In an advocacy piece in The Hill this week, the professors, who teach public policy instructors insist that the breaching of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters shows that the government must decide what statements and opinions are legally permissible. They wrote in part,
“Last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol was based on lies…The mob that stormed the building was acting on a tidal wave of misinformation about the election that was spread by the president, his fellow Republicans and their supporters using a web of partisan media outlets, social media and the dark corners of the internet.The lies flourished despite an extraordinary amount of debunking by fact-checkers and Washington journalists. But that fact-checking didn’t persuade the mob that stormed the Capitol — nor did it dissuade millions of other supporters of the president. Fed a steady diet of repetitive falsehoods by elected officials and partisan outlets, they believed the lies so much that they were driven to violence.”
“In his first week in office, President-elect Biden should announce a bipartisan commission to investigate the problem of misinformation and make recommendations about how to address it.The commission should take a broad approach and consider all possible solutions: incentives, voluntary industry reforms, education, regulations and new laws.”
1. Why are professors who don’t believe in the First Amendment teaching public policy at a major college? The real problem is that these guys aren’t exceptions: a radical professor here and there is fine to stimulate discussion, but faculties have been crawling with Marxists, anti-equality and anti-free speech radicals for decades. Opposition to basic American values is the norm. Free speech and diversity of views on campus is actively discouraged across the country. Naturally, these campus creatures want to transplant a culture of indoctrination (“education”), enforced political conformity (“incentives”) and orders with the threat of punishment (“regulations and laws”) to U.S. society generally—for the greater good, of course.
2. It will come as no surprise to you that Prof. Adair is one of the founders of PolitiFact, the notoriously left-wing biased factchecking operation that is actually a partisan combat organ. (Check the tag.) There is an airtight case on Ethics Alarms that what the professor considers “fact” is largely determined by his ideological tilt. Let’s see: here was the most recent PolitiFact abuse of its claimed mission:
The lesson: Any organization using PolitiFact as a fact-checker has no interest in objectivity, bias, or facts. Ridiculously, conservative commentator Candace Owens had her Facebook post rated “false” when she noted the undeniable fact that Joe Biden was not yet the “president-elect.” The culprit was the infamously partisan, biased and incompetent factchecking organization Politifact, which has made Ethics Alarms news numerous times with its phony factchecking. Owens sued, and Politifact, caught red-handed, had to retract its lie.
This gives context to Floyd and Napoli’s claims of “extraordinary amount of debunking by fact-checkers,” as well as what they would consider a trustworthy “commission.”
3. There was and is plenty of reasons not to trust the 2020 election results, and determining which “lies’ led to a protest and eventually the riot is a completely subjective process, which is why what the professors ask for is guaranteed to be biased and oppressive.
4. As one would expect, the professors are not troubled (at least enough to mention them) at the many actual lies regarding various police-involved deaths of African Americans last year, and those lies also caused riots and deaths. These lies, it is fair to assume, would be regarded as true enough by the lights of the “commission.”
5. Apparently, the professors are unaware that a government program or entity restricting speech on the basis of content would be an unequivocal First Amendment violation. Thus the article is inexcusably ignorant, or sinister, as part of a larger effort to undermine individual liberties with the assumption that the oncoming Democrat-dominated government would be amenable to such desecration of the Bill of Rights.
6. And based on what we have observed and heard, they may be right,