Salon misses entire point of First Amendment

April 15, 2022

By Tim Worstall

In a new piece, Salon misses the point and purpose of free speech. They seem to believe that it’s only free if it’s carefully curated. Curated to make sure that anyone straying from – or disagreeing with – the standard progressive line isn’t able to make that speech.

This is, of course, brought on by Elon Musk’s offer for Twitter:

“Elon Musk’s threat to take over Twitter: Trolls — not “cancel culture” — are ruining discourse.”

Or, making the point more forcefully:

“The whole thing is a reminder that it’s not ‘cancel culture’ that is ruining American discourse, but the unholy marriage of unregulated capitalism to the culture of right-wing trolling.”

 There is a reason that the First Amendment says “no law” abridging the freedom of speech. Because the Founding Fathers didn’t mean that free speech was best carefully curated by a particular political grouping or that it should hew to a specific line. They did actually mean the cacophony of every terrible idea anyone has ever had and it’s up to us adults to sort through it. 

Which isn’t what Salon agrees with at all:

“In reality, however, you need some amount of what is disparagingly called “cancel culture” for free speech to thrive.”

 What gets canceled to be decided by the sort of people who read and write Salon, of course. Which is really what this is about, equally of course. For progressives have largely been able to establish what may be said in the public square. Having gained that power they’re unhappy with the idea that they may be about to lose it.

Salon runs at about 60 in the rankings of media outlets for law and government – yep, law, government. It gains near 9 million visits a month from that. It’s also rather more influential in progressive circles than those numbers would suggest. This really is how a significant portion of people think – and insist others should too.

The idea isn’t restricted to Salon either. Robert Reich is pushing the same thing in The Guardian. That’s one way we know that it’s wrong, that combination always is going to be. Leaving such snark and insults aside the progressive media is hugely upset at the idea that Musk might take over Twitter. They’re actually stating that they’re afraid of the effects of the actual free speech that might result.

That’s a darn good indication that they’re already limiting that free speech, isn’t it?


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