Laura Ingraham doesn’t exactly have a defender in CNN’s Brian Stelter, but even one of the most reliably liberal members of the network’s Fake News Squad admitted Sunday that he was not entirely comfortable with the boycott targeting Ingraham’s advertisers. In a discussion with his guests on “Reliable Sources,” Stelter said that he didn’t think the answer to unpopular speech should be to take away someone’s platform.
“Are ad boycotts the right answer here?” Stelter asked. “I’m personally pretty wary of this. I think it’s dangerous to see these ad boycott attempts happening more and more often in this country. My view is let’s not shut down anyone’s right to speak. Let’s meet their comments with more speech. Lets try to respond that way.”
In even daring to offer such a viewpoint, of course, Stelter has turned his back on millions of college-aged leftists across the country who absolutely believe that conservatives (and even many liberals) should be de-platformed when they say something “offensive” to their beliefs. We’ve seen this happen time and time again on campus after campus, so it’s no surprise that 18-year-old David Hogg would turn to this same strategy when Ingraham had the audacity to (very, very lightly) mock his college rejections. And, knowing the spinelessness of corporate America, it’s no surprise that more than a dozen of Ingraham’s Fox News advertisers immediately caved under the pressure.
Even on CNN, Stelter had a hard time getting the panel – comprised of actual grown adults – to agree that maybe this was just a wee bit dangerous to our democracy.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik said that the Parkland survivors were imbued with “great moral authority” for having been in the building when the massacre unfolded, thereby making them immune to criticism. Which, all we can say is that if that’s the case, then it’s time to de-platform THEM. No one deserves to air their unchallenged (and, if what Zurawik says is true, unchallengeable) political opinions all over our airwaves. The very idea is absurd, and we don’t care if these students crawled through the bowels of hell.
After Stelter noted that what Ingraham said was not actually that bad and was only a “stupid tweet,” Zurawik was indignant.
“If you tweet, and you work in the mainstream media, you might as well publish it on the front page of the New York Times,” Zurawik said. “You don’t get to say it’s a stupid tweet.”
We agree that the venue in which Ingraham made her remark about Hogg’s college rejections doesn’t matter, but this guy (and so many other leftists) are missing the point. What she said was NOTHING. It was utterly harmless. But because it somehow triggered Hogg’s precious feelings, we have to fall in line and destroy this woman’s career over it? It’s absolutely ridiculous.
In fact, it’s more than ridiculous; it’s downright threatening to the very concept of free speech. We would hope that anyone who works in the media or in journalism would understand that and be horrified, but then again, we lost hope in the ethical compass of the news business a long time ago.