Posted on August 12, 2018

Alex Jones: Information Rationing

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, August 12, 2018

In the West, there is no “marketplace of ideas.” Instead, there’s a ration line for clichés.

Journalists are celebrating the deplatforming of Alex Jones, and some are suggesting censorship has not gone far enough because Mr. Jones still has a Twitter account. CNN, which has been waging a long campaign against Mr. Jones, says the whole “saga proves tech companies can act, they just don’t want to.” Engadget says Twitter “doesn’t have the spine” to ban him. Vice complains that “even people at Twitter can’t explain why Alex Jones is still able to tweet.”

Rafia Zakaria wrote on CNN’s website that the deplatforming “is an important step in the recognition of nativist, nationalist and white supremacist hate speech as a form of terrorism.” She even called for Mr. Jones to be prosecuted for domestic terrorism. Of course, threats against Mr. Jones or against other people on the “far-right” are of no concern to her. CNN’s position is especially galling because network reporters such as Jim Acosta portray themselves as under threat because President Trump criticizes them for promoting “fake news.”

Journalists are celebrating their role in bringing down Mr. Jones. Amanda Marcotte, a feminist who says that “white men, as a group, vote Republican because they vote their resentments,” praised Jared Holt of Right Wing Watch as “the guy [who got] Alex Jones kicked off the Internet.” She says that he worked with “a group of progressive activists [that] has dialed up efforts to pressure these distribution platforms to drop Jones.” Mr. Holt, for his part, admits one of his reasons for attacking Mr. Jones is that he “was able to get on the air [with a listed Spotify podcast] and I wasn’t.”

Will Sommer of the Daily Beast is also cheerleading the campaign.

Of course, Mr. Jones is just one “far-right” target. Carlos Maza at Vox made a video identifying figures such as Lauren Southern as promising targets for censorship.

He concedes that the question of censorship is a “tough debate,” but just can’t stand it that Miss Southern and Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars come up when people search for “immigration” or “Islam.” He says Miss Southern’s video on “The Great Replacement” “feels a lot more like white nationalist stuff” and thus, should be considered hate speech. Mr. Maza is also offended that Miss Southern says Jared Taylor makes “legitimate arguments.”

“Time out!” Mr. Maza declares. “Jared Taylor? The white nationalist who thinks whites are genetically superior to blacks and Latinos?” Mr. Maza, himself Hispanic, then plays an excerpt from American Renaissance’s video on “racial differences in intelligence.” He then says, “I think this stuff plainly qualifies as hate speech.”

Mr. Maza’s showy outrage over a well-established area of scientific research shows why there isn’t a “tough” debate about this at all. Leftist journalists at Vox and other outlets simply assert studying racial differences is politically problematic and that the results are “junk science,” but this doesn’t change the facts. No solutions are possible if reality is “hateful” and therefore unutterable. Mr. Maza’s hurt feelings are no justification for repression. I doubt he feels much sympathy for Christians who are upset by Darwinism — even though his own fanciful view of human evolution is no more scientific than William Jennings Bryan’s creationism.

The censorship agenda does not stop at silencing any discussion of racial differences. Mr. Maza complains that “YouTube is a really good breeding ground for things like extremism, hate speech, and conspiracy theories.” The question of course is who defines “extremism” and “hate speech.” Sarah Jeong’s crude anti-white sentiments never got her banned from Twitter; she ended up on the editorial board of the New York Times. Similar declarations do not stop people from getting verified accounts on Twitter.

The people at Gab have a first-rate collection of Twitter-verified journalists and actors who pull no punches. Their common refrain: “I hate white people.” Any objective “hate speech” standard would mean banning many verified Twitter accounts well before getting to American Renaissance or Alex Jones.

Already, there are signs tech companies will not just be repressing speech about race or “conspiracy theories,” but videos questioning global warming or the effectiveness of vaccines — or anything at all they don’t like. Even conservative institutions that denounce race realism, such as PraegerU, are censored. Republican congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng had a campaign ad censored by Facebook because it detailed the horrors in Cambodia that drove Miss Heng’s family out of the country (Facebook has since restored the ad).

Given media power to shape opinion and the tech companies’ control over distribution, they have de facto control over any “democratic” political system. The obvious solution to the problem of media hegemony is competition — but outlets such as CNN, Buzzfeed, and Vox want their competitors shut down.

Much of the media hysteria over Russian “disinformation” seems to come from the same compulsion to crush dissent. A memo from Senate Democrats calls for mandatory location verification and identity verification online, ostensibly to protect us against Russian brainwashing. This could spell the end of online anonymity, making it easy to track down and silence dissenters.

But perhaps it was Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut who drove the herd mentality to its gruesome worst. He said that unless the likes of Alex Jones are shut up — and he would be just the beginning — American democracy will not survive.

If by “our democracy,” Senator Murphy means the current system, he is right. Our system depends on the control of information. Journalists and other self-styled gatekeepers such as the Southern Poverty Law Center “controversialize” dissident opinions on issues such as race, immigration, and Islam. The ability to marginalize someone like Jared Taylor and mainstream someone like Sarah Jeong depends on brute media power to prevent challenges to double standards. If the control slips, even for a moment, the entire edifice could collapse.

Thomas Jefferson once said, in speaking of the university he founded, “[H]ere we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” President Trump and the Republican Congress should try to meet that standard and ensure real freedom of speech and debate. If Senator Murphy and the journalists who agree with him are right that Americans are too easily manipulated to permit freedom of speech, then we should admit the American Experiment failed. If speech must be regulated in the name of “democracy,” regardless of what words are used to justify it, we are as free as the democracies of the old Warsaw Pact. Don’t journalists and politicians realize that if their ramshackle multi-culti system can’t survive a YouTube video about race, then maybe it isn’t worth preserving?