Destroying Your Own Credibility

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that Black Lives Matter is experiencing a backlash after shutting down an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) free speech event at the College of William and Mary last week.

The article reports:

Claire Gastañaga, the shouted-down executive director of the Virginia ACLU, said “a public college like William and Mary has an obligation to protect the freedom of the speaker to speak,” and college president Taylor Reveley wrote the action prevented “hard questions” and a “debate where the strength of ideas” prevails.

What has college become?

The article concludes:

The disruption of the ACLU event in Virginia follows the February cancellation of a speech by then-Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California at Berkeley after violence and property damage by his opponents and the shouting down in March of political scientist Charles Murray at Middlebury College — each incident attracting significant national debate, with older left-wing scholars such as Noam Chomsky and some members of Berkeley’s pioneering 1960s Free Speech Movement arguing it’s wrong to censor others.

The William and Mary Black Lives Matter chapter did not respond to a request for comment, but remained defiant in the face of growing condemnation Friday, posting a message to Facebook: “The right to free speech is a fundamental human right. However, speech that condones, supports or otherwise fails to explicitly condemn injustice must be directly confronted.”

We need to go back to teaching American history and the U.S. Constitution in our schools. There is nothing wrong with confronting speech, but there is a difference between confronting speech and not allowing someone to speak.

How The Media Works

Dennis Prager posted an article at Townhall today illustrating how the liberal media works. Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is well worth the read. However, I will attempt to summarize the four main principles in the article.

Mr. Prager lists four lessons learned in his recent experience with the media regarding a music concert he conducted:

Lesson No. 1: When the mainstream media write or say that a conservative “suggested” something that sounds outrageous, it usually means the conservative never actually said it. After all, why write “suggested” and not “said” or “wrote”? Be suspicious whenever anything attributed to a conservative has no quotation marks and no source.

…Lesson No. 2: When used by the mainstream media, the words “divisive” or “contentious” simply mean “leftists disagree with.”

Both words were used in The New York Times piece. The writer wrote that my “political views are divisive” and that I’ve made “other contentious statements.”

But the only reason my views are “divisive” and “contentious” is The New York Times differs with them.

…Lesson No. 3: Contrary evidence is omitted.

Despite all the Santa Monica musicians who supported my conducting; despite the musicians from other orchestras — including the Los Angeles Philharmonic — who asked to play when I conducted; and despite the orchestra’s conductor and board members who have followed my work for decades, not one quote in the entire article described me in a positive light.

Rather, the article is filled with quotes describing me in the worst possible way. Two of the four musicians who wrote the original letter against me are quoted extensively (calling me “horribly bigoted” and saying I help “normalize bigotry”); a gay member of the orchestra is quoted accusing me of writing “some pretty awful things about gay people, women and minorities” (for the record, I have never written an awful word about gay people, women or minorities); and the former mayor’s attack on me was quoted.

Lesson No. 4: Subjects are covered in line with left-wing ideology.

The subject of the article could have easily (and more truthfully) been covered in a positive way, as something unifying and uplifting.

“Despite coming from different political worlds, a leading conservative and a very liberal city unite to make music together” — why wasn’t this the angle of the story?

Similarly, instead of its headline, “Santa Monica Symphony Roiled by Conservative Guest Conductor,” the Times could have used a headline and reported the very opposite: “Santa Monica Symphony Stands by Conservative Guest Conductor.”

That also would have conveyed more truth than the actual headline. But the difference between “roiled by” and “stands by” is the difference between a left-wing agenda and truth.

These four lessons illustrate how the game is played. The news is not the important thing–the narrative is.



A Post From Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson is the blogger at Redstate. He recently covered the story of Speedway Bomber and current left-wing activist Brett Kimberlin, who the media has chosen to ignore.

This is his post today:

Last week I wrote about the Speedway Bomber and current left-wing activist Brett Kimberlin. In 2011, after writing about Kimberlin, LA County Prosecutor Patrick Frey was rousted out of bed after midnight by the LA County SWAT Team. Someone had called 911 claiming to be Frey saying he’d just murdered his wife.

Sunday night as my family and sister’s family were around the dinner table and playing outside, sheriff’s deputies pulled into my driveway responding to an accidental shooting at my home.

One deputy was in the driveway. Another blocked the end of the driveway with his car. A neighbor tells me another was up the hill from the house.

There was no shooting at my home. Someone called 911, claimed to be at my home, and claimed to witness a shooting at my home.

As the one deputy and I spoke, the other deputy walked up the driveway, positioned himself behind the car in the driveway, and kept his eyes on me and his hand on his gun. My three year old ran between us all thinking it was so cool to have a police car in the driveway with its blue lights flashing.

Luckily, after I had starting writing about Kimberlin, I advised the Sheriff’s Department to be aware this could happen.

It was a prank, but not just any prank. This is a prank left-wing activists are increasingly deploying against those who dissent from their political views. When Barack Obama told his supporters in 2008 to bring guns to knife fights, some of his supporters took him more literally than I assume he intended.

The stories of what is happening are not getting much traction outside of right-of-center blogs and the occasional opinion column at the Wall Street Journal, D.C. Examiner, and Washington Times.

The Obama campaign set up a website listing major donors to a Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney. Naturally, individuals listed by the Obama campaign saw their lives turned upside down by investigators linked to Democratic opposition research firms. They, their families, their businesses, and their employees were harassed. Seemingly random people from random states started requesting old court case files involving the donors.

It was intimidation.

And now this. Brett Kimberlin has created several organizations that have gotten money from the Tides Foundation and other organizations. Kimberlin spent many years in prison, convicted of a series of bombings in Speedway, Indiana. Now, when conservatives start pointing out his past and his ties, they have been subject to swatting and other forms of bullying.

We do not live in a Banana Republic, but the left does not seem to care. I take my family’s swatting as a badge of honor. We are having an impact. It is very necessary though that we continue to speak up and not be silenced.

The activities of these people suggest one thing clearly — they are losing. We must ensure they do.

These are things we need to remember in November.


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