Stop Making Me Defend Ticketmaster (And Louis Farrakhan)!


Next to the totalitarian, censorship-obsessed, indoctrination-pushing ideology of current American progressives, the inability of American conservatives to observe basic intellectual integrity and avoid disqualifying themselves as trustworthy defenders of democratic principles may be the greatest threat to the U.S.’s existence as a free republic.

The Washington Free Beacon, often a helpful source of conservative analysis, apparently thinks that everyone, especially members of Congress should be condemning Ticketmaster because it sold tickets to a Louis Farrakhan event:

The ticketing giant hated by Taylor Swift fans and everyone else who has ever tried to buy concert tickets is now under fire from Jewish activists for selling tickets to a Louis Farrakhan event in which the minister defended Adolf Hitler and predicted another Holocaust against Jews. But many of Ticketmaster’s biggest critics on Capitol Hill don’t seem to care.

Ticketmaster, which charges service fees on each ticket it sells, raked in money selling tickets to Farrakhan’s annual Saviours’ Day conference in Chicago last weekend. During his speech at the event, Farrakhan assailed the “stranglehold that Jews have on this government” and claimed “Jewish power is what has all of our people of knowledge and wisdom and talent afraid.”

The event was met with crickets on Capitol Hill, with almost no one in Congress speaking out against Ticketmaster for making money off of the Farrakhan event. The reaction is a stark contrast to lawmakers’ response when Ticketmaster bungled sales last year for Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated concert tour. That fiasco was in the news cycle for weeks and led to a Department of Justice investigation as well as a Senate hearing. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say Ticketmaster and its parent company, LiveNation, have a monopoly over the ticket industry, leading to price-gouging and a failure to crack down on automated scalping.

“Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in [sic],” wrote Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) in a Twitter post in November. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) called on the Department of Justice to investigate. None of their offices responded to a request for comment on Ticketmaster’s Farrakhan sales.

Only Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.)—who also spoke out about the Taylor Swift debacle—weighed in on the Farrakhan controversy when contacted by the Washington Free Beacon.

“It is extremely concerning that Ticketmaster is choosing to use its platform to elevate and promote a well-known anti-Semite. The targeting of the Jewish people has gone on far too long and must stop,” she said.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.), a Ticketmaster critic who serves as the chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also sent a  comment after this story was published.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in America,” said McMorris Rodgers. “Ticketmaster should be completely transparent on why it chose to profit off of Farrakhan’s abhorrent history of hatred and violent threats of genocide against the Jewish people.”

The author is Alana Goodman. Naturally, Republicans (and conservative websites and pundits) took the bait. Democrats don’t like democracy, Republicans are dumb as eels. Morons. Ethics dunces. Hypocrites.

There is no “good censorship,” and encouraging platforms to pick and choose what speech is “safe” and “acceptable” is how you get the Twitter Files and the New York Times purging staff that approved of publishing an op-ed by a Republican Senator. Conservatives and Republicans can’t effectively oppose efforts by Democratic Party totalitarians to ban “hate speech” (aka. “whatever opinions and declarations progressives find inconvenient, upsetting or wrong”) if they advocate silencing those with whom conservatives disagree. Sure, Farrakhan is disgusting and malign, but so is Al Sharpton, AOC, Nancy Pelosi, Robert DeNiro, Rob Reiner, The View, Ibram X. Kendry, Paul Krugman…do I have to go on? Meanwhile, Democrats would be happy to have Ticketmaster refuse to sell tickets to a Donald Trump event, or to make Fox News silence Tucker Carlson. Here’s a Washington Post sportswriter who wants Major League Baseball to boycott Florida in spring training and move its camps to Arizona “as long as [Gov.]DeSantis commands an attack on diversity.” This is how progressives want to brainwash the public: find ways to punish speech, speakers and ideas they don’t like.

Ethical principles, and that includes the Bill of Rights, have to apply to all or they aren’t ethical and they aren’t principles, they are weapons. Conservatives and Republicans—well, let’s say too damn many of them—can’t quite comprehend that free speech thingy. Still. Or, for that matter, basic analogies and logic. Ticketmaster was justly criticized for taking money for tickets it didn’t have to the Swift concert, because its system was flawed. The company is a monopoly, so that is a matter of legitimate legislative concern. There is nothing–zzzzip—inconsistent about Congress not similarly chastising the company for efficiently selling tickets to a speech by a demagogue.

Our nation’s hold on freedom is in the hands of dim-thinking ethics dolts like Donald Trump, the Republican Party and Alana Goodman.

God save the United States of America…

14 thoughts on “Stop Making Me Defend Ticketmaster (And Louis Farrakhan)!

  1. Stalin said capitalists will sell you the rope that will hang them.

    I see the issue a bit differently, No one is denying Farrakhan the right to speak. Ticketmaster is not censoring anything if it chooses not to facilitate ticket sales. At issue is facilitating and profiting from a third party’s rhetoric that specifically demonizes a particular demographic group to instill animus and distrust toward them.

    Condemnation by others for facilitating Farrakhan’s speech is as much speech as what is being condemned. Therefore, I cannot condemn those who are the target of the minister D’s rhetoric.

    Facebook, and other social media sites hide behind customer driven terms of service to actually censor speech yet Ticketmaster is obligated to facilitate vitriol directed at a particular group and people should remain silent? I am not so sure.

    I have no problem allowing the hate filled racist minister the ability to contract for a venue to espouse his beliefs. I also have no problem with the venue being encircled by protesters who wish to speak in opposition. This means that I must also allow for those who wish to exercise their speech and association rights against those firms who seek to profit from those whose aim is to divide our citizens.

    The question becomes is it ethical to facilitate social division? I think not but I am open to having my mind changed.

    • I think the last several years have thoroughly established the danger (and reality) of government censorship by proxy, which is what the Beacon appears to be advocating. TM is a monopoly, so its decision to refuse to sell Farrakhan tickets does, in fact, impinge on free speech. It’s the same loophole Twitter used to censor conservatives, news stories about Hunter’s laptop, etc.

        • Endorsing censorship is not one of those tools. The complaints about Ticketmaster are hypocritical and arguing that the Left should do what conservatives have been attacking them for.

      • Ticketmaster is only a monopoly in tech structure. There are many other methods of selling tickets.

        I don’t disagree with your assessment that pushing the only method of “cancelling” a channel for speech to censor speech is wrong but I don’t consider Ticketmaster a channel for enabling speech. Ticketmaster is merely a means to ration the speech to the first buyers. A more democratic way of distributing tickets is by selling tickets at the box office. In that manner, those most wanting to attend will be willing to pay the costs ( standing in line, etc.) associated with acquiring the ticket. Ticketmaster effectively eliminates some with lower opportunity costs of standing in line by virtue of higher prices by extracting some of the consumer surplus from those with higher opportunity costs.
        To provide equitable distribution of available tickets box office sales are the best method. I am assuming equity is the goal and not profit or sales maximization.

    • [This comment has been struck. “A Friend” self-banned after a threat to do so if EA did not abide by his edict regarding the reinstatement of another comment policy violating commenter. The rules on this are quite clear, as is the procedure for reinstatement, which is no longer available to “AF” because he has repeatedly tried to sneak comments here knowing his privileges have been suspended. This is signature significance for a commenter who cannot be trusted.]

      JM (Your friendly neighborhood moderator)

        • Thanks, I think so too, but it doesn’t matter: the site was designed as a colloquy/online seminar, not a monologue. I hold commenters to high standards, and so do the commenters themselves; I have heard from many readers that they find the level of discussion intimidating sometimes. Yes, law school class was like that too. If commenters aren’t prepared to defend their opinions, they deserve what they get.

  2. So Ticketmaster is a monopoly and it is using its evil monopoly power to… not decide who is and isn’t allowed to use their services to publicly assemble? Out of all the terrible things that monopolies do… that isn’t one of them. Just because something may be a problem–like a demagogue trying to scapegoat people–that doesn’t mean that people have the right to demand everyone show up and dogpile it. That’s not how we solve social problems–that’s how we make them worse.

    The thing about gullible masses is that they have real problems. They need help, and if they don’t get that help then they pledge loyalty to the first person promising it to them, even if that promise takes the form of, “Hurt these people and put us in charge and all your problems will go away. You can trust us, because no human ethnic group every exploits its own members for power and profit. That is definitely not something that takes place in every country.” We can start by getting people talking about their actual problems, rather than their assumptions about the causes and solutions. Then, when they receive the help they need, they can more easily learn that the danger of corruption is a fundamental liability and not endemic to one group, and ethics apply to everyone.

  3. I can’t think of a guy better than Louis Farrakhan to make the point that the best antidote to objectionable speech is MORE speech. Everyone should hear what Farrakhan thinks and believes in his own words. Having him lurking in the shadows grants him too much power. Pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Listen to what he’s saying.

  4. I am one of those intimidated by the quality of commentary, but not getting political over speech is allegedly conservatives’ biggest selling point. Pretty sure that a guy named Voltaire said something akin to “I don’t like what you’re saying, but I will defend the right of free speech to everyone, even assholes like yourself.”
    There’s also news about a Florida State Senator wanting bloggers to register if the blog involves state government. Just like with Senator Rick Scott, the news has been presented as if it’s something broadly supported by Governor DeSantis. It’s amazing what censorship can destroy when promoted.
    It’s dispiriting that so many elected members of government don’t seem to grasp the importance of free speech and why it’s necessary to a free society and conversely don’t understand the danger of censorship.

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