Question: What does Kathy Griffin’s grotesque ISIS-style photo holding a mock head of a decapitated President Trump have in common with the recent effort of a left-wing attempt to intimidate Sean Hannity’s sponsors, thus forcing Hannity off the television airwaves?
The Left in history has always relied on threats of intimidation, images of violence and all too frequently actual violence to achieve its political ends of the day. Long before there were ISIS fighters beheading those seen as the opponents of radical Islam, French Revolutionaries were infamously using the guillotine to terrify when not actually dispatching their political opponents in what became known to history as the “Reign of Terror.”
The Black Book of Communism, a detailed recording of one of the bloodiest reigns of terror in history, famously ingrained the idea of someone being an “enemy of the people.” Once so identified not only was the target to be arrested, they would face charges of so-called “crimes against the people” such as committing an “abuse of one’s position.”
“Chinese Roulette” was another favorite of the Left, this particular “game” played by Mao’s Red Guards. They would round up a group of dissenters and shoot only one - leaving the rest traumatized and intimidated for life.
The essence always is intimidation and conditioning targets to be afraid to speak out. All in service, of course, to the latest item of the latest version of a Leftist totalitarianism.
In today’s America some version of this can be seen everywhere. Yet the connection mysteriously never is made by today’s media.
Whether its riots threatening the safety of an Ann Coulter speech at Berkeley or a physical attack on conservative author Charles Murray at Vermont’s Middlebury College, the idea of intimidation in some form is always present. Take a good look at this article over at the Wall Street Journal by Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
The writer is Evergreen biology professor Bret Weinstein, who as it happens is a political liberal. Liberal or no, Professor Weinstein objected to a particular activity of left-wing students on campus - and this is what happened.
The piece is titled: “The Campus Mob Came for Me—and You, Professor, Could Be Next; Whites were asked to leave for a ‘Day of Absence.’ I objected. Then 50 yelling students crashed my class.”
I was not expecting to hold my biology class in a public park last week. But then the chief of our college police department told me she could not protect me on campus. Protestors were searching cars for an unspecified individual—likely me—and her officers had been told to stand down, against her judgment, by the college president.
Racially charged, anarchic protests have engulfed Evergreen State College, a small, public liberal-arts institution where I have taught since 2003. In a widely disseminated video of the first recent protest on May 23, an angry mob of about 50 students disrupted my class, called me a racist, and demanded that I resign. My “racist” offense? I had challenged coercive segregation by race. Specifically, I had objected to a planned “Day of Absence” in which white people were asked to leave campus on April 12.
In other words? This was the Evergreen version of what was being attempted with Sean Hannity’s sponsors. You agree to our demands — or else. In the case of Professor Weinstein, his safety threatened, he wound up teaching in a park. In the case of Sean Hannity, the idea was to so threaten his sponsors that they would remove Hannity from television permanently. And to underscore the thinking that really lay behind all of this view of intimidating dissenters from the Left’s world view - out of the blue there was, of all people, comedienne Kathy Griffin holding the supposedly-severed head of the President the Left so virulently detests.
That Griffin’s stunt massively backfired — she was fired by CNN from her New Year’s Eve gig and lost other jobs as well - doesn’t detract from the fact that while she intended her “joke” to be a joke, in fact it accidentally underlined the very real fact that intimidation and violence are in the very DNA of the American Left, even when they are “joking.”
The question at this point is how to stand up to this - and specifically to stand up to those who use the intimidation of sponsors to threaten conservatives in the media. Sean Hannity is merely the latest in a lengthening parade of conservative media figures with names like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Lou Dobbs — to name but a few — who have been the target of campaigns designed to intimidate their sponsors and force them off the air.
Into the fray comes The Media Equalizer led by talk radio’s Brian Maloney and Melanie Morgan. The two have begun a campaign called #StopTheScalpings, which aims to turn the tables by going to the sponsors of left-of center shows and hosts, applying the Left’s tactics of intimidation. Or in other words — if the Left insists on going after Sean Hannity the Right will zero in on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow or whomever.
The Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell has addressed the issue on Hannity’s show, as discussed here. Among other things, Brent said quite correctly that the Left acts the way it does because they “don’t believe in free speech.” Indeed they do not - as Professor Weinstein found out first hand at Evergreen State College.
As what I call a First Amendment fundamentalist I have not a problem in the world with hosts on the Left putting out their views. The problem comes when they are quiet in the face of what Hannity calls “Liberal Fascists”— and quiet they have been.
Liberals in the media should note well these words from Brent that came in his appearance on Hannity with Morgan and Maloney: “Now, what are we going to do? I think we've had enough, Sean.”
Indeed. Americans can not sit quietly by and watch their First Amendment freedoms plowed under in the name of the latest left-wing Reign of Terror. This one a 21st century-style reign of terror in which media sponsors are intimidated into fearing that their very livelihood will be damaged or destroyed outright.
So the obvious question? Will liberals in the media sit by quietly while their conservative media counterparts are under threat? Knowing that there is now an effort to “equalize” these First Amendment witch hunts?
We will see.