Comedians Sarah Silverman, Roseanne Barr, and Bill Maher, have all been fired (or in modern parlance, “cancelled”) because of public comments they’ve made or posted online.
They weren’t the first, or will be the last, to suffer from the army of duct-tape wielding speech censors eager to gag those they disagree with.
The theatrically-released documentary film No Safe Spaces chronicles these, and other examples, in what has become a long, wide-ranging pattern of the eroding of free speech in the twenty first century.
As a chorus of children say in one voice-over clip: “Your posts on social media will be saved to shame you.” To be sure, mere ‘shame’ would be the least of consequences.
Centered around two celebrity narrators – Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla – the film is a wake-up call that examines from several angles the fallout of the rising tide of political-correct zealotry. Other talking heads include Jordan Peterson, Alan Dershowitz and Dave Rubin.
Campuses are rife with instances of speech-bullying, too numerous to list.
It’s where conservative pundit Ben Shapiro cannot step foot on a campus podium without organizers first ponying up bucketloads of money for wide-reaching security apparatus. Because, apparently, thirty-something, short, religious Jewish men are historically known to cause untold physical damages to throngs of poor, defenseless, unsuspecting university students.
The reality – Millennials apparently need sheltering from opinions they might disagree with. At the first blush of offence, they might be liable to physically attack the aforementioned rabble-rouser who threatens their sense of self-worth.
They subsequently might require these so-called “safe spaces” to hide under a blanky, where they’ll be provided teddy bears to hug, play-doh for comfort, and crayons with colouring books to soothe them. No exaggeration.
Prager, 71, a nationally-syndicated radio host, author and columnist, talks about his visits to the Soviet Union in his early twenties, when he was commissioned by Jewish organizations to find, and interact with, persecuted Jews who needed assistance. A foreign national monitored closely as a matter of course, the wrong word could have landed him in the gulag. The juxtaposition of communism to campuses, is a striking, not-so-subtle jab at Leftist lockstep litigious language laws.
Meanwhile Carolla – also a radio host – is a podcaster, former television actor, comedian and author who had presented at a Congressional hearing on the coddling of the American student mind. Today’s kids are “dipped in Purell, played soccer games where they never kept score… and we’re asking them to be mature… we need to expose them to germs and dirt so they can build immunities. But we’re keeping them in a bubble, and we think somehow they’ll come out stronger when emerging from the bubble, but that’s not happening.”
Also in the documentary, clips are shown of student-led violent protests –more like a prison inmate riot – against biology professor Bret Weinstein, at Evergreen State College in Washington state. He had the gall to not partake in a “black-only” day at the institution. Exercising his right for free expression had him summarily dismissed from his job.
“I can’t help but believe this will work its way into the entire apparatus of the government, journalism, and most seriously, into the tech sector, which has become the governance apparatus for the new public square,” noted Weinstein. “YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter decide whose voices can be heard. And if those entities try to engineer the conversation to adhere to the rules laid out by these phoney Trojan Horse terms, disaster will be the result.”
Thing is, it’s already here. In recent months, much evidence has been revealed that YouTube, Google, and Facebook have decided to “engineer conversation,” and it has had an effect indeed on the “entire apparatus of the government.” And worse.
A smoking gun includes Project Veritas’ exposé filming Google executives on undercover camera. They admitted freely their intentions to manipulate data to promote Hillary Clinton, and undermine Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Some Google staff referred to conservative figures Jordan Peterson, Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro as “Nazis”.
A whistleblower exposed large-scale data manipulation, with reams of proof. Former Google programmer Zachary Vorhies came forward with 950 pages of leaked documents that implicated the Internet giant in intentional political bias in its search engines. It included directing users to the pages of certain democratic candidates, and autocorrects to favour them.
“If people don’t fall in line with their editorial agenda, their news articles get de-ranked,” Vorhies said in his statement to the media. He charged that Google’s aim was to “sculpt the information landscape” in order to “tamper with the elections.”
THE SCIENCE OF SILENCING
Researcher Dr. Robert Epstein confirmed in 2019 this aforementioned election tampering, to a US government hearing. In his investigation, Hillary Clinton won at least 2.6 million more votes as a result of Google’s data intervention. That number, moreover, could possibly be double or triple, he added – and predicted some five times more ill-gotten Democrat votes in 2020. And Epstein had nothing to gain from putting all of this forward – he was a Clinton supporter himself.
(Adding to the dubious conflict-of-interest mix: Google had been the Clinton campaign’s number one donator, according to Epstein.)
Part of how this entire plan was hatched, Vorhies explained, was that searches were programmed to minimize finding right-leaning media, Republicans and Christian media. Sites included Canada’s Rebel Media, Daily Caller, the Christian Post, as well as US pundits Glenn Beck and Megyn Kelly.
One of the more prominent and notorious examples of Big Tech’s media control is how YouTube (a Google corporation) placed a quarter of PragerU videos on its “restricted” list. So while the rest of us could view all 400-plus videos, schools and libraries experience this limited access – deeming PragerU as dangerous as, say, highly sexualized content. Among the blocked lessons of the five-minute video educational series is “Thou Shalt Not Murder” from the Ten Commandments, which Google justifies as too delicate for students. (They didn’t take up Mr. Prager’s offer to remake the video as “The Nine Commandments” to avoid the censorship.)
Social media behemoth Facebook has joined the muzzle pile-on, too. According to senior Facebook engineer Brian Amerige, the office environment is “quick to attack – often in mobs – anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”
Case in point: Epoch Times, a right-leaning publication, has been recently tarred and feathered by Facebook – and for something they didn’t even do. In December 2019, Snopes and NBC built a case that Epoch Times was inextricably connected to Vietnam-based media corporation Beauty of Life. The latter was accused of spam and misrepresentation, among other violations of terms of service, by advertising and posting using fake accounts.
This lead Facebook to not only ban Beauty of Life – who apparently had more than 600 bogus Facebook profiles – but also banned Epoch Times from advertising on the platform.
The only tenuous connection happened to be that both media organizations hired former employees of each other, at separate times.
Two separate investigations found zero connection between Epoch Times and the Beauty of Life’s online activities. Epoch’s editor, Steven Gregory, stated that there is no link whatsoever, debunking these spurious accusations.
One has to wonder if there’s more than a whiff of impropriety coming from Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, who was quoted in the NBC story. Is it at all possible he has an axe to grind with right-wingers, owing to the fact that he was also director of National Security Council, at the Obama White House, from 2013 to 2015? And in 2007, clerked with Democrat Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy? Might he have a vested interest in squelching conservative voices, given the liberal politics of his chosen places of employment?
Meanwhile, the investigative companies doing Facebook’s dirty work, digging up whatever flecks of scraps they can find on Epoch Times, overlooked the obvious political biases shown by Vinny Green, Snopes’ VP of Operations. In an NPR interview, he openly admitted that he had an issue with Epoch Times’ “pro-Trump” stance.
One can only speculate, but Google, Facebook and YouTube may very well be jittery about Epoch Times’ influence for good reason. Their videos have been viewed billions of times. Analytics company Tubular ranks them eleventh “among all video creators across platforms, outranking every other traditional news publisher.” According to NBC, Epoch Times has ten million followers, “one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet.”
Taping their mouths shut with the power of digital muscle, for any arbitrary reason, means that right-wing voices aren’t being heard in the marketplace of ideas. And that also means Dr. Robert Epstein’s prediction of a manipulated 2020 election is closer to fruition.