Washington Free Beacon Claims Liberals Don't Believe In The Right To Offend
False Equivalency Credit: washington free beacon
January 10, 2015

The editor of the Washington Free Beacon, a right wing publication obsessed with venerating conservative principles, is trying to vilify liberals for being hypocrites of free expression. The article asserts that liberals don't believe in the right to offend, therefore they are guilty of suppressing free speech. That's a patently false statement that we have learned to expect from this publication.

Matthew Continetti believes the refusal to publish offensive religious images is tantamount to hypocrisy. Fighting the suppression of free speech does not mean that private organizations have the obligation to publish everything. He attempts to use examples of "liberal intolerance" from the past.

Indeed, the outpouring of support for free speech in the aftermath of the Paris attack coincides with, and partially obscures, the degradation of speech rights in the West. Commencement last year was marked by universities revoking appearances by speakers Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali for no other reason than that mobs disagreed with the speakers’ points of view. I do not recall liberals rallying behind Condi and Hirsi Ali then.

This premise is entirely false. The rejection of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's commencement speech at Brandeis University was actually panned by liberals, so he's wrong there. In the case of Condi Rice, if you think a war criminal who has been complicit at helping the United States commit atrocities in the name of freedom should EVER speak at a commencement address, you are a very warped human being. Continetti has shown that proclivity towards sociopaths several times before, especially with his adulation of Sarah Palin.

Next he brings up the resignation of Brendan Eich from Mozilla. He donated to California's Prop 8 and thus was targeted by co-workers to resign years later. Continetti claims this action cost his job and thus his freedom of expression was violated, yet liberals remained silent. He fails to realize that Mozilla is not "The State" and a private company can behave the way the majority of its owners and workers wish. Mozilla’s decision to seek Eich’s resignation implicates the same First Amendment principles that famously allow the Boy Scouts to exclude gay troop leaders.

Continetti also pans the liberals for not respecting opposing viewpoints. He feels people should have the right to protest factual science like man-made climate change and actively persecute others of different sexual orientations and skin colors.

Nor do I recall liberals standing up for the critics of global warming and evolutionary theory, of same-sex marriage and trans rights and women in combat, of riots in Ferguson and of Obama’s decision to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants.

Once again, the conservative viewpoint is one where you should be allowed to protest fairness and facts without any repercussions. Liberals stand for causes that respect the rights of others. Conservatives fight for dominance of one group above all the rest. There's the problem.

He uses the dismissal of Charles Krauthammer from the Washington Post staff because of his denial of the proven science of climate change as a demonstration that liberals do not offer the right of free expression. In its defense, the Washington Post explains:

Krauthammer’s column focuses so much on discrediting mainstream scientists and politicians concerned about climate change that it will mostly serve as intellectual cover for those who don’t want to believe any of it.

Once again, the WaPo is not the government, it's a privately held corporation that has its own principles. The right to remove a science-denier from the staff of a respectable, privately-held publication is not trampling his rights to free expression. It's more like the publication has the right to hire and fire whomever it wants.

Because liberals reject the outlandish, hateful and ill-informed opinions of right wingers, they are not suppressing their right to free expression. Corporations and groups who are not the government, have the right to uphold their own beliefs and may act upon those beliefs as they see fit. This does not mean that liberals do not believe in the right to offend.

Let's ask the question, how many people have lost their job because they are gay, black, female, or trans-gender? I'd say a hell of a lot more than these examples of conservatives who are singled out by private institutions. Continetti feels that because a few of his pet causes have been poorly received by those on the left, the left is hypocritically intolerant. Look in the mirror Matthew. Who are the ones who advocate for hate speech, homophobia, misogyny, and actively praise science-denial? Modern-day Conservatism is the mother of all intolerance.

If you want to see a real cartoon expressing the left's opinions, check out digby. This is nuance, satire. The conservative brand is terrible at satire.

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