Don’t Turn off the Projector

Only one type of speech is properly prohibited and that is speech which seeks to censor others. A person who advocates censoring others should himself be censored. Censorship is needed, many will argue, citing the example of the one who yells “Fire” in a crowded theater. A person who commits such an act should be punished, but his speech cannot be the subject of before the fact censorship for the simple reason that it has not yet occurred. If there is evidence that a person will yell “Fire” when he is in a crowded theater—for example, if he has done so before1—then he can be barred from crowded theaters. The risk that someone will yell “Fire!” is no reason to pull the plug on the projector.

By all means, punish those who commit crimes and who cannot conform their conduct to the rules of society. In the 1970’s, the Progressive magazine was allowed to publish the design of a thermonuclear weapon, because prohibiting the magazine’s right to publish was considered a dangerous assault on the freedom of the press. Today the press applauds the deplatforming of a former president of the United States as well as his allies, those who believe conspiracy theories or even those who reject the approved narrative, lest those with weak minds come to believe lies.

Julian Assange sits in jail, as best as I understand, because he is a difficult personality The Legacy Media should be screaming bloody murder and demanding his release. They do not, afraid to lose their sources in the government and their privileged access as stenographers.

Embolden the censors and lose the Panama Papers. Lose the Paradise Papers.

How far the champions of the free press have fallen. How far have fallen we all.

  1. Or if he has threatened to do so. [return]