Free Speech? What Free Speech? Sharyl Attkisson Interviews Kirsten Powers *Open Thread*

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Sharyl Attkisson’s interview of Kirsten Powers regarding her new book, “The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech,” is timely indeed. The issue of free speech, what constitutes free speech, what speech should not be permitted, has been huge of late.

Recently, there has been much made by Jerry Seinfeld about the level of “Political correctness” on our campuses that prevents comedy due to the hyper sensitive nature of so many young people. Naturally, he was hammered by the Left for making this statement, as the Daily Caller highlighted (h/t KenoshaMarge):

[…] They only want comedy that confirms their own biases. They don’t want to hear jokes that could be conservative in nature or actually offend the fuck out of them. As we all know, college kids these days could be traumatized for life if they get offended.

[…]

Comedy, like all art forms, requires freedom on the part of performers to express themselves. The limits imposed on comedians if they come before a campus audience restricts them in what they can say and bowdlerizes their material. It’s essentially censorship. If you care about your craft and you know that it would offend the precious ears of the stereotypical collegian, wouldn’t you follow the lead of Seinfeld and Chris Rock and say no to university crowds?

[…]

Colleges are supposed to be places where the marketplace of ideas can flourish and young minds can come in contact with a host of different ideas and a myriad viewpoints. Instead, the modern university has turned into an incubator of New Puritanism — with all the ideological dogmatism and enforced conformity that comes with it. (RELATED: The Puritans Behind Jennerpalooza)

This mindset does not carry over well into the real world. That’s why it do a world of good for kids these days to expose themselves to viewpoints that genuinely offend them. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

No, that mindset most definitely does not extend into the real world, though it seems the “Illiberal Left” is bound and determined to make it so.

And it is precisely that sort of mindset that compelled Kirsten Powers, a liberal Democrat, to write her book.

Now, you know I have tremendous respect for Sharyl Attkisson. I continue to read her outstanding, incredibly DISTURBING, upsetting, frustrating, book, “Stonewalled: My Fight For the Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” I am currently on the “Obamacare” chapter, and holy moley, do we ever not know even the HALF of what was really going on behind the scenes, the lying, the duplicity, the intimidation of reporters like Attkisson, and more, fromt he Obama Administration. It is just staggering, and absolutely infuriating.

But Attkisson is not one to back down from a story when she is in search of the truth. What better person, then, to interview Kirsten Powers on her new book about the silencing of free speech from the very people who claim they want tolerance? Attkisson did so on C-Span for their “After Words” segments. At this point, the video is not on Youtube, but you can watch it in its entirety HERE, and I hope you do.

If you cannot have the sound on, know that they have a running transcript running underneath the video.

Free speech is so fundamental to our nation, and for what we stand. But now, speech itself has been limited lest we utter a word or phrase that is construed as “micro aggression,” or which offends the delicate sensibilities of one group or another. We end up walking around on eggshells afraid to speak our truth or say what we really think. It is precisely to the point of walking on eggshells that propelled Dr. Ben Carson to the national spotlight with his comments about political correctness at the National Prayer Breakfast a couple of years ago:

That is where we are headed, and it is fundamentally changing who we are. To me, that is unacceptable.

This is a fascinating discussion between two intelligent women Attkisson and Powers on the issues facing our nation, the First Amendment in particular, tying it into universities. From the transcript:

[…] ONE THING SOME PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING TO ME WHO DON’T LIKE THE BOOK IS FREE SPEECH IS ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND IF YOU ARE NOT INFRINGING ON SOMEBODY’S FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT YOU ARE NOT HARMING FREE SPEECH AND THIS IS COMPLETELY WRONG AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY PEOPLE THINK THE SAND WHERE THEY GOT THIS IDEA. IT’S TRUE THAT ONLY THE GOVERNMENT CAN INFRINGE ON YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS ALTHOUGH I HAVE TO SAY THROUGHOUT THE BOOK I DO TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT INFRINGING LIKE THE UNIVERSITIES WHO ARE ENGAGING IN THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL SORT OF SPEECH POLICING, AND IF IT IS A BIG CONCERN. BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE — WE ALWAYS HAVE TO AIR ON THE SIDE OF LETTING PEOPLE SAY WHAT THEY THINK BECAUSE IF THEY DON’T, THEN WE ARE NEVER GOING TO HAVE KNOWLEDGE. AND I INTERVIEWED OR I QUOTED STEPHEN PINCKARD, HE’S A HARVARD PSYCHOLOGIST WHO TALKS AT LENGTH ABOUT THE FREE-SPEECH SUPPORTER AND HE IS ALARMED ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE CAMPUS. HE USES THE WORD AUTHORITARIAN FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE CAMPUS AND HE TALKS ABOUT TO HAVE KNOWLEDGE AND CONJECTURE AND REPUTATION THAT IS COMPLETELY PREDICATED ON FREE SPEECH. BY FREE SPEECH ABOUT NOT FREE-SPEECH ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT BUT THAT PEOPLE CAN SAY WHAT THEY THINK, NO MATTER HOW CRAZY IT IS, HOW OFFENSIVE IT IS, HOW WRONG IT MAY BE AND WE GO BACK AND FORTH AND THAT’S HOW WE GET KNOWLEDGE IF YOU TAKE THAT OUT OF THE EQUATION, WE HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE. IF WHAT WE HAVE IS A BUNCH OF PROPAGANDA AND GROUPTHINK. IF ANYBODY SAYS THE DEBATE IS OVER, THE DEBATE IS NOT OVER AND PEOPLE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PERSUADE AND CONVINCE PEOPLE. AND IF THEY CAN’T HANDLE THEY CAN COME UP WITH WITH HIS NAME-CALLING I WOULD SUGGEST THEY PROBABLY DON’T HAVE A VERY GOOD ARGUMENT.[…] (Click here to read and view the video.)

Perhaps there is some hope with people like Powers, a liberal Democrat, speaking out on how hard it is to speak out. One can only hope so, in my opinion.

How about you? Feel Free to discuss this or the other issues of the day. This is an Open Thread.

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28 Responses to “Free Speech? What Free Speech? Sharyl Attkisson Interviews Kirsten Powers *Open Thread*”

  1. insanitybytes22 Says:

    Oh, important subject! One thing that really bothers me is our modern allergy to offense. We all have the right to be offended, nay the responsibility to experience that! That is what makes us think and question the world around us. If we try to rid the world of offense, we also rid the world of judgement and discernment.

    Even hate speech and bigotry, I would prefer to know what is in your heart. We can combat ideas, try to win over hearts and minds, if we know what is on those minds. To try to restrict or limit these things is to drive them into the shadows where they really thrive.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Insanity, you summed up very well the exact argument Kirsten Powers was making abt debate. That is how we LEARN, she said. And yes, I would far rather know where someone stands on an issue.

      And NO KIDDING – this mindset that NO ONE can be offended, and everyone has to tip toe around lest the little darlings get their knickers in a wad is just preposterous. It is the height of intellectual immaturity to think no one can say anything that is different from one’s own ideology lest it actually make them THINK, or maybe hurt their little feelings. Grow up already…

      Great comment!

  2. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Another great comment from Phyllis Chesler abt Israel needing “iron dome for defamation”: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/17069#.VX72MbYzbZ5

  3. Anthony Says:

    George Orwell would be surprised to know that Big Brother is NOT big government – its actually the Soros driven PC police.

    Nice to “see” you again, Rev. Amy!

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    I find it difficult to take Kirsten Powers seriously on any topic when I find most of what she says and does so blindly stupid. Because of this I have come to dislike her so intensely that I tend to dismiss anything she says.

    And we all seem to quiver with happiness when some damn liberal says something smart and correct for a change. A million conservatives say the same things and no one pays attention – one POS liberal says it and its news. It just pisses me off!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      LOL – dang, Marge – I wish you would tell me how you really feel abt this! Ahahaha…

      I totally get what you are saying, to be sure. I am glad that she is speaking to her people (!) and telling them what hypocritical jackasses they are being. They clearly find a way to dismiss whatever Conservatives say (just read a very good passage in Attkisson’s book on that kind of thing this weekend). So, yeah, when someone like Powers, who worked for Bill Clinton, gets up there and speaks out to them, I think it is important since they won’t listen to anyone else on the topic.

      I might add, her comments abt being a Christian were compelling. She didn’t hold back at all in essentially acknowledging what many have said abt how the Left treats Christians. It is just refreshing when the truth slips out from time to time, you know?

      But I do hear you – I have mixed feelings abt her, but I am glad she is speaking up. It would be great if they did…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        I doubt many on the left are listening to her. More like attacking her. But her words may have some impact on Independents and other sane people.

        I’m sorry to be such an old crabass but I am just so tired of all the bad things the left says and does. I’m tired of a media that makes no pretense of being neutral any more. I’m tired of a government so big and so corrupt that I don’t see how it can ever be fixed.

        And I’m tired of finding out that people I did have some respect for, like Paul Ryan, are no better than someone I loathe and detest, like Nancy Pelosi.

        I guess I’m just tired. Tired and convinced that these scumbags will never stop. Never. And people like Kirsten Powers are on their side even if they do show some small signs of decency now and again. She a lefty POS IMO and no moment of honesty will change my mind. Damn there I go being an old crabass again. Sorry.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          My dear Marge, you know you can speak freely any time. I completely understand your sentiment abt Powers, abt politicians, all of it. It is tiresome, frustrating, and infuriating that those who continue to do such damage continue to be supported, and to see people for whom we had respect morph in front of our eyes to be more like those whom we despise.

          Honestly, I am trying to take more time away each day from politics. That level of anger, angst, frustration, is just not healthy for me. I have been writing since 2008, and it is just unsustainable, know what i mean? So I am trying to take more time and not let politicians and politics rule my every day, as a friend of mine put it recently (or words to that effect).

          That said, I am so thankful for the good folks here who help to make it all more bearable. Thank you for that, and I will take your crabbiness ANY day of the week! 🙂

  5. foxyladi14 Says:

    Free speech these days means. Shut Up!!!! 😡

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Ain’t that a fact Foxy. I on the other hand don’t want to shut anyone up. I just don’t want to listen to them unless they are honest, informative and not stupid. I guess my “tolerance” for name-calling fools has been reached.

  6. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Phyllis Chesler has another great piece, this one abt Spain trying to do the right thing for Spanish Jews who were exiled. Wanna guess who is trying to crash that party? I’ll give you a hint – as one legislator notes, one group was exiled, the other group were invaders and have launched recent terrorist attacks there: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/06/15/as-spain-grants-exiled-jews-citizenship-some-muslims-demand-return-to-al-andalus/

  7. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/06/15/269866/possible-pentagon-destruction.html

    possible pentagon destruction of evidence

  8. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/06/the_only_privilege_in_america_is_liberal_privilege_.html

    the only privilege in America is liberal privilege

  9. HELENK3 Says:

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Another brilliant Branco cartoon. It captures the majority liberal mindset perfectly. A tolerant, decent liberal is like the sightings of big foot – often talked about but never proven.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      That’s abt right – great cartoon, Helen!

  10. HELENK3 Says:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2015/06/16/micrototalitarianism-n2012793?utm_source=BreakingOnTownhallWidget_4&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingOnTownhall

    micro totalitarianism

  11. HELENK3 Says:

    http://nypost.com/2015/04/12/mindy-kalings-brother-explains-why-he-pretended-to-be-black/

    you do what you have to do

  12. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Oh, this should be good. More emails released to the Gowdy Committee. So much for them having gotten everything already. From Sharyl Attkisson: https://sharylattkisson.com/previously-undisclosed-benghazi-emails-handed-over/

  13. HELENK3 Says:

    http://suckersonparade.blogspot.com/2015/06/hillarys-iron-control-of-campaign-media.html#.VYAg8EarCSo

    iron control

  14. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    A “private party”? On OUR dime?? There is no such thing, or there shouldn’t be. Al Sharpton did one thing right, albeit inadvertently, by spilling the beans: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2015/06/15/obamas-host-secret-star-studded-private-party-concert-of-500-al-sharpton-spills-beans-214363

  15. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    A good primer on the whole TPP/TPA issue: http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/15/no-conservatives-dont-suddenly-hate-free-trade/

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