The crew over at The Dispatch is having a normal one. As I wrote yesterday, Jonah Goldberg let it be known that he could never forgive Ron DeSantis for how he ran his gubernatorial campaign, despite the fact that he triumphed over a rabidly left-wing, absolute degenerate in Andrew Gillum (see Never Trump Come for Ron DeSantis and When All You Do Is Hate Trump, Everything Looks Like Trump). Apparently, support for disastrous foreign policy and abortion aren’t red lines within Goldberg’s conservative ideal, but DeSantis making a commercial courting the Trump vote was just a bridge too far. Like I said in my original piece on the matter, opposition to DeSantis was always a forgone conclusion.
Meanwhile, David French, also of The Dispatch, decided to make one of the least self-aware statements in social media history.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) February 22, 2021
Yes, this is the same David French that has routinely mocked conservatives for voicing opposition to big tech’s arbitrary and discriminatory guidelines. In fact, French has often denied such a problem even exists. When Parler was scuttled by Amazon, he cheered and excused the decision. French also took great joy in Donald Trump being banned from social media. Yet, now that someone he approves of is being targeted, suddenly it’s “unacceptable.”
How it started How it's going pic.twitter.com/yeJgNQgCHm
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 22, 2021
Of course, French can never just admit he holds inconsistencies. In response, he made a post doubling down on his original assertions that somehow it was different when big tech were targeting those who he marks as enemies. That notion was quickly dispatched by those who are able to think with some basic clarity, i.e. everything not revolving around Donald Trump.
Parler posts are mentioned just 8x in the DOJ charging docs. Facebook posts are mentioned over 70x, more if you count Instagram. The “contract violations” were obviously a pretext.
But sure, let’s cheer on the worlds biggest corps as they suffocate a business over ideology. https://t.co/3Rlnb0YHyM
— Rachel Bovard (@rachelbovard) February 22, 2021
It's precisely this loose use of language ("incite," "insurrection") that the left is using to justify censoring @RyanTAnd's book
He's accused of "inciting violence" against trans people https://t.co/akAF2FonfS
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) February 22, 2021
As the charging documents show, Parler was not a major factor regarding “violent speech” and the Capitol riot. In fact, the Oath Keeper filing has zero mentions of Parler, while only mentioning Facebook. Yet, French was happy to spit on Parler’s (temporary) grave and proclaim it completely right and just that Amazon broke their agreement with the site, despite it clearly being for political reasons. You can always go start your own Amazon, I’ve been assured.
Further, the fact that vague, arbitrary pronouncements (as demonstrated by French above) are abused to bring about targeted censorship is exactly the point, and it’s one French is too intellectually dishonest to concede. He instead tries to straddle the fence on the matter. One man’s acceptable is another man’s violence. That’s why free speech is so important, and it doesn’t become any less important if it’s a private company seeking to stifle it. The left have shown over and over that they will judge language as they see fit, and in the case of Anderson’s book, the justification is that it promotes violence toward transgenders. In other words, it’s being taken down by the same standards French formerly promoted to go after his political opposition. The only real fundamental difference is that it’s now happening to someone he personally approves of.
This is simple. If you cheer on big tech censorship when it suits your needs, don’t be surprised when they come after someone you approve of, because in the end, it’s not you who gets to decide what is acceptable. That’s why so many conservatives have pushed back on big tech for their illiberal actions, while French has sat on his high horse, scoffing.
None of this means we need some massive government intervention. That’d probably lead to an even worse place, but what it does mean is that conservatives (and many other Americans) are absolutely right to speak out against what big tech are doing. It’s also proper to use whatever legal leverage exists to stop their Orwellian march. French could drop the hypocrisy and join that chorus without violating a single “principle” he claims to hold dear. He won’t, though, because that might place him on the same side as those dirty Trump voters, and he can’t have that.