Opinion

A Pandemic of Censorship

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Posted: Feb 02, 2022 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
A Pandemic of Censorship

Source: AP Photo/Gregory Payan

We'll survive the Covid pandemic, but the pandemic of liberal censorship is more worrisome. From the attempt to browbeat the popular Joe Rogan into silence, to a flight attendant demanding removal of a "Let's Go Brandon" mask, the thought police are causing permanent harm.

"This is not America anymore," observed passenger Adam Radogna after he was censored on board a Spirit Airlines airplane in Ohio traveling to Florida. He was required by a flight attendant to replace his mask on board because it had the humorous anti-Biden phrase on it along with the initials FJB.

No passenger would have been told to replace a mask having a Black Lives Matter slogan, and he’s right to point out the double standard. Incidents of censorship on airplanes and other places of public accommodation no longer go unnoticed, thanks to video cameras on smartphones.

Meanwhile, podcaster Joe Rogan is more popular than Joe Biden according to a recent poll, but liberals insist on eliminating his podcasts from Spotify. In an alarming new form of censorship, a few aging musicians demanded removal of their songs from Spotify in protest of Rogan.

Spotify then tried to appease the critics of Rogan, and he responded in a gracious manner. But disclaimers and apologies are never enough to appease liberals who demand censorship of alternative views with which they disagree.

Twitter and Facebook found that only a complete removal of President Donald Trump from their platforms would mollify his opponents. And even that was not enough, as the large social media platforms have gone far beyond Trump’s postings in censoring free speech.

Supposedly protecting public health from Covid-19 was initially the pretext. But as Rogan points out, “Many of the things that we thought of as ‘misinformation’ just a short while ago are now accepted as fact.”

The man-made origin of Covid, for example, was considered misinformation but has since been accepted by Fauci and others as possibly or probably true. The ineffectiveness of cloth masks has likewise gone from misinformation to accepted fact, according to authorities.

Predictably, the censorship has gone beyond Covid, and now extends to merely questioning the integrity of an election. Joe Biden can publicly declare the upcoming midterm elections to be illegitimate unless a Biden-favored election bill is enacted, but he faces no censorship for his unfounded predictions that voting rights are at risk in Georgia.

When a conservative casts doubt about the validity of the last election, the social media giants go into instant battle mode to censor those opinions. Conservative congressmen are silenced by Big Tech, while Leftist politicians can post their content without interference.

Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) is a pro-Trump candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Last week Long uploaded his ad observing that Donald Trump “made America great, but the Democrats rigged the election.”

Rep. Long promises to “stop the Democrats from stealing another election.” This is what many Republican and independent voters want, and they have a constitutional right to hear a candidate promise it.

Yet YouTube took down Rep. Long’s video to prevent Americans from viewing it. This has nothing to do with protecting public health, combating Covid-19, or the activities at the Capitol on January 6th which Democrats misname as an insurrection.

Rep. Long responded, “This behavior by YouTube is un-American and straight from the communist playbook. Removing my ad proves my point that Big Tech certainly has and will continue to influence elections.”

He hits upon the irony that political speech is being censored supposedly to advance democracy. Democracy is undermined when Big Tech selectively blocks speech it disfavors while allowing liberal rants.

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The never-ending investigation of Trump by the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia also undermines democracy as Democrats attempt to deprive the American people of their right to elect Trump to a second term. Never-Trumpers hope that there will be an unprecedented and unjustified prosecution of Trump, in order to interfere with his increasingly likely candidacy for president in two years.

At his massive rally Saturday night outside Houston, Trump described how top attorneys at a liberal law firm have volunteered to help the Manhattan District Attorney investigate him. Such investigations should be impartial and it was shocking to hear Trump explain that his enemies have ganged up against him under the guise of a state investigation.

All this conduct by Democrats is anti-democratic. Voters should pick the next president without false, unproven accusations by a mere county district attorney being given any headlines.

Earlier this month YouTube received a letter from 80 self-described “fact-checking” organizations demanding that it censor more postings. It is “proving insufficient,” using their wording, to appease the Left that will never be satisfied until they control or influence nearly all content posted on the internet.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.