Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Time's Bryan Walsh can't even

One among Time's phalanx of huffy mythomaniacs attempts to append a footnote to Milo Y's whammy replete with predictable falsities and puerile sophism:

The right to speech vs. the right to censor
by Bryan Walsh

Milo Yiannopoulos is many things: a onetime editor at the alt-right website Breitbart,

If I've learned anything from leftist journalists, "alt-right" is whatever they execrate at any given moment. Breitbart -- not the converged, effete and ostentatious National Review or the greater, corrupt Republican Party -- is a legitimate mouthpiece of mainstream conservatism.

a gay and partly Jewish man who regularly disparaged gays and Jews,

Milo's certainly reviled lesbians -- not all gays -- but Jews?! Granted, Yiannopoulos has denounced individual Jews, such as Ben "is Israel's nationalist double-standard our summum bonum, or are you Hitler?" Shapiro or Morris "the skinheads will flay us alive if you can't sustain my gauche lifestyle" Dees, but the pro-Jewish, pro-Zionist tenor of his disquisitional engagements is unequivocal. Are we to assume that Walsh believes any contention with a Jewish polemic constitutes anti-Semitism?

the self-described "most fabulous supervillain of the Internet" and, in his own words, a "free-speech warrior."

This is actually true.

Yiannopoulos' expert trolling earned him prominence on the far right,

To speculate that Milo's appeal is limited to "the far right" is to grossly misapprehend the present state of the right.

proof to many on that side that theirs was the true party of free speech -- not politically correct liberals more worried about people's feelings than about the First Amendment.

Oh, but never mind the latter!

As it turns out, free speech has limits, even among the party of free speech. Shortly before he was set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, video resurfaced of Yiannopoulos defending the idea of "13-year-olds" having sex with "older men,"

--in jest; minutes later, he attests that 16 is a sensible age of consent.

and although he apologized,

He only tendered an apology to individuals sexually exploited in their teens, as he was, who might've been offended. Of course, Yiannopoulos' own experiences aren't to be mentioned here.

Yiannopoulos was swiftly disinvited, resigned from Breitbart under pressure

This is a lie. Yiannopoulos' departure was wholly volitional, as Breitbart's staff have confirmed.

and had a book deal with Simon & Schuster canceled. The left cheered at Yiannopoulos' fall, while noting that it took praising pedophilia

Conflation of ephebophilia and pedophilia is the reliable hallmark distinguishing a cretin of any political persuasion.

-- not his long rap sheet of racist and sexist statements --

Would that anyone on the left could actually enumerate this mythical catalog! Some of Yiannopoulos' facetiae might be interpreted as sexist, but I've not read or heard from him one racist utterance.

before conservatives turned their backs.

No, they didn't. CPAC is infested with neocons and varied venal degenerates. Craven swine like Shapiro, Erick Erickson or Bill Kristol speak neither for most Americans, nor conservatives among them.

The country won't miss Yiannopoulos.

This is why Milo's title is so perfectly apposite: every leftist or pseudo-conservative hack imagines himself or herself triumphantly akimbo, cape undulating in the crepuscular wind and loudly proclaiming, "That's the last we've heard from that dastardly fag!" But...meanwhile!

But his rise and fall shows that speech in America has been weaponized and privatized.

Presently, contributors to leftist fishwrap rely crucially upon their readership's ignorance, but this has been true since circa 370 B.C., and certainly the history of the United States in toto.

Finding the proper balance between civil liberty and civility is going to prove increasingly elusive.

No, it isn't: when in doubt, err on the side of truth. It's that simple. Of course, SJWs seek to disenfranchise and pauperize anyone who disaffirms them, but when anyone to the right of Mao enjoys an audience, courtesy is to disingenuous detestations like Walsh a sudden concern.

In some ways, free speech is more robust than ever. Whatever the feelings of the current occupant of the White House,

"(Drumpf is not my president!)"

the courts have proved to be a reliable protector of First Amendment rights.

To the chagrin of the social justice maniacs who Walsh sedulously ignores, this is so. Any retail publication that actually prints a phrase as clumsily ill-conceived as "have proved to be" really deserves its twilight.

The growth of social media has amplified the voices of average Americans -- including voices that are critical of the government.

Okay, hon. Trump wasn't president in 2006. Duly noted.

At a moment when free speech is very much under assault in authoritarian countries like China, where the government controls the press and the Internet,

To what "moment" is Walsh referring? Freedom of expression in China's been legally suppressed for over seventy years! Of course, the left's tabula rasa is absterged every five minutes, but authors of this drivel enjoy carte blanche because they're read by so few -- among whom dissenters constitute a minuscule minority -- that they imagine nobody will ever take issue with such inanities.

Americans are practically drowning in spoken thought.

Blarney like this is a corollary of the elderly who feel inundated by the sheer volume of online opinion.

But look closer.

No, not there! Here! Look!

The speech being amplified by Facebook or Twitter -- Yiannopoulos' favorite venue before he was banned last year -- isn't happening in town halls. These are corporations answerable not to the public but to their shareholders. The First Amendment may prohibit Congress from passing any law that forbids the expression of free speech, but it has given wide latitude to digital companies to censor voices at will.

No, it doesn't. Though private censorship is incontestably legal, the First Amendment doesn't address that topic in the slightest. This is more likely just sloppy rhetoric than improbity, but it illustrates how the latter conduces the former.

And given how dominant those platforms are, the decisions they make about what is allowable can be absolute.

Sure, for as long as a week before someone produces an alternative.

Free speech is also under pressure on college campuses, where some groups have sought to block speakers whose views they find offensive.

It's been "under pressure" since speech codes were broadly instituted in the '80s.

That happened to Yiannopoulos himself, whose talk last month at Berkeley was scratched,

Obscurantism is clearly Walsh's M.O., but that he can omit mention of the disgusting leftist riot in response to Milo's appearance prompts the question of whether he can order take-out with sincerity.

but also to more mainstream speakers like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who canceled her commencement address at Rutgers University in 2014 in the face of student protests.

So, Rice's scuttled speech three years ago is to be deemed more noteworthy than that of Charles Murray two months ere...?

In his commencement speech at Howard University last spring, President Obama

"(former, nothing: Obama's still my president!!)"

reminded graduates of the importance of "listening to those with whom you disagree."

Obammy's platitudinous hypocrisy is an enduring wonder.

There is some evidence that younger people may be less protective of free speech. A 2015 Pew survey found that 40% of millennials believe the government should be able to prevent people from saying offensive things about minority groups, compared with 24% of baby boomers. As l'affaire Yiannopoulos demonstrates, we're all a little hypocritical.

Who is this "we?" That bloated, fretful, demented, dyscivic 40% is aligned with Walsh, not authentic Americans.

While Americans don't want the government telling them what they can and cannot say, they've been happy enough to accept some limitations for the sake of basic civility.

No, they haven't. Limitations were only legislated to prevent bodily, not emotional injury.

But that's changing -- we now live in an increasingly polarized and tribal country.

This only became so when the rotten, dysfunctional status quo was challenged -- not since 1776.

We've sorted ourselves digitally, which makes us less likely to encounter opposing viewpoints and less worried about offending our like-minded pals. Instead of fueling a marketplace of ideas, as the founders envisioned, speech becomes a way for groups to police their own boundaries while lobbing rhetorical bombs against opponents. The aim is not to debate but to dominate.

This exclusively describes the conduct of social justice warriors. Nobody else acquits themselves so.

There was no debating Yiannopoulos -- his was a one-way instrument, and that's why conservatives embraced him.

Here's yet another falsehood; Yiannopoulos eagerly exploited and savored every opportunity for debate.

But as soon as he became toxic to his own group, he was dropped.

"His own group" didn't repudiate him; his presence at CPAC would've been an embarrassing anomaly, which is why the video in question was dredged and misrepresented to the delight of unscrupulous muckrakers like Walsh.

Absolute principles mattered less than winning.

To be fair, that does describe the posture of the shrinking, increasingly impuissant Republican right. Here's the mendacious cherry atop Walsh's cake of bullshit:

In America today, speech is everywhere. It's the listening that has gone missing.

Indeed.

Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know yourself but not your enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time.

--Sun Tzu

Bryan Walsh could learn something from Sun Tzu's famous adage. Oh, I tease.

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