He’s a liberal, but the audience he infuriates the most is…progressives. Maybe because he doesn’t kowtow to the ethos of the movement. He beats to his own drum. He proudly says he’s not owned by anyone. He’s a pure independent journalist. Michael Tracey has been going off on the recent conservative purges occurring across various media platforms. While warning of the dangers, he’s calling out progressives who are cheerleading this illiberal and chillingly anti-free speech crusade.
This comes after the January 6 storming of the US Capitol, where pro-Trump supporters rushed into the building as Congress was certifying the 2020 election results. It led to new impeachment articles filed against Donald Trump, who was accused of inciting a riot and insurrection. He had addressed the Save America rally which led to scores of Trump supporters pouring into the city days prior. It also led to his ban on Facebook and Twitter, which appalled multiple world leaders in Germany, France, and Mexico. Keep in mind, Trump was still president when the ban was enacted. Yes, Trump was probably going to get the plug pulled on him after he left office, but this riot accelerated what very much looks like a coordinated assault on conservatives across social media.
Tracey warned of the corporate liberal authoritarianism that was raising its ugly head days before the Biden administration took over. he sees this as a harbinger of the horrors that could come (via Medium):
There was no real “coup attempt,” despite incessant politician and media histrionics to that effect. Just a pitiful outburst that was quickly dispersed.
It was clear within about ten minutes of the intrusion that the most severe consequences would stem not from the incident itself, but the deliberately-stoked over-reaction. The bipartisan political and media class, whether cynically or sincerely, is broadcasting their steadfast conviction that this was something like a “MAGA Terrorist Insurrection” — which is literally how it’s being described on CNN. Under such allegedly extreme circumstances, of course extreme remedial action is going to be demanded.
Few entities capitulate to upswells of political hysteria more reliably than the tech companies. Knowing that there will soon be a Democratic presidential administration and Congress to appease, they launched this week what is the most drastic corporate censorship offensive in modern history. Not only was Trump banished from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — the latter being his primary communications platform (for better or worse) — multiple high-profile Trump allies were likewise purged.
The expulsion of Trump from Twitter was celebrated rapturously by journalists whose conception of the job has markedly shifted away from anything to do with the preservation of protected speech. Instead, they are far more interested in asserting their political and cultural dominance, punishing those perceived to be undesirables, and functioning almost like a collective Human Resources social pressure department. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter — collectively more powerful than most nation states — have become willing partners in this endeavor.
His Twitter feed is a good insight into the other side that’s a bit more grounded than the Trump-deranged clowns on CNN and MSNBC. You will probably disagree with 95% of what he says, but it’s healthy to see the other side. Tracey is also an original Trump-Russia collusions skeptic.
You’ll see how he takes subtle jabs at the unseriousness of today’s news media, especially with this Capitol Hill riot. It was just that—a riot, not an act of domestic terrorism or insurrection.
“I still want to know why the ‘insurrectionists’ were mostly interested in taking selfies,” he wrote.
Not a huge fan of this service, it’s pretty much just one big right-wing conspiracy echo chamber, but there’s a lot of stuff on the internet that I’m not a huge fan of. At one time you could dislike something without demanding it be destroyed in a monopolistic political purge https://t.co/n3TFiPUaT2— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 10, 2021
It's incredible that they actually purged Parler from the internet entirely. Again, I didn't use the service because it seemed mostly like a right-wing conspiracy echo chamber -- but this coordinated corporate political purge is far worse— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 11, 2021
Nothing is ever good enough for these media censorship scolds, they will not rest until every trace of what they deem to be "harmful" political speech is purged from the public internet https://t.co/VYQLWTqW0s— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 11, 2021
Not to mention the perilous implications of such a prosecution for protected First Amendment political speech, which apparently is a minor concern now for the ACLU compared to appeasing left/liberal activists and donors who crave revenge against Trumphttps://t.co/ZADnSeWAox— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 11, 2021
Still waiting patiently to see if even a single Democratic elected official -- just one -- has any hint of concern about the most extreme monopolistic censorship purge in modern history— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 12, 2021
I spent two months arguing with MAGAs about the lunacy of their fraud theories, and the futility of their election-overturning efforts -- but this is revenge-fueled McCarthyism. "White supremacist insurrection" is also an absurd characterization designed to foment racial fear https://t.co/A9okcBHIku— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 13, 2021
Trump did encourage or urge the mob to march on the Capitol, but the specific "incitement" language in the impeachment article -- rushed through to prevent any real deliberation -- creates a precedent that can easily be cited to suppress ordinary, protected political speech— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 14, 2021
“Promising” to impeach before she even knew what the impeachable offenses were going to be https://t.co/pOdhPcOxmP— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 14, 2021
“Trump did encourage or urge the mob to march on the Capitol, but the specific ‘incitement’ language in the impeachment article -- rushed through to prevent any real deliberation -- creates a precedent that can easily be cited to suppress ordinary, protected political speech,” he added.
On the free speech fallout, he continued to poke the bear of the liberal wing of America tweeting “I don't see much of an ‘insurrection’ or ‘armed rebellion’ underway at the moment. However, I do see a massive ongoing corporate censorship purge, as well as the overt criminalization of political speech.”
For Tracey, the latest moves against Trump are meant to lay the foundation for the larger crusade against free speech.
I don't see much of an "insurrection" or "armed rebellion" underway at the moment. However, I do see a massive ongoing corporate censorship purge, as well as the overt criminalization of political speech. Odd— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 14, 2021
The premise that Trump needed to be impeached ASAP because of the imminent threat he posed was obviously false. Trump is not demanding insurrection -- he's neutered and defeated. They seized on high emotions to rush through a process that explicitly criminalized political speech— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) January 14, 2021