Kirsten Powers: 'Mob rule' by liberals
Liberal commentator Kirsten Powers confesses she found the Eich incident "scary." But she also points to the Kickstarter censoring of the Gosnell film, which in many ways is even more troubling.
Last week brought a chilling reminder of how mercilessly some liberals will work to silence and marginalize people who hold views with which they disagree.
Even for those of us who support same-sex marriage, the virtual manhunt of Mozilla chief Brendan Eich was scary to watch. His heresy was a private donation in support of an anti-gay marriage initiative six years ago. Mob rule enforcing groupthink is as illiberal as it gets, and yet it was liberals demanding uniformity of thought — or else.
Another incident of muzzling those without the proper worldview received less attention. Kickstarter, the nation's biggest crowd-funding site,refused to accept a film about convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell unless descriptions of his crimes were removed.
After producers Phelim McAleer and his wife, Ann McElhinney, complained publicly, embarrassed Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler claimed on Twitter that the allegation was false. Strickler released an e-mail accepting the Gosnell film, but failed to mention that it was accepted only after the filmmakers withdrew in frustration. The producers released e-mails from Kickstarter demanding that references to stabbing babies and "similar language" be removed. The "acceptance letter" came March 28, the day after the producers withdrew their proposal.
Kickstarter explained its reasoning for blocking the movie by writing, "We understand your convictions … however … our Community Guidelines outline that we encourage and enforce a culture of respect and consideration, and we ask that that language specifically be modified."
Somehow, making a movie recounting the crimes of a convicted abortion doctor is disrespectful and inconsiderate. Kickstarter would only speak off the record, but its explanations were dissembling and contradictory. That might be because Kickstarter's standards aren't exactly rigorously enforced. An album titled Incest is the Highest Form of Flattery was fine. The movie Die Sluts Die telling "the story of ... sex crazed friends ... murdered in unusual and creative ways," ditto.
What type of movie on late-term abortion do our meddling gatekeepers want? Kickstarter accepted After Tiller, a hagiography of the abortionists who took over when Wichita doctor George Tiller was murdered. The film presumably doesn't belabor the process of late-term abortion, where babies are often stabbed in the neck with scissors and the contents of their skulls suctioned out. One wouldn't want to violate Kickstarter's culture of respect and consideration. Or provide factual information.
You may recall the virtual news blackout during Gosnell's trial and how the left tried desperately to dismiss the abortion doctor as a one-off demon. Conveniently, although Gosnell's crimes may be duplicated elsewhere, we'd never know it. When tanning salons are inspected more than abortion clinics, as they are in New York, anything is possible.
Powers refers to "mob rule enforcing groupthink" being as "illiberal" as it gets. That may be true in a philosophical or theoretical way, but Powers appears unaware of the pracitical way in which the modern left stifles debate and demonizes the opposition. Both the Eich incident and Kickstarter's censorship show how much of the left operates today.
It's not a pretty picture and Powers should be applauded for recognizing that.