Biden wants a free speech opponent for his media team
The New York Post reports that the media's anointed one, Joe Biden, has picked someone uniquely qualified to head the federal government's media empire during Biden's possible transition. His choice, Richard Stengel, is a strong advocate of free speech, except for any speech he doesn't like; in that case, he's an ardent believer in government censorship.
Biden, who has won nothing as of now, is nevertheless surrounding himself with leftists who will follow him into the White House should President Trump be unable to punch through the fake election narrative. As part of this effort, Biden asked Stengel to shepherd in a Biden administration's control over the federal government's media holdings. These include the Voice of America (which went all out for Biden during the election), the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
As is the case with so many Democrats, Stengel looks good on paper. He's got academic credentials (Princeton and Oxford), and he worked for Time magazine, while also contributing articles to The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The New York Times. All of these are names that impress people who don't know any better. Stengel also worked in the Obama administration.
Ironically, given what I'm about to tell you, in the early 2000s, Stengel was the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. This organization is devoted to (what else?) the United States Constitution. Please hold on to that thought: Stengel was the top dog at an organization that was all about the wonders of the American Constitution.
With that background, you're going to be at least a little surprised to learn about Stengel's 2019 op-ed for the Washington Post entitled, "Why America needs a hate speech law." I don't pay good money to the WaPo, but the New York Post has summarized Stengel's arguments:
He wrote: "All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I'm all for protecting 'thought that we hate,' but not speech that incites hate."
Stengel offered two examples of speech that he has an issue with: Quran burning and circulation of "false narratives" by Russia during the 2016 election.
"Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?" Stengel wrote.
"It's a fair question. Yes, the First Amendment protects the 'thought that we hate,' but it should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another. In an age when everyone has a megaphone, that seems like a design flaw."
Stengel wrote that "our foremost liberty also protects any bad actors who hide behind it to weaken our society," adding, "Russian agents assumed fake identities, promulgated false narratives and spread lies on Twitter and Facebook, all protected by the First Amendment."
I hope you caught that Stengel thinks that we should create parameters for our speech based upon what practitioners of the world's most repressive religion feel is acceptable. The National Constitution Center's former head will sacrifice our First Amendment to the same people who behead blasphemers.
The Post goes on to say Stengel wants to model American speech on European speech codes. Yes, we too can be like England, which arrested a Christian preacher for reading the Bible's words about homosexuality. Europe has never had a history of free speech. It's scarcely a role model for a nation blessed with a Bill of Rights that gives free speech a preeminent place on that list.
If Biden's puppet regime actually begins in January, you can rest assured that the parameters of speech that you'll be allowed to express will shrink immensely. Orwell understood that, when you shrink speech and ban words, you shrink thought. For example, if the word "liberty" gets censored out of English because Critical Race Theorists contend that it's an inherently white, racist concept, within one generation, our children won't even know what "liberty" is.
Image: Liberty Enlightening the World by Frankieleon, edited by Andrea Widburg. Original image: CC BY 2.0.