, do so routinely.

This “disinformation” term is reserved for those who question liberal pieties, not for those devoted to affirming them. That is the real functional definition of “disinformation” and of its little cousin, “misinformation.” It is not possible to disagree with liberals or see the world differently than they see it. The only two choices are unthinking submission to their dogma or acting as an agent of “disinformation.” Dissent does not exist to them; any deviation from their worldview is inherently dangerous — to the point that it cannot be heard.

The data proving a deeply radical authoritarian strain in Trump-era Democratic Party politics is ample and have been extensively reported here. Democrats overwhelmingly trust and love the FBI and CIA. Polls show they overwhelmingly favor censorship of the internet not only by Big Tech oligarchs but also by the state. Leading Democratic Party politicians have repeatedly subpoenaed social media executives and explicitly threatened them with legal and regulatory reprisals if they do not censor more aggressively — a likely violation of the First Amendment given decades of case law ruling that state officials are barred from coercing private actors to censor for them, in ways the Constitution prohibits them from doing directly. 

Democratic officials have used the pretexts of COVID, “the insurrection,” and Russia to justify their censorship demands. Both Joe Biden and his Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, have “urged” Silicon Valley to censor more when asked about Joe Rogan and others who air what they call “disinformation” about COVID. They cheered the use of pro-prosecutor tactics against Michael Flynn and other Russiagate targets; made a hero out of the Capitol Hill Police officer who shot and killed the unarmed Ashli Babbitt; voted for an additional $2 billion to expand the functions of the Capitol Police; have demanded and obtained lengthy prison sentences and solitary confinement even for non-violent 1/6 defendants; and even seek to import the War on Terror onto domestic soil.

Given the climate prevailing in the American liberal faction, this authoritarianism is anything but surprising. For those who convince themselves that they are not battling mere political opponents with a different ideology but a fascist movement led by a Hitler-like figure bent on imposing totalitarianism — a core, defining belief of modern-day Democratic Party politics — it is virtually inevitable that they will embrace authoritarianism. When a political movement is subsumed by fear — the Orange Hitler will put you in camps and end democracy if he wins again — then it is not only expected but even rational to embrace authoritarian tactics including censorship to stave off this existential threat. Fear always breeds authoritarianism, which is why manipulating and stimulating that human instinct is the favorite tactic of political demagogues.

And when it comes to authoritarian tactics, censorship has become the liberals’ North Star. Every week brings news of a newly banished heretic. Liberals cheered the news last week that Google’s YouTube permanently banned the extremely popular video channel of conservative commentator Dan Bongino. His permanent ban was imposed for the crime of announcing that, moving forward, he would post all of his videos exclusively on the free speech video platform Rumble after he received a seven-day suspension from Google’s overlords for spreading supposed COVID “disinformation.” What was Bongino’s prohibited view that prompted that suspension? He claimed cloth masks do not work to stop the spread of COVID, a view shared by numerous expertsand, at least in part, by the CDC. When Bongino disobeyed the seven-day suspension by using an alternative YouTube channel to announce his move to Rumble, liberals cheered Google’s permanent ban because the only thing liberals hate more than platforms that allow diverse views are people failing to obey rules imposed by corporate authorities.

It is not hyperbole to observe that there is now a concerted war on any platforms devoted to free discourse and which refuse to capitulate to the demands of Democratic politicians and liberal activists to censor. The spear of the attack are corporate media outlets, who demonize and try to render radioactive any platforms that allow free speech to flourish. When Rumble announced that a group of free speech advocates — including myself, former Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, comedian Bridget Phetasy, former Sanders campaign videographer Matt Orfalea and journalist Zaid Jilani — would produce video content for Rumble, The Washington Postimmediately published a hit piece, relying exclusively on a Google-and-Facebook-aligned so-called “disinformation expert” to malign Rumble as “one of the main platforms for conspiracy communities and far-right communities in the U.S. and around the world” and a place “where conspiracies thrive,” all caused by Rumble’s “allowing such videos to remain on the site unmoderated.” (The narrative about Rumble is particularly bizarre since its Canadian founder and still-CEO, Chris Pavlovski created Rumble in 2013 with apolitical goals — to allow small content creators abandoned by YouTube to monetize their content — and is very far from an adherent to right-wing ideology).

The same attack was launched, and is still underway, against Substack, also for the crime of refusing to ban writers deemed by liberal corporate outlets and activists to be hateful and/or fonts of disinformation. After the first wave of liberal attacks on Substack failed — that script was that it is a place for anti-trans animus and harassment — The Post returned this week for round two, with a paint-by-numbers hit piece virtually identical to the one it published last year about Rumble. “Newsletter company Substack is making millions off anti-vaccine content, according to estimates,” blared the sub-headline. “Prominent figures known for spreading misinformation, such as [Joseph] Mercola, have flocked to Substack, podcasting platforms and a growing number of right-wing social media networks over the past year after getting kicked off or restricted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,” warned the Post. It is, evidently, extremely dangerous to society for voices to still be heard once Google decrees they should not be. 

This Post attack on Substack predictably provoked expressions of Serious Concern from good and responsible liberals. That included Chelsea Clinton, who lamented that Substack is profiting off a “grift.” Apparently, this political heiress — who is one of the world’s richest individuals by virtue of winning the birth lottery of being born to rich and powerful parents, who in turn enriched themselves by cashing in on their political influence in exchange for $750,000 paychecks from Goldman Sachs for 45-minute speeches, and who herself somehow was showered with a $600,000 annual contract from NBC News despite no qualifications — believes she is in a position to accuse others of “grifting.” She also appears to believe that — despite welcoming convicted child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell to her wedding to a hedge fund oligarch whose father was expelled from Congress after his conviction on thirty-one counts of felony fraud — she is entitled to decree who should and should not be allowed to have a writing platform:

This Post-manufactured narrative about Substack instantly metastasized throughout the liberal sect of media. “Anti-vaxxers making ‘at least $2.5m’ a year from publishing on Substack,” read the headline of The Guardian, the paper that in 2018 published the outright lie that Julian Assange met twice with Paul Manafort inside the Ecuadorian Embassy and refuses to this day to retract it (i.e., “disinformation”). Like The Post, the British paper cited one of the seemingly endless number of shady pro-censorship groups — this one calling itself the “Center for Countering Digital Hate” — to argue for greater censorship by Substack. “They could just say no,” said the group’s director, who has apparently convinced himself he should be able to dictate what views should and should not be aired: “This isn’t about freedom; this is about profiting from lies. . . . Substack should immediately stop profiting from medical misinformation that can seriously harm readers.”

The emerging campaign to pressure Spotify to remove Joe Rogan from its platform is perhaps the most illustrative episode yet of both the dynamics at play and the desperation of liberals to ban anyone off-key. It was only a matter of time before this effort really galvanized in earnest. Rogan has simply become too influential, with too large of an audience of young people, for the liberal establishment to tolerate his continuing to act up. Prior efforts to coerce, cajole, or manipulate Rogan to fall into line were abject failures. Shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported in September, 2020 that Spotify employees were organizing to demand that some of Rogan’s shows be removed from the platform, Rogan invited Alex Jones onto his show: a rather strong statement that he was unwilling to obey decrees about who he could interview or what he could say.

On Tuesday, musician Neil Young demanded that Spotify either remove Rogan from its platform or cease featuring Young’s music, claiming Rogan spreads COVID disinformation. Spotify predictably sided with Rogan, their most popular podcaster in whose show they invested $100 million, by removing Young’s music and keeping Rogan. The pressure on Spotify mildly intensified on Friday when singer Joni Mitchell issued a similar demand. All sorts of censorship-mad liberals celebrated this effort to remove Rogan, then vowed to cancel their Spotify subscription in protest of Spotify’s refusal to capitulate for now; a hashtag urging the deletion of Spotify’s app trended for days. Many bizarrely urged that everyone buy music from Apple instead; apparently, handing over your cash to one of history’s largest and richest corporations, repeatedly linked to the use of slave labor, is the liberal version of subversive social justice.

Obviously, Spotify is not going to jettison one of their biggest audience draws over a couple of faded septuagenarians from the 1960s. But if a current major star follows suit, it is not difficult to imagine a snowball effect. The goal of liberals with this tactic is to take any disobedient platform and either force it into line or punish it by drenching it with such negative attacks that nobody who craves acceptance in the parlors of Decent Liberal Society will risk being associated with it. “Prince Harry was under pressure to cut ties with Spotify yesterday after the streaming giant was accused of promoting anti-vax content,” claimed The Daily Mail which, reliable or otherwise, is a certain sign of things to come.

One could easily envision a tipping point being reached where a musician no longer makes an anti-Rogan statement by leaving the platform as Young and Mitchell just did, but instead will be accused of harboring pro-Rogan sentiments if they stay on Spotify. With the stock price of Spotify declining as these recent controversies around Rogan unfolded, a strategy in which Spotify is forced to choose between keeping Rogan or losing substantial musical star power could be more viable than it currently seems. “Spotify lost $4 billion in market value this week after rock icon Neil Youngcalled out the company for allowing comedian Joe Rogan to use its service to spread misinformation about the COVID vaccine on his popular podcast, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience,’” is how The San Francisco Chronicle put it (that Spotify’s stock price dropped rather precipitously contemporaneously with this controversy is clear; less so is the causal connection, though it seems unlikely to be entire coincidental):

It is worth recalling that NBC News, in January, 2017, announced that it had hired Megyn Kelly away from Fox News with a $69 million contract. The network had big plans for Kelly, whose first show debuted in June of that year. But barely more than a year later, Kelly’s comments about blackface — in which she rhetorically wondered whether the notorious practice could be acceptable in the modern age with the right intent: such as a young white child paying homage to a beloved African-American sports or cultural figure on Halloween — so enraged liberals, both inside the now-liberal network and externally, that they demanded her firing. NBC decided it was worth firing Kelly — on whom they had placed so many hopes — and eating her enormous contract in order to assuage widespread liberal indignation. “The cancellation of the ex-Fox News host’s glossy morning show is a reminder that networks need to be more stringent when assessing the politics of their hirings,” proclaimed The Guardian.

Democrats are not only the dominant political faction in Washington, controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, but liberals in particular are clearly the hegemonic culture force in key institutions: media, academia and Hollywood. That is why it is a mistake to assume that we are near the end of their orgy of censorship and de-platforming victories. It is far more likely that we are much closer to the beginning than the end. The power to silence others is intoxicating. Once one gets a taste of its power, they rarely stop on their own.

Indeed, it was once assumed that Silicon Valley giants steeped in the libertarian ethos of a free internet would be immune to demands to engage in political censorship (“content moderation” is the more palatable euphemism which liberal corporate media outlets prefer). But when the still-formidable megaphones of The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NBC News, CNN and the rest of the liberal media axis unite to accuse Big Tech executives of having blood on their hands and being responsible for the destruction of American democracy, that is still an effective enforcement mechanism. Billionaires are, like all humans, social and political animals and instinctively avoid ostracization and societal scorn. 

Beyond the personal interest in avoiding vilification, corporate executives can be made to censor against their will and in violation of their political ideology out of self-interest. The corporate media still has the ability to render a company toxic, and the Democratic Party more now than ever has the power to abuse their lawmaking and regulatory powers to impose real punishment for disobedience, as it has repeatedly threatened to do. If Facebook or Spotify are deemed to be so toxic that no Good Liberals can use them without being attacked as complicit in fascism, white supremacy or anti-vax fanaticism, then that will severely limit, if not entirely sabotage, a company’s future viability.

The one bright spot in all this — and it is a significant one — is that liberals have become such extremists in their quest to silence all adversaries that they are generating their own backlash, based in disgust for their tyrannical fanaticism. In response to the Post attack, Substack issued a gloriously defiant statement re-affirming its commitment to guaranteeing free discourse. They also repudiated the hubristic belief that they are competent to act as arbiters of Truth and Falsity, Good and Bad. “Society has a trust problem. More censorship will only make it worse,” read the headline on the post from Substack’s founders. The body of their post reads like a free speech manifesto:

That’s why, as we face growing pressure to censor content published on Substack that to some seems dubious or objectionable, our answer remains the same: we make decisions based on principles not PR, we will defend free expression, and we will stick to our hands-off approach to content moderation. While we have content guidelines that allow us to protect the platform at the extremes, we will always view censorship as a last resort, because we believe open discourse is better for writers and better for society. 

lengthy Twitter thread from Substack’s Vice President of Communications, Lulu Cheng Meservey was similarly encouraging and assertive. “I’m proud of our decision to defend free expression, even when it’s hard,” she wrote, adding: “because: 1) We want a thriving ecosystem full of fresh and diverse ideas. That can’t happen without the freedom to experiment, or even to be wrong.” Regarding demands to de-platform those allegedly spreading COVID disinformation, she pointedly — and accurately — noted: “If everyone who has ever been wrong about this pandemic were silenced, there would be no one left talking about it at all.” And she, too, affirmed principles that every actual, genuine liberal — not the Nancy Pelosi kind — reflexively supports:

People already mistrust institutions, media, and each other. Knowing that dissenting views are being suppressed makes that mistrust worse. Withstanding scrutiny makes truths stronger, not weaker. We made a promise to writers that this is a place they can pursue what they find meaningful, without coddling or controlling. We promised we wouldn’t come between them and their audiences. And we intend to keep our side of the agreement for every writer that keeps theirs, to think for themselves. They tend not to be conformists, and they have the confidence and strength of conviction not to be threatened by views that disagree with them or even disgust them. 

This is becoming increasingly rare.

The U.K.’s Royal Society, its national academy of scientists, this month echoed Substack’s view that censorship, beyond its moral dimensions and political dangers, is ineffective and breeds even more distrust in pronouncements by authorities. “Governments and social media platforms should not rely on content removal for combatting harmful scientific misinformation online.” “There is,” they concluded, “little evidence that calls for major platforms to remove offending content will limit scientific misinformation’s harms” and “such measures could even drive it to harder-to-address corners of the internet and exacerbate feelings of distrust in authorities.”

As both Rogan’s success and collapsing faith and interest in traditional corporate media outlets prove, there is a growing hunger for discourse that is liberated from the tight controls of liberal media corporations and their petulant, herd-like employees. That is why other platforms devoted to similar principles of free discourse, such as Rumble for videos and Callin for podcasts, continue to thrive. It is certain that those platforms will continue to be targeted by institutional liberalism as they grow and allow more dissidents and heretics to be heard. Time will tell if they, too, will resist these censorship pressures, but the combination of genuine conviction on the part of their founders and managers, combined with the clear market opportunities for free speech platforms and heterodox thinkers, provides ample ground for optimism. 

None of this is to suggest that American liberals are the only political faction that succumbs to the strong temptations of censorship. Liberals often point to the growing fights over public school curricula and particularly the conservative campaign to exclude so-called Critical Race Theory from the public schools as proof that the American Right is also a pro-censorship faction. That is a poor example. Censorship is about what adults can hear, not what children are taught in public schools. Liberals crusaded for decades to have creationism banned from the public schools and largely succeeded, yet few would suggest this was an act of censorship. For the reason I just gave, I certainly would not define it that way. Fights over what children should and should not be taught can have a censorship dimension but usually do not, precisely because limits and prohibitions in school curricula are inevitable. 

There are indeed examples of right-wing censorship campaigns: among the worst are laws implemented by GOP legislatures and championed by GOP governors to punish those who support a boycott of Israel (BDS) by denying them contracts or other employment benefits. And among the most frequent targets of censorship campaignson college campuses are critics of Israel and activists for Palestinian rights. But federal courts have been unanimously striking down those indefensible red-state laws punishing BDS activists as an unconstitutional infringement of free speech rights, and polling data, as noted above, shows that it is the Democrats who overwhelmingly favor internet censorship while Republicans oppose it.

In sum, censorship — once the province of the American Right during the heyday of the Moral Majority of the 1980s — now occurs in isolated instances in that faction. In modern-day American liberalism, however, censorship is a virtual religion. They simply cannot abide the idea that anyone who thinks differently or sees the world differently than they should be heard. That is why there is much more at stake in this campaign to have Rogan removed from Spotify than whether this extremely popular podcast host will continue to be heard there or on another platform. 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.

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is the author of several bestsellers, including How Would a Patriot Act? and With Liberty and Justice for Some. His most recent book is No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. Greenwald is a former constitutional law and civil rights litigator. He was a columnist for The Guardian until October 2013 and was the founding editor of the media outlet, The Intercept. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, Rolling Stone and various other television and radio outlets. He has won numerous awards for his NSA reporting, including the 2013 Polk Award for national security reporting, the top 2013 investigative journalism award from the Online News Association, the Esso Award for Excellence in Reporting (the Brazilian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), and the 2013 Pioneer Award from Electronic Frontier Foundation. He also received the first annual I. F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2009 and a 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work on the arrest and detention of Chelsea Manning. In 2013, Greenwald led the Guardian reporting that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service.

70 comments

  1. Joe is a college dropout who couldn’t hack it academically. Got his noggin knocked around a little too much too. He joins a chorus of past and present college dropouts like Rush Limbo and Candy Owens (fifth rate college dropouts) and InS.Hannity – all of whom know more than epidemiologists, vaccinologists, virologists, molecular bio-chemists, ICU doctors and public health administration professionals. Welcome to the idiocracy in the Age of Kakistocracy, where morons have a Messianic cult following. You might find Joe hanging with Dimmy Bore at the Urine Idiot Bar shooting piss shots as a Covid remedy. Looks like Rogaine didn’t work out too well for him either.

    1. Profs to the Sheerpost moderator for not censoring this troll drivel…it must have been difficult to let it slide. If people want to expose themselves as ignorant trolls they should absolutely be allowed to do so. Way to go Joe Buckstrap.

    2. @Joe Buckstrap
      Lies and propaganda from a pro-establishment hack. Why are you even on this website? You are either brainwashed or an establishment hack, and you have nothing of any value to offer here.

  2. Anti vaxxers get blamed for taking up ICU beds, but no one mentions the downsizing of hospitals and beds in the 1990s so that now they cannot accommodate the pandemic or those who have other acute situations. Place the heat where it belongs. Also, no one talks about horrible diet and the number of chemicals Americans ingest, therefore their immune systems are weak and chronic illnesses are a runaway train. These are some of the underlying reasons this virus was so successful. Among the many things being affected are fertility rates and sperm counts. This is call to farmers everywhere: Go regenerational and organic. If you plan to be a parent or a grandparent, better feed your children well because the USDA does not give a shit because they can use the nasty crap they grow as a weapon on poorer countries.

  3. TO THE SMUG, SELF-SATISFIED INTELLECTUAL ELITISTS LIKE THE ONE OPENING THESE COMMENTS:

    I was trained in the ’60s by union leftists who’d been organizers in the 1930s. I never forgot what they told me:
    “liberals are the ones who leave the room when the fight starts.”

    They never lift a hand to defend us because they have never held a tool. They consider any physical labor as by definition unskilled. Theirs is the important work; that of the Ivy educated administrative elites, our superiors. Whose comfortable lives intersect with the corporate elites– university colleagues and neighbors who fund liberal political and media allies.

    We, the majority working class, (no middle remaining) are simply invisible to the beneficiaries of this deeply unfair econ system. Bernie understands the depth of American discontent which is only noticed by the elites when it becomes outrageous anger. Trump, with his reptilian instincts, picked up on it, and the Republicans are exploiting it.

    The answer is not to engage in ad hominems or censorship of someone expressing what many Americans feel. Rogan may be wrong, his listeners may be wrong, but they are right to distrust the elites. Never forget that the Dems did for the Rust Belt exactly what they did to the ’08 Wall St. vultures: NOTHING!!! To stoop to belittling, as the comment above does, is to come off as just another of the tone deaf libs who offer sniffing dismissals instead of substantive actions.

    1. Stop it. Your comment is as equally prejudiced as any thing of the people you accuse.

      “They never lift a hand to defend us because they have never held a tool. ”

      What absurdity! Like having worked with tools is a prerequisite for conscience. The answer is solidarity not division. Revolts and uprisings throughout history have included poets, teachers, writers –anyone with conscience and many never having held a tool– in solitary with the people they saw oppressed. And many of them died for it.

      1. Experience, Not Absurdity

        You misunderstood the antecedent of the pronoun”they.” Re-read the preceding sentence. I was not making a blanket condemnation; obviously intellectuals have inspired and worked for radical movements for centuries. Activists alongside us, not elitist libs who think they’re above us, considering themselves wonderful just for talking to the help.

        Ask those of us who’ve held jobs in the service industries how we’re treated. When I was a hotel engineer, I was also on an HERE union board, which included doing basic bar tending at political and non-profit fund raisers. It seldom occurred to the highly educated, upper middle class liberal Dems who frequent such events that some of us serving them could actually read, write, and think.

        Add to that the obvious sense of superiority of people like James Carville. Or the disdain in Hillary Clinton’s infamous blanket condemnation of the de facto majority of Americans as “a basket of deplorables.” In contrast, how Bernie Sanders speaks and acts.

        Sure, I sound angry. My views, and those of many of my union sisters and brothers, are not centered on abstract philosophies but in our daily lived experiences.

    2. “ … the ones who leave the room when the fight starts. “ ( ‘Liberals’ )

      -Beautifully put.

      -JJoslin ( IBEW Local # 58 Detroit, near Canada )

  4. There’s never been more distance between the terms “liberal” and “left” in the US. Only a few condemned outliers like Chris Hedges, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Aaron Mate, Max Blumenthal, Jimmy Dore, and Paul Jay deserve the term, “left”. What used to be called the “liberal” has transmogrified into a cult of smug, warmongering, “educated” elites who use identity politics to mask their distaste for the working class.

    1. Per what I wrote above, I strongly agree! That reigning centrist Dems saw no problem with an egregious display of elitism like “a basket of deplorables” is proof. Imagine what the New Dealers’ reactions would have been to such fundamentally undemocratic attitudes. So what if we have a half South Asian half African American female VP? Still rule by the Ivy elite, beneficiaries of the status quo econ system. It changes nothing in the daily lives of working class and poor BIPOC. Nor of the 80% American majority, everyone not 1%ers or 20%ers, the educated and administrative upper middle class.

    2. Greenwald is not of the left. For example, ask him about his support of Citizens United. He views corporations as having rights. He’s a libertarian opportunist.

  5. It’s called a boycott, Glenn. You seem to imply that’s it’s O.K. to boycott an apartheid regime, but not O.K. to boycott a podscast. Neil, Joni, Nils, and Graham are boycotting . It’s the last resort in land where your vote is meaningless and a very powerful tool in a land that worships wealth over anything else. They’re promoting truth over dangerous misinformation that is killing people. And if you really think that there’s any fundamental difference between the “two” parties, you’re in need of some Truth.

    1. @kobe
      it’s not a boycott, it’s censorship. Huge difference. These a-holes are demanding that the platforms remove certain voices. A boycott would be simply not using the platform.

  6. Not a peep about the right-wing astroturf takeover of schoolboards and their ongoing efforts to ban books from libraries.

    Enjoy those Fox News bucks, Glenn.

    1. @KP
      That’s a propaganda technique called “deflection.” Good job! Were you trained, or do you just deflect from the real issue naturally?

      1. Anyone championing the First Amendment in their diatribe against censorship while failing to mention the attempted and often successful banning of books in school & public libraries needs to be called out on it.

        Greenwald is not an uniformed person. He is surely aware of what is going on. Why would he not mention it in this article?

      2. @KP
        Wrong! Glenn’s column was about censorship on social media by liberals. There was no reason to raise the issue of censoring books in schools or libraries. While that’s an equally repugnant practice, it’s a very different issue. If you want to publish a column on book censorship in schools and libraries, go for it, but you have no business telling other people what to write about.

      3. I agree with Jeff. The topic is censorship by liberals.

        Anyone anywhere on the left spectrum should be cautious regarding whataboutism. Look at the last two election’s right wingers who, when confronted with Trump’s egregious faults, dragged in deflections like “What about Hillary’s emails? What about Hunter Biden?” Implied is that if someone is not perfect about something, you must conclude they are wrong about everything. We leftists should be able to muster better arguments than that.

        Similar for condemnation by association. For example, if Trump uses appeals to populism, does that make all populist ideas suspect? If you think so, read some history. Or listen to how Bernie speaks. Merely waving the logo of Fox news or asserting that someone who says something un-leftist proves they are MAGA is the equivalent of damning as demonic anyone insufficiently orthodox. An evil voice that must be silenced for the salvation of the community.

        To me, it’s like the right wing campaigns to have some TV program removed, and we on the other side remind them there are channel changers and plugs on the TV. Again, Jeff has a point. Boycott is not the same as censorious removal.

    2. KP, you are so right. Greenwald, like so many defenders of the rich and powerful, limits his news sources to Fox News and other fear driven and conspiracy loving news media. Sadly, due to Greenwald and his forces, autocracy appears to be our future.

      1. Glenn Greenwald can’t force CNN and MSNBC to put him on the air. I’m sure he would love to talk to that audience if they allowed him the freedom to do that.

      2. @Ron von hoffmann
        Anyone who says that Greenwald defends the rich & powerful and/or that he uses FOX news as his sole or even main source of information is either totally ignorant, or is lying on behalf of the establishment, which includes the rich & powerful. These statements are idiotic.

  7. The republicans are against censorship for the same reason they’re against the strengthening of voting rights. Not because they are now morally-pure champions of free speech. The conviction that there should be no moderation of speech on the multi-media scene in this day and age, when this civilization’s future literally hangs in the balance, is naive and extremely dangerous. Because there are actual bad actors out there, people who wrap themselves in free speech as Trump hugged the Star Spangled Banner.

    And at the end of the day, how are we, the consumers of all those streams of information who should never be filtered, supposed to voice our dismay and disagreement if not by stopping our support for them? If a movie is bad, people don’t buy the tickets. If an *entertainer* like Rogan, produces four hours of idiocy about Covid and, most importantly Climate Change, idiocy that is ridiculous at best (for a non-lay person) and confusing at worst (for a lay person), then I say people have the right to cancel their subscriptions and pull their stuff off the platform that paid the guy 100m or whatever. As a matter of fact, I am *glad*, they do. The world is going down the drain precisely because such distracting babble (about more things than just Covid and Climate Change) is not being fought hard enough. Especially since some (if not most!) of that babble, is engineered in cold blood as a weapon of persuasion by the psychopaths in power who’ve been strangling humanity for generations.

    I would rather Glenn Greenwald focus on the ever-metastasizing cancer of fake think-tanks and paid-for “scientists” spewing big-business’ talking point, than writing another rant about something just two notches above a YouTube drama about some big channel being demonetized.

    1. @Kamil
      Who gets to decide what is censored? You? Sorry bub, but censorship is bad, period. The people in power will do the real censoring, and no good will come of that. And to be clear, this column isn’t about boycotts as you’re characterizing it, it’s about censorship. Huge difference.

      If you want to stop lies and false facts, advocate for something like making defamation criminal. If you can prove in court that someone published a false fact AND that doing so caused serious harm, then they should be imprisoned for 10 years minimum with no possibility of parole. There can be no exceptions, not even the president. So the first ones who should be imprisoned under this law would be all those who promoted the lie of “weapons of mass destruction” that lied the U.S. into Iraq War II. That lie has caused exponentially more harm than the supposed lies — and to be clear, Joe Rogan didn’t lie about anything regarding COVID-19, in fact has interviewed scientists of differing opinions on that subject, and has provided infinitely better information than anyone in establishment or corporate media — that are the subject of this column.

      1. So, by yours and Greenwalds new standards, everyone should be allowed to shout fire in a crowded movie theater?
        You have the right to do many things in the USA, but you do not have the right to harm people. Spreading false propaganda about phony cures during a pandemic is harming people.

      2. @Big B
        As i said, if you publish a lie that causes harm, you go to prison for 10 years. That doesn’t qualify as getting to do that. I don’t speak for Glenn Greenwald, I don’t know whether he agrees with this. I DO know that we both strongly object to prior restraint, aka censorship.

        As to spreading lies about COVID-19, the government and establishment media have done the vast majority of that in service of their donors and clients in the pharmaceutical industry. I don’t know to what phony cures you’re referring, but monoclonal antibodies have proven to be very effective in treating COVID-19, and according to the government of Mexico, ivermectin has also. If you want to believe people who lie to you to make money I can’t stop you, but I suggest you listen to people who either have nothing to gain or who are willing to speak against their own interests.

      3. @Chris Wolf
        Ten years for people like politicians and corporate elites would be plenty. Rich and/or powerful people almost never go to prison, the threat of having to do so would totally freak them out and dissuade them from this behavior. I’d bet everything I have that once a few of these jerks go to prison for 10 years, the rest of them would stop publishing all the harmful lies.

        “Who decides” is a red herring/straw man argument. A judge or jury would decide, just like in any other trial. Trials are for determining which facts are true and which are false, there’s nothing new about this.

  8. I’m no lawyer, so my thoughts about censorship come from a layman’s point of view.
    I get concerned when I hear the idea bandied about that census is a province of the liberals/democrats/ whatever moniker you want to attach to your adversaries.
    And, tarring all members of a group with the label anti free speech doesn’t seem to me to be fair at all.
    Who gave us “free speech zones”, anyway.?
    It was the liberals????
    In my experience, it’s the people without money whose voices are locked out of public discourse.
    Silenced in the courtrooms and boardrooms and living rooms in “the greatest country in the history of the world “. lol
    I am all for the free exchange of ideas.
    It helps me think about ideas that I haven’t previously considered.
    And, it helps me identify despots and liars, and scary people that I need to avoid.
    Of course, I would prefer to engage in discourse, rather than read or listen to pronouncements, which is what we seem to have an abundance of these days, maybe always.
    What I perceive as Glenn Greenwald’s embrace of of the right wing of USA politics, to me, paints him as an ideologue, not a thinker.
    Don’t people with money and a platform, like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell enjoy the same free speech rights as Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson, et al?
    The people that I want to hear from are folks like Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning.
    They have something to say, that I want to hear.
    Those people put their asses on the line for all of us.
    Can’t say the same for Joe Rogan or Donald Trump, or a whole host of pretenders who blather on endlessly about the same old same old.
    Lenny Bruce is a free speech warrior.
    Guys like Joe Rogan and Jimmy Dore don’t even qualify as cheap carbon copies.
    Of course, I don’t know any of these people, personally, so I could be way off base.
    It’s difficult to know truth from fiction in this “Empire of Illusion”.
    I don’t have to know Donald Trump personally to know that he is a lying sack of $hit.
    He revealed himself eons ago.
    I used to trust Glenn Greenwald.
    Not anymore.
    Too one sided for my tastes.
    It seems like I’m constantly being pushed to pick a side.
    One or the other.
    Either – Or.
    Only two choices????
    That’s nonsense.
    How about a third way?
    Or forth or fifth, or hundredth?
    I went to prison for using my “god given’ right to freely express my views.
    And, I live in right wing republican central.
    Must have been those republican liberals again.
    When I hear the words “fair and balanced “, I laugh, right before I get pi$$ed off.
    I know that they’re all liars and propagandists.
    NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Sinclair media, NYT, all of it.
    I like to say, “your actions are so loud that I can’t hear what you are saying.”
    That’s how I figure out who to believe.
    I think that we’re all fu(ked.
    But, what can I do.
    Lay down and die?
    Get wasted all the time?
    Live in my own “fools paradise”?
    Nah.
    Find thoughtful, kind people, and engage with them, seems to be the way to go, for me.
    Get outside, and look them in the eyes.
    My bull$hit detector works best that way.

  9. Typical of Greenwald’s demagoguery, the issue at hand – whether the spread of misinformation and disinformation concerning a deadly disease should be restricted – is left unstated.

    Furthermore, the ‘thesis’ of his propaganda piece – that censorship is primarily a Democrat/Liberal project – does not only receive scant support from his text, but is both fraudulent to begin with (the legitimate pressure by artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchel who, exercising their own right to free speech led the demand from Spotify to curtail the dissemination of COVID lies on their outlet, is as far from censorship as anything, and is in fact what Glenn supposedly profess to defend), and itself mis- (and dis-) information – the lies spread by anti-vaxxers are not part of a discourse at all but a dangerous (and deranged), politically motivated death-causing nonsense, and Glenn’s subterfuge here – trying to re-brand the attempt to curtail the life-threatening lies, rather than the lies themselves, as the problem – is itself as far from true or even facts-based argument as Rogan’s BS.

    An additional aspect of Glenn’s twisted logic is the condemnation of Liberal supposed lies in the defence of Rogan’s and other’s. Perhaps someone should remind him of the Two Wrongs Fallacy…

  10. As an Attorney and former Democrat, now unaffiliated sovereign body, I find the conduct of the Democrats repugnant to the Constitution and the party which once praised the 1st Amendment, now seeks to demonize it and anyone who speaks their opinion. This is extremely dangerous, and we must protect the right at all costs. Life included. For our children and their issue will thank us. The next step after they limit speech and our rights is to enslave all who do not accept their views, and then reeducate them….

    1. Your comment is seriously thought-provoking because as an attorney, you would understand in depth the dangerous Constitutional issues involved.

      For me, it’s more about the rankling elitism. IMHO, the centrist/lib Dems are protecting their own power by limiting ours. But of course they’re only doing it for our own good, we the intellectually and culturally deficient working class inferiors.

  11. When I take it all in it just amazes me just how screwed we all are. Could it be any uglier? Could it be any more corrupt? Could it be any more mindless, arrogant, distorted, twisted and sick?

    This is what a society fracturing looks like. Abandon all hope my friends because we are all doomed.

  12. Outstanding article, but with one point of disagreement. It is not the “Boomer” generation of the ’60s that has driven this right wing Democrat crusade. It’s the next generation, the Clinton “New Democrats.” Boomers, the New Deal/Great Society anti-war generation, followed by a generation of Democrat loyalists that are the opposite. True, their bosses are the remaining elite of the rich Boomer capitalists, but those were never representative of the generation.

  13. If you’re still identifying with Dore, Blumenthal, GREENWALD and Hedges who all have swung over to cuddle up with the Trumpists and maga revolutionaries, you’re beyond reason and have overdosed on their insanity.

    I’m shocked that I see Scheer joining in with this migration away from what is right to join up with the Right.

    Pathetic to abandon principles just to claim that you’re better than the rest of us.

    Greenwald uses ageism in this article like some use homphobia to combat him. Again, pathetic.

    1. Hedges has not changed his viewpoint one bit so far as I know. He has always held that the Democratic Party is not going to get the biggest necessary changes made. It’ll take strikes, walkouts, massive civil disobedience, in his opinion. He’s always said that.

      Greenwald, I think, is still ticked that The Intercept didn’t let him write about how Hunter Biden had a cush do-nothing job with a Ukranian company, which Hunter did, although there was zero evidence this was a direct quid pro quo to anything per daddy Biden’s stance on Ukraine/Russia. It was probably just standard good will hunting, get the guy’s kid to tell Pops we’re nice guys, that sort of thing. Sleazy, not exactly a favor-for-a-favor.

      A story, to be sure, but what powerful politician’s kids aren’t given cush jobs at companies or charities? If Greenwald had framed it that way, maybe it would have been published. Maybe not.

      I am grateful to Robert Scheer for reprinting Greenwald’s articles here. I don’t have to pay for them (I’m kinda broke at the moment) and I’m always interested in what Greenwald has to say. Even if I mostly don’t agree.

      I do agree that posturing against a figure like Rogan who has no beliefs except “what gets me more attention” is likely counter-productive. Although I certainly won’t rag on Neil Young or Joni Mitchell for doing so. Neil was against Iraq War I and Joni’s a godsend.

    2. @Cheb Ornek
      You are a perfect example of the many people whose brains were broken by Trump. Trump pushed your buttons and you were too weak to let his BS be like water off the back of a duck, so you lost your ability to think clearly or critically. Now everything is about whether someone hates Trump, as if that matters. Trump was generally no worse than any other president in what he actually did. The people you mentioned are spokespeople for the REAL left, which barely exists in this country. The Democrats along with the Republicans are on the right, and if you think the Democrats are on the left you either don’t know what “left” means in this sense or you are badly misinformed.

      1. @Jeff;
        Here, and in your comment immediately below, I agree with you. Dems are for sure center right. In the late ’70s-early ’80s, the so-called centrists usurped the D party, ditching the New Deal and abandoning labor. Which I did my best to fight as morally reprehensible and politically stupid.

        Thus I, too, blame the Ds more than the Rs for our current situation. Their rightward push enabled the Rs to slide right off the map of sanity into territory that old sea charts labelled as “here be dragons.”

        Also leaving the majority working class with no voice whatsoever for the last 3+ decades. Yet elitist lib Ds now wonder why so many of us don’t trust authority. SMH. Will the D “leadership” ever learn to speak with us instead of talking down to us? They could learn from Bernie, but won’t since he has had the temerity actually to use the term “working class” and to point out the deep unfairness and destructiveness of the dominant econ system.

  14. Terribly one sided.

    Sorry to say I lost much of my enthusiasm for Mr. Greenwald after he prematurely condemned the left and endorsed Trump-Russia as “hoax” upon release of the dishonest Bill Barr summary of the Mueller report.

    Nor has he, to my knowledge, corrected his views. One can’t read any portion of the Mueller report without documentation of numerous suspicious or incriminating contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    The US, amongst the world’s wealthy nations, has the worst record of COVID-19 management and carnage. As stated by Dr. Jonathan Reiner, one can’t save the people in a sinking boat when half are bailing water out, and half are bailing it back in. The latter half include Joe Rogan, Fox News, anti-vaxxers, the Supreme Court, the GOP, rich countries hoarding vaccine, and other misinformed public health amateurs hiding behind the First Amendment, but killing people in broad daylight. The result to date: 900,000 dead, overcrowded health care facilities, and countless viral mutations that pose unknowable risks.

    Individual rights, states rights, politics, and the judiciary should not be allowed to supercede our collective responsibility to protect each other from infections we carry, illness, disability and death. Constitutional rights can be temporarily suspended during emergencies that pose a public threat, such as wars and pandemics..
    Future pandemics are a certainty. Our mistakes can surely kill us all.

    In our polarized, illogical, chaotic, greedy, selfish world, public health experts, not amateurs, must be recognized and empowered to impose mask, vaccination, and other mandated measures to protect us.

  15. The reactionary regressives who diss Glenn Greenwald above
    are the censorious “liberals” who buy into what I call the CIA/MEDIA narrative of the formerly progressive left.
    My leftist friends have left me on mass for the medical fascism
    of the globalist plutocrats who are jabbing you and your children
    to death with their spike protein inducing destruction of your
    immune systems.
    Too bad you are too stupid to live. Please get yourselves autopsied
    when the deadly jabs kill you so that the massive blood clotting of
    your vascular capillaries can be fully exposed as your Milgram
    compliant authoritarian “regressivism” can be fully exposed and
    your self destructive pro corpulent folly revealed.

  16. Please tell us:
    – what % of people are killed by the vaccine?
    – what % of people hospitalized for covid are vaccinated and what % unvaccinated?
    – what % of covid deaths occur in the vaccinated and what % unvaccinated?

  17. The Democrats are quickly becoming worse than the Republicans. This started with Trump when he advocated for reining in the evil U.S. military and the highly destructive international trade, and was opposed on both fronts by Democrats. And of course Russiagate and Ukrainegate. Now these a-holes are advocating vaccine mandates and censorship of anyone who doesn’t tow the pharmaceutical industry/corporate line on the subject.

    To be clear, the Republican and Democratic parties are far more like gangs than they are like legitimate political parties, and I can’t stand either of them. But I used to think that the Republicans are worse, and now the Democrats have reversed that.

  18. Greenwald leaves out the most devastating effects of libertarianism – the inevitable “race to the bottom” resulting from the toxic blend of deregulation with free capital.

    Need examples?
    1. The industrial food system
    2. Television
    3. The airlines
    4. Our post Citizens United political system
    5. Over fished oceans

    In just 25 years the Internet has become a global sewer degrading and poisoning society. A “free Internet” will deliver a tidal wave of Alex Joneses, not Glenn Greenwalds; The bad, the dumb, and the moronic will drive out the good, the honest, and the truthful in less time than you can say, “Checked luggage will cost fifty dollars a bag.”

    Libertarian dreamers have been wrong at every turn in modern society, but never more so than in the field of technology. Successful societies have customs, taboos, and guardrails. I invite Glen to name one successful “free for all” society.

    1. @MArk Deneen
      Censorship isn’t the right response, after-the-fact prosecution is as I’ve described on this thread. The rich & powerful will be the ones doing the censoring as they always have, and only a fool would want that.

  19. The bitter Glenn has become all too predictable. He will stand in contrast to anything an American liberal or progressive says now simply because he still feels slighted by them for the Snowden affair.
    At the end of the day Glenn spends most of his time doing the same thing that the fascist media does in America. He tries to “own the Libs”
    It’s time to follow the teachings of the great Buddha, Glenn. You need to put that shit behind you and stop lumping all American progressives in the same basket with the Clinton’s and Obama’s.

  20. The professional writers here need some new metaphors. The words liberal and conservative have become as meaningless as a used hamburger wrapper blowing down a ghetto alley at midnight.

    Or maybe “Hey you Russkys, wanna buy a slightly used U.S. government. ” Whoops too late , it already sold out”.

    We also need a word grinder to get rid of all the stupid acronyms. Don’t let the orcs of propaganda completely bury the english language in code words.

    Maybe you guys should start selling bumper stickers like “Got Humor ?”.

  21. Yeah.

    Only Liberals want censorship.

    Only Liberals are banning books in schools.

    Only Liberals are banning curriculum in schools.

    Only Liberals are banning LGBT authors.

    Only Liberals are banning POC authors.

    Only Liberals….

    GG mentions BDS as the only thing Conservatives do/have done…

    But, if one looks, really, truly, honestly looks it is quite the opposite — Conservatives are the book burners in this country.

    The Covid thing is about banning false medical claims, and is not about banning ideas about sexuality and race and the true history of The Alamo…

    Yeah.

    Remember when Liberals were burning Dixie Chic CDs? Oh, wait…

  22. Having just finished reading these 43 comments, I have to take my hat off to the American status quo for so brilliantly slicing and dicing the various political persuasions and tossing them into a sea of disorganized confusion. The Woke thing was award winning, let alone convincing a fringe group that their radical beliefs had any real legs. Totally embarrassing to the moderate left, but left them disarmed for fear of saying something wrong. Scared the shit out of the moderate right wing as well because they now got to see, taste, smell and touch a specter they have long seen hiding in the closet, but the unattainable purity of the Woke propaganda struck a religious cord that left them emasculated as well. Trump was another stroke of genius in the game of divide and conquer.

    Talk about a toxic witches brew! Can’t wait to see the next act that bubbles out of the cauldron of this political circus as the whole system circles the drain. 🙂

  23. The brouhaha surrounding the Rogan feature with Malone is because he highlighted some of the truth about the current coup by the biosecurity state, against the grain of the propaganda industries pumping out disinformation 24/7, and because he has a large enough fan base to make it necessary to discredit, rather than simply ignore, the dangerous elements of a counter-narrative which might give critical masses of people a clue as to the real direction, as well as misdirection, we’re being marched. All relevant to the subject of “mass formation psychosis” discussed by the two.

    Rogan has also featured Elon Musk, who presented some of the latest technological capabilities regarding human brain assimilation to AI, very relevant to where transhumanists like this oligarch want to take us. But apparently that show got overshadowed enough by these two smoking weed together thought police found it more easily forgotten.

    It’s gotten tricky in these totalitarian times to know where the spin begins or ends. Even whistleblowing scientists still adhere to some unquestioned dogmas of the scientific industrial complex, like the vaccine ideology of their salvific value which went into high gear once the Pharmafia worked out its 1986 deal with the coroprate state for legal immunity from these poisons, leading to such ‘public health’ results as school programs for over seventy injections by 18 years of age and astronomical increase among subsequent generations of autism and any number of other chronic diseases.

    We’ve been marched along for a long time by now, so I suppose it’s not too surprising, even if shocking, to see so many cheering for the present kill shots rolled out for unprecedented planetary genocide. And thanks to professional class gatekeepers, left and right, who keep us caught up in left-right theatrics, all we’ll ever get are partial truths, soon forgotten in the never-ending spin of manufactured consent and dissent, of the full horror already upon us.

  24. Greenwald wrote this:

    ” a couple of faded septuagenarians from the 1960’s”

    Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have created more beauty and done more to make this a better world than you could ever even dream of, you twisted internet electronic digital ghost narcissist.

    I hope this is your Rubicon – Rogan too.

    1. @Bill+Wolfe
      I like Neil Young’s music, and I have Joni Mitchell’s Blue album. But that’s irrelevant to this discussion. Young and Mitchell are dead wrong here. Sounds like you’re a “faded septuagenarian from the 1960’s” too.

      To be clear, I’m 67, but I try hard not to let age ossify my mind, as unfortunately happens to the vast majority of people when they get old. I don’t watch Rogan, but Glenn Greenwald is one of the very few real journalists around, and he’s spot on regarding this censorship issue. If Young and Mitchell object so strongly to Rogan’s podcast, they should just leave Spotify and STFU about it.

      And BTW, Rogan hasn’t put out any misinformation about COVID-19 or the vaccines for it that I’ve seen. What he has done has interviewed EXPERTS with differing opinions, who have forgotten more about this stuff than Young and Mitchell together will ever know. But yeah, censor Joe Rogan because he goes against the corporate/establishment line, that’s a good idea.

  25. Racism is bigotry, not an opinion!

    COVID lies are life-threatening nonsense, not a world-view!

    ‘Alternative facts’ are fiction (lies when coming from the radicalized political right, partial, hyperbolic tunnel vision when coming from the radicalized political left) rather than protected political speech!

    The removal of hate speech (Rogan’s overt racism), partisan propaganda (Rogan’s parroting of right-wing extremists’ COVID mis- and dis-information) from public spaces has absolutely nothing to do with free speech.

    When such a cleanup is the result of people exercising their right to act in accordance with their own worldviews (Young’s and Mitchel’s removal of their music from Spotify; The Rock’s rebuke of Rogan, etc), the invocation of ‘free speech’ is not simply a silly fictional cynicism, but a weakening of that important principle itself. For example, by trying to apply it to Rogan’s hate speech and lies but not to Young’s refusal to appear alongside bigotry, hate, and partisan propaganda, Greenwald is in fact assaulting the universality of the principle.

    Yet another rush fictional text from a mediocre, left-ish demagogue has-been.

    1. A Basket of Logical Fallacies.

      This reply contra Greenwald by DGA presents a great demonstration of logical fallacies like argument by assertion, argument by ad hominem, and argument by authority. [Do a search for a detailed list of logical fallacies; philosophy sites have done several.]

      1.) Then bigotry = racism; a tautology based on the ‘is” of identity, A =A, not proof per se. What evidence has been offered enabling us readers to agree with what seems to be vaguely implied–that Rogan, and by extension Greenwald, are racists? Are they such for all time? How many errors to what degree add up to a requirement that we leftists reject everything either one ever says?

      2.) “…not an opinion.” Setting aside whether or not this actually represents the views of either Rogan or Greenwald, it certainly IS an opinion! An opinion is simply an expression of someone’s preferences and feelings. Not the same as offering informed expertise . Or as presenting a logical frame or factual evidence in support of an argument.

      3.) “…not a worldview.” You (and I) may be of the opinion that “COVID lies are life-threatening nonsense.” That doesn’t negate the possibility that other people have a worldview where information from medical or governmental authorities is suspect. If your relatives had been the African-American men deliberately not treated for syphilis, would you find trust easy?

      4.) Another argument by assertion. “…fiction…rather than protected free speech.” Fiction is indeed protected free speech. Campaign literature and the speeches of candidates are evidence of that. So are the claims of commercials. In my opinion this may be reprehensible, but how would we prevent it? A panel of experts who assess all claims before any of them reach the media? I’m sure we can trust the benevolent censors, right?

      5.) “Lies…when from radicalized right… hyperbolic tunnel vision radicalized left” No specific items here, let alone why any of them are outright lies. That would require knowing for sure that the speaker or writer doesn’t believe what is said and intends to be deceptive. As for tunnel vision, hyperbolic, parabolic, elliptic, or any other shape–where is this characterization established as true? I’m not sure why “radical” fits either; perhaps it’s a centrist snarl word. In the General Semantics of the ’50s, a snarl word is something intended to stop dialogue, winning by disqualifying an opponent. Like how the terms Communist, Nazi, anarchist, leveller, have been used in politics or Manichaean, Gnostic, quietist, mystic in theology. Thus by-passing the need to actually prove a case on its merits regardless of who presents for and against.

      6.) “The removal of hate speech…or partisan propaganda…has nothing to do with free speech.” It has EVERYTHING to do with free speech! Look at porn cases–the Supreme Court ruled that even something most people find personally disgusting or immoral is not grounds for censorship. All the more so for political cases. Look elsewhere in this thread and you’ll find the informed opinion of an attorney about the Constitutional free speech issues involved.

      BTW, argument by authority would be to claim that because Neil Young or Joni Mitchell are truly great musicians, their views on US Constitutional issues must be truly great also. They of course have the right to remove their work and to call for a boycott of Spotify. In the ’60s, I worked with the United Farm Workers in the boycott of non-union grapes. We didn’t call for the shutting down of grocery stores. There’s a difference between a boycott and censorship.

      1. @Rafi Simonton
        The way to prevent harmful lies from being published is to seriously punish them AFTERWARD, not to censor them. I’d bet everything I have that if enough rich & powerful people, including presidents, went to prison for 10 years for promoting proven lies that were also proven to cause serious harm (the weapons of mass destruction lies and all the global warming/climate change lies, to name the worst ones I can think of in the past few decades), you wouldn’t see these lies being published any longer. We already have defamation laws, this would basically just make those laws criminal in addition to being civil (in other words, violators would face prison time in addition to being sued). There could be no exceptions for anyone under any circumstances, including presidents, this would need to be a strict liability law (which means that no excuse would be a defense, even proving that you didn’t know that it was false), there would have to be a 10-year minimum sentence with no possibility of parole, and the law would have to apply to everyone substantially involved in publishing the lie, including media people. I generally oppose the entire concept of prison, but I would definitely make an exception for this because of the great harms that some of these lies cause.

        Problem solved, next! 🙂

      2. @Jeff;
        I appreciate your reply to DGA. I was pointing out errors in the form of the argument, which call into serious question any claims made. You made the verbal coup de grace by presenting evidence that refute DGA’s assertions. Which, ironically, reveals them to be the hyperbole he accused leftists of using. I’m not sure, though, where this person is left or right since he (?) slams both.

        Re: comments to me– In the late ’70s, my ex, a state legislator, went to prison because of an investigation of political pay offs that began with Feds looking at Spiro Agnew, et al. Long story. My partner had come out of the labor unions and his mentors, leftist 1930s labor organizers, became mine also. I never forgot what they told me: “liberals are the ones who leave the room when the fight starts.” But I digress. Ex went to a Club Fed in the ’80s. Which he thought grossly unjust and not much of a deterrent. He said white collar criminals, who often destroy lives, even whole communities, ought to be thrown in with the general prison population. Bet the white collar crime rate would plummet, huh?

    2. @Democracy Gone Astray
      1. Freedom of speech applies to all speech, not just speech you agree with.

      2. Joe Rogan hasn’t lied in his podcast. Saying that either means that you’re totally misinformed — do you actually watch his podcasts? — or that you’ve been brainwashed by consuming corporate/establishment/mainstream media, which is far more propaganda than anything else. Name a lie that Rogan has published and provide good evidence that it was a lie.

      3. Actually, hate speech IS protected by the First Amendment, as confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. That court ruled that Nazis were allowed to march in Skokie, Illinois, a Chicago suburb where many holocaust survivors and their families live.

      4. While as a white person I’ve never and would never use the “n” word, Rogan didn’t use it as a slur. The video you might have seen or read about was taken totally out of context; Rogan was repeating what others said, not calling Black people a name.

      5. Rogan is not “parroting” misinformation about COVID-19. All he did was to inform his viewers of the facts about his contracting the disease and what he did to get better, then to interview RELEVANT SCIENTISTS. Just because those scientists hold opinions that are at odds with the mainstream does not make their opinions misinformation, far from it.

      6. Glenn Greenwald has been advocating for absolute free speech for many years, well before COVID-19. While I have had some disagreement with him, including an exchange where we agreed to disagree, I totally respect not only his opinion but his consistency and reasoning. (I just think that there are more important things than speech, like peace, the environment, and civil rights.)

      I find both your comments and vitriol totally disgusting. You may think that you’re progressive, but you’re in fact a right winger, as is everyone who would censor people who don’t toe the corporate line, in this case being willing to be pin cushions in order to enrich the pharmaceutical industry. And BTW, I’m vaccinated, so deal with that nuance.

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