Join Jim and Greg as they applaud the congressional testimony of former FBI Special Agent Nicole Parker about how the politics of the FBI’s leadership are affecting the work and the credibility of the bureau. But will shining the spotlight on this result in any meaningful changes? They also fume as new reporting on Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman’s stroke and very difficult recovery prove that the campaign and Fetterman’s doctor flat-out lied to the people of Pennsylvania and that Fetterman’s inability to process what he hears is making it very difficult for him to do his job. Finally, they unload on the State Department for spending U.S. tax dollars through outside groups to muzzle conservative reporting through the Orwellian-sounding Global Disinformation Index.
Join Jim and Greg as as they discuss leftist riots in at least three American cities Thursday night. Will the Democrats finally admit this is a problem since these people claim to hate Biden too? They also sigh as President Biden not only rejoins the World Health Organization but does so without one demand for accountability or reform. And they react to MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace and former Obama official Ben Rhodes discussing how to “detox” speech they don’t like and even bar Republicans from stating opinions if they don’t accept the left’s version of the truth.
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The nation’s largest technology giants are abandoning their positions as free speech advocates and actively taking sides to silence and punish conservatives, and Project Veritas President James O’Keefe says Pinterest’s treatment of his group and the pro-life organization Live Action is the latest proof.
A whistleblower reached out to Project Veritas to report that Live Action was inaccessible on Pinterest because it was included in the site’s “porn domain,” which blocks access to pornographic sites. When confronted with this obvious error, Pinterest removed Live Action from the porn domain.
But a short time later, Pinterest banned Live action altogether. That’s because the whistleblower provided more information that Project Veritas promptly made public about how the site openly discriminated against Live Action.
“There was a conversation internally on a Slack thread, which is a text-messaging internal thread and the employee at Pinterest actually said that in the private messaging board [a Pinterest official] said, ‘I’ve seen Live Action on there.’
“She basically said it shouldn’t be on there but we’re going to keep it on there. That proved that the executives at Pinterest knew that Live Action wasn’t pornography but was putting it on the list anyway,” said O’Keefe.
But the crackdown wasn’t done. Project Veritas published a video highlighting that Pinterest was intentionally classifying Live Action incorrectly. Not only did Pinterest boot Live Action off the platform, but YouTube banned the video and Twitter suspended the Project Veritas account for publishing private information.
Right-leaning sites like PJ Media and Zero Hedge were also lumped in the porn domain.
O’Keefe calls this a watershed moment in which the major social media sites and “big tech” are no longer presenting themselves as champions of free speech but of a political and ideological agenda.
“The big tech companies have drawn a line in the sand. They’re choosing to have an editorial agenda. they’re no longer just big tech companies that have platforms. They’re publishers. Now they’re trying to stop and censor and prohibit the American people from having the information that’ll wake them up, that’ll shake them awake,” said O’Keefe.
Listen to the full podcast to hear O’Keefe explain why he believes the big tech companies are actually more powerful than the three branches of government and far more powerful than the traditional media outlets of network and cable news and the major newspapers. He also details what he wants the tech companies to admit and why he finds it Orwellian that the tech crackdown on conservatives coincides with liberal politicians declaring that certain – including being pro-life – are no longer acceptable in public discourse.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America praise Texas Governor Greg Abbott for a series of conservative legislative victories. They also react as YouTube admits it is suppressing what it deems “borderline” content. And in a double crazy martini, they discuss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (literally) running from Republican competition while reportedly entertaining a future primary challenge to either Sen. Chuck Schumer or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
David French of Radio America and Greg Corombos of Radio America groan as Joe Biden enters the 2020 presidential race vowing to return the nation to the Obama-Biden era and they break down the advantages and disadvantages Biden brings to the campaign. They also discuss the measles outbreaks and how they seem to be entirely linked to parents refusing to vaccinate their children. And David exposes the latest progressive assault on free speech – shutting down traditional views on race, sex, and gender because they are “dehumanizing.”
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America worry that Republicans and Democrats are underestimating Sen. Bernie Sanders’ chances in 2020 after the 77-year-old socialist from Vermont blew his competition out of the water by raising $18 million in his first six weeks. They also remember that Julian Castro is running after the former DNC darling from Texas called for decriminalizing illegal border crossings. And they unload on CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after she asks former FBI Director James Comey whether the federal government should have clamped down on chants of “lock her up” against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
In late October, a major European court ruled that punishing someone for defaming the Islamic figure Mohammed is not an infringement of free speech, a ruling that one expert says amounts to a slippery slope that end in “the death of free speech.”
Last month, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld a 2011 conviction of “Mrs. S” after she held two seminars in Austria called “Basic Information on Islam.” In the seminars, “Mrs. S” referred to Mohammed marrying a girl when she was six years old and consummating the marriage when she was nine.
In upholding the earlier conviction, which resulted in the equivalent of a $547 fine, the ECHR said it “found in particular that the domestic courts comprehensively assessed the wider context of the applicant’s statements and carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
“Mrs. S” is really Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who is directly linked to the largest grassroots national security organization in the U.S.
“The ‘Mrs. S’ who the case was about is our chapter leader, ACT for America’s chapter leader, in Vienna. She heads up our international ACT for Austria,” said ACT for America President Brigitte Gabriel. She is also the author of the new book, “Rise: In Defense of Judeo-Christian Values and Freedom.”
She says the impact of this decision will be profound.
“What have seen in Europe basically is the death of free speech and it is coming here,” said Gabriel.
She says the United Nations is already pushing a similar resolution to criminalize anti-Islam speech through a resolution sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
And Gabriel says there is a direct link between Europe’s abandonment of Judeo-Christian values and the whittling away of fundamental freedoms.
“We are seeing the erosion of our Judeo-Christian values and freedoms, which are the bedrock of western civilization. This is exactly what made western civilization great. The fact that we are able to come together and debate ideas and walk away respecting each other, but able to learn from each other after a vigorous debate of ideas,” said Gabriel.
Listen to the full podcast as Gabriel explains how the erosion of values and freedom happened in Europe and why the U.S. will be the last line of defense in this fight.
The free speech debate is reaching new heights after multiple online platforms refused to carry certain content in recent days, but former American Civil Liberties Union President Nadine Strossen says those sites are taking society down a very slippery slope and that combating controversial speech with more free speech is a much better policy.
The latest controversy centers around Apple, Facebook, YouTube and others refusing to carry content from Alex Jones and Infowars any longer. Jones is a very controversial figure and is behind notions such as the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was staged and has even disseminated the contact information for certain parents impacted by that horrific attack.
But some liberals are quick to suggest Jones is just the start of banning certain viewpoints from social media, including Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
“Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it,” tweeted Murphy.
Regardless of one’s view on Jones, Strossen says starting down the path of censorship is a very bad idea, no matter how odious the content.
“It’s never a one-off because we’re just down the slippery slope. Once you’ve breached that absolute principle – that dislike for an idea is never justification for censorship – then you’re opening the floodgates for all those mobs, for whatever ideas they happen to dislike, to put the pressure on. How can you possibly resist that?” said Strossen.
Strossen served 17 as ACLU president. She now teaches law at NYU and is the author of “Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship.” She says once it becomes acceptable to target “hate speech,” few ideas will be left that don’t offend someone.
“Everybody uses the epithet ‘hate speech’ for any idea that they hate. If that becomes the standard for what we’re going to hear and what we’re not going to hear, we’re not going to hear anything at all. Given the wonderful diversity of ideas in this society , one person’s hate speech is another person’s beloved speech,” said Strossen.
“If we don’t hold the line on the principle of neutrality, then literally there’s no idea that’s going to be safe,” she added.
While Strossen strongly disagrees with the decisions of Facebook, Apple, and YouTube, she points out they are non-government entities and have the right to allow or reject any content they wish.
“The first amendment poses absolutely no limit on any private sector company, no matter how powerful and including these very important communications controllers, namely social media.
“In fact, they have their own free speech rights. They’re analogous to publishers or your radio station. You can pick and choose whom you want to have on and whom you do not want to have on,” said Strossen.
But while they have that right, Strossen implores social media companies not to go down this path.
“That does not mean that we should not try to find other ways to pressure or encourage these companies to allow a free flow of ideas and information. After all, that’s what they initially pledged to do. Earlier this year, (Facebook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg, when he was testifying before Congress, said that his goal for Facebook was not to discriminate on the basis of ideas or ideology,” said Strossen.
She says the U.S. Supreme Court has given Americans the blueprint for dealing with offensive content.
“The Supreme Court has said that the answer to speech that we hate is not to suppress it but (to engage in) more speech. Answer it back, refute it, debate it, or even ignore it.
“All of those are actually more effective than forceful silencing because when you do that, you turn the speaker into a martyr and the speaker and the idea get a lot more attention and sympathy than they otherwise have. So if you don’t like an idea, censoring it is actually a very ineffective response as well as one that is violative of individual liberty and our democratic form of government,” said Strossen.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, shooting down part of a California law that had required such centers to inform patients about abortion services, a mandate the court rejected as compelled speech.
It was a 5-4 decision, with the court’s four liberals opposed..
In the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out the state was requiring the clinics to deliver a message they explicitly oppose.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy saw the case as a clear issue of free speech, calling it a “a paradigmatic example of the serious threat presented when government seeks to impose its own message in the place of individual speech, thought and expression.”
The plaintiff was represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF Legal Counsel Elissa Graves says the court got this one spot on.
“Today was a great victory for all Americans. The Supreme Court affirmed today that the government cannot force you to speak a message that conflict with your very reason for existing.
“The State of California here used it’s power to try to force pro-life pregnancy centers – and only pro-life pregnancy centers – to promote abortion. The Supreme Court today said that they can’t do that consistent with the first amendment,” said Graves.
Graves elaborated on how California’s FACT Act singled out pro-life pregnancy centers on this issue.
“The law was gerrymandered in such a way as to only apply to pro-life centers. It exempted centers that provided certain services, which included things like birth control and abortafacient contraceptives, things that pro-life pregnancy centers do not wish to provide, because it promoted abortion. They drafted it in this way, so it only applied to a pro-life viewpoint,” said Graves.
Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor wrote dissenting opinions. In reading a summary of the disagreement with the majority opinion, Breyer said the pro-life centers were actually getting special treatment.
“If a state can lawfully require a doctor to tell a woman seeking an abortion about adoption services … why should it not be able to require a medical counselor to tell a woman seeking prenatal care about childbirth and abortion services?” stated Breyer.
Graves says the liberals on the court are comparing apples and oranges. She says Breyer was describing what’s known as informed consent, which patients sign off on prior to a specific procedure, and that is different than what California was requiring from pro-life clinics.
“As Justice Thomas noted in the opinion here, this disclaimer (informing about abortion services) is before any sort of procedure is contemplated. It has to be presented to everyone as soon as they walk in the door.
“It’s not in any way connected to medical services, and that’s the difference. This is not an informed consent provision but a compelled speech provision,” said Graves.
It’s the second major win at the Supreme Court this month for Alliance Defending Freedom. It also represented Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop against the State of Colorado after courts in that state ruled Phillips did not have the right to refuse custom decoration of a cake for a same-sex wedding.
In that case, the high court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips, but limited the scope of the decision to his mistreatment by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission as opposed to a broader ruling about freedom of conscience or free religious expression.
Nonetheless, Graves says the court delivered a vital, consistent message in these decisions.
“Both ‘Masterpiece’ and today in NIFLA, the court has consistently held that the government cannot express a hostility towards expressions of faith, that this is unconstitutional. That’s exactly what ‘Masterpiece’ said with Jack’s treatment by the Colorado Civil Right Commission and that’s what they said today with the way the State of California treated pro-life Christian pregnancy centers,” said Graves.
The Supreme Court is sending another high profile case back to a lower court for reconsideration. The justices declined to hear the appeal of Washington florist Baronelle Stutzman, who was sued and punished by the state for refusing to provide floral arrangements for longtime customers for their same-sex ceremony. However, they did order the Washington Supreme Court to look at the case again in light of the “Masterpiece” decision.
“They will have to use that clear ruling in ‘Masterpiece’ that you cannot have this hostility toward religion in evaluating her case,” said Graves.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombus of Radio America celebrate the Supreme Court upholding the Constitution in two separate cases. They agree with the court’s conclusion that President Trump’s travel ban is within his constitutional and statutory right. They are also glad to see the Court side with free speech in striking down a California law that required crisis pregnancy centers to advertise abortion services. They are also pleasantly surprised that Democratic leaders are condemning Maxine Waters’ calls for the harassment of Trump administration officials.