Every time someone objects to the right-wing nonsense, they respond by whining we’re trying to censor them. Marjorie Taylor Greene of QAnon asshole fame even likes to wear a mask that says “CENSORED” on it. (Well, she doesn’t like to wear a mask, so that’s just more of her norrishkeit. And no, I am not posting a picture of it here.)
Enter Margaret Sullivan, stage left, to call this BS for what it is.
Scarry mocked those, including many of Politico’s employees, who thought [right-wing flamethrower Ben] Shapiro never should have been put in charge of the site’s popular Playbook newsletter — even for a day.Such objections are an effort to silence conservative voices, Scarry claimed in another piece: Liberal journalists “believe one side of the political spectrum to be legitimate, and the other should be given as few opportunities to have their opinions heard as possible.”In other words, it’s all a part of “cancel culture” — the catchphrase for how the masses supposedly gang up to silence provocative voices.
Then there’s Josh Hawley ([spits between fingers], who claims his First Amendment rights were “violated” because Simon & Schuster backed out of his book deal, in an effort to “silence him.”
Night after night, Fox News offers prime-time viewers its “leftist-assault-on-speech” show. Hawley, who needed only a few days to find a new publisher for his book, subsequently blasted the “muzzling of America” in an opinion piece in the widely read New York Post.
But he shouts about being silenced so loudly we can barely hear anything else:
As Parker Molloy of Media Matters put it: “Despite getting a spot on the front page of the fourth-largest newspaper in the U.S., coverage across the entire Fox News lineup, a new book deal, an audience of more than half a million followers on Twitter, and a lengthy list of credits on IMDB, Hawley would like you to believe that he is a man without a voice.”
And, naturally, the House’s impeachment of the Malignant Insurrectionist was another attempt to shut him up:
And then there’s Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who ranted that the congressional efforts to hold Trump accountable for his role in the attempted insurrection at the Capitol are somehow sins against free expression:“Impeachment is the zenith of cancel culture,” he tweeted, as if “cancel culture” were to blame for a constitutional remedy that dates back to the country’s founding.
Twitter’s and other social media’s decisions to permanently block Trump are somewhat disturbing, Sullivan admits — and I agree — because it shows how much power they have to direct our discourse, even though their decisions were right in this case: One should not hand an arsonist a match. But it means they get to draw the line, and while the market is supposed to correct for any overkill or misuse, their dominance of the market weakens that control.
But that’s for another day. What we so fondly (is a snark tag really necessary?) call the “Right Wing Noise Machine” dominates our politics, drowns out any reasonable voices, takes over the conversation, and then screams “Cancel Culture” whenever we try to whisper in a voice of reason.
There are two reasons they are doing this (at least). First is that they don’t want reason to interrupt their propaganda. Second is that they don’t want to be held accountable, and acknowledging the truth is the start of admitting responsibility. So expect them to go louder and louder and louder about how they aren’t being allowed to say anything.
We’re not going to stop them by arguing that point, or arguing with them at all, really. What we need to do is shout even louder. Forget nuance. This is a battle of basics now.