The Corner

The Remorseless Assault on Free Speech (cont.)

The other day, Andy McCarthy wrote that “it’s not just Obama’s lies, it’s the premise of Obama’s lies” – ie, the notion that a video (or a cartoon, or a book, or a play) can legitimately be blamed for murderous violence:

Constitutionally protected speech can never be legitimized as a cause of violence. Period.

It’s not a small thing when the President of the United States chooses for political advantage to inflict significant damage on America’s commitment to free speech. One thing the western left shares with Islam is a ferocious need to punish dissent – or (to give it its proper name) apostasy. Down Under, something called the “Australian Communications and Media Authority” (that’s to say, the usual bunch of statist hacks) has just ordered Alan Jones, the country’s Number One morning man, to undergo “factual accuracy training” (that’s to say, re-education camp) for saying the following:

’The percentage of man-made carbon dioxide Australia produces is 1 per cent of .001 per cent of carbon dioxide in the air,” Jones told his listeners on March 15 last year. “Nature produces nearly all the carbon dioxide in the air.”

Apparently, according to a global warm-monger of dubious provenance himself, the correct figure is 0.45 per cent. So the percentage of non-Australian carbon dioxide in the air is 99.55 per cent rather than 99.99999 per cent. For this outrageous crime, Alan Jones must report for “factual accuracy training”.

The death of free speech doesn’t seem immediately relevant to people worried about jobs and mortgages, but it is: When it’s a crime to be skeptical of “climate change” alarmism, it’s harder to object to the diversion of tax dollars from you and yours to Solyndra and other “green” boondoggles. Killing freedom of expression renders honest discussion of everything from the economy to foreign policy all but impossible – which suits both the left and Islam just fine.

If Australia keeps this nonsense up, I may have to come back for another nationwide tour. If they let me in.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More