Hypocrisy and hyperbole are the oxygen of political discourse. Everyone excuses their own side’s behavior while exaggerating the other side’s flaws, foibles, and failures. Yet a number of liberals have taken this to a new level in recent days, warning darkly that conservatives will engage in the very actions the Left has made its sine qua non for years. Here are three recent examples:
Republicans might falsely say their opponents put their lives ‘in danger’
Rachel Maddow, whose confidence in her own intellect has never been questioned, recently told her viewers she had cracked the code on the very mechanism wiley conservatives will use to undermine democracy: Republicans will accuse their political opponents of exaggerated or non-existent threats to their safety. Maddow told MSNBC viewers on Thursday, April 28:
If you can talk about that threat as if it’s the worst thing in the world, well, you can use it as a pretext for what you want to do. And if what you want to do is jail your political opposition, or maybe have them killed, well, hype some nonexistent threat that you attached to them, beyond all recognition to justify that. That is how you build a pretext that you need. … Invent a threat out of whole cloth or take the smallest thing in the world and blow it up into something incomprehensibly massive. And bingo, you have the pretext for anything that you want to do.
She also talked about hyping up benign situations beyond all recognition and neutralizing opposition through “propagandistic” repetition.
Rachel Maddow explains Republican tactics to destroy democracy, "Invent a threat out of whole cloth or take the smallest thing in the world and blow it up into something incomprehensibly massive. And bingo, you have the pretext for anything that you want to do." pic.twitter.com/R0IJT4tMox
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 29, 2022
In that curt summary, Maddow explained the modus operandi of the Left. To take but a few examples:
When New York Magazine revealed that Black Lives Matter purchased a $5.8 million mansion in Studio City, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors condemned the article as part of “a long history of attacking [b]lack people and [b]lack women specifically, creating unsafe conditions for us and for our families. … It’s dangerous, and we should all be trying to stop it.” She previously described herself in “survival mode” following the New York Post’s expose of her $3.2 million real estate spree.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez regularly employs threat inflation as a part of her three-step plan to avoid scrutiny. Last January, when Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) had the temerity to retweet one of her messages, she replied, “You almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago” (on January 6). She offered to work with “any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed” and concluded by telling him to “resign.”
I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there’s common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out.
Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed.
In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign. https://t.co/4mVREbaqqm
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 28, 2021
When Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) described 9/11 by saying “some people did something,” President Donald Trump tweeted out her remarks with a video of the burning Twin Towers. The Left promptly dubbed his criticism an invitation to murder. “Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today.@IlhanMN’s life is in danger,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. Omar and other members of the Squad parroted the line that criticism equals physical danger.
The legacy media were happy to adopt AOC’s line as their own. The New York Times reported “Trump Assails Ilhan Omar With Video of 9/11 Attacks.”
So were Maddow’s colleagues at MSNBC. “Have you ever thought you would see the president become a physical threat to a member of Congress, let alone any American citizen?” asked Joy Reid while guest hosting for Lawrence O’Donnell in July 2019.
Billionaires might dominate the media
When Elon Musk announced his bid to purchase Twitter, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said that she worried about billionaires owning key media institutions. “This deal is dangerous for our democracy,” Warren tweeted on April 25. “Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain.”
This deal is dangerous for our democracy. Billionaires like Elon Musk play by a different set of rules than everyone else, accumulating power for their own gain. We need a wealth tax and strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 25, 2022
A Google search revealed no criticism from Senator Warren when Jeff Bezos, who is worth an estimated $171 billion, purchased the most influential newspaper in the nation’s capital, The Washington Post, in 2013. Similarly, Warren appeared to be mum when Bezos gave CNN host Van Jones $100 million to donate to the charity of his choice. Might that affect CNN’s coverage? Warren seemingly complained about Bezos only after he and three guests took a flight into space on his Blue Origin spacecraft last July.
Warren had nothing to say about the fact that the network she appeared on, MSNBC, is owned by NBC Universal, which is owned by Comcast, which is controlled by CEO Brian Roberts, who has an estimated personal net worth of $1.5 billion.
Warren apparently said nothing when Forbes, America’s most prominent financial magazine, completed a $620 million merger with the Hong Kong-based Magnum Opus Acquisition. That special purpose acquisition company received its initial funding from the Chinese government — which, if its campaign donations serve as any guide, favors Democratic candidates.
Indeed, Senator Warren has had no trouble receiving “donations from more than 30 billionaires during her time in politics,” as reported by the New York Post in October 2019. Only when the billionaire threatens to inject a social media platform with a greater tolerance for free speech does Warren complain. For his part, Musk has shrugged off Warren’s past attacks by calling her “Senator Karen.”
Twitter might begin censoring people for their political views
MSNBC’s Ari Melber also fretted over the potential implications of Musk’s Twitter purchase, telling his audience on April 25 that it might result in censorship of politicians:
If you own all of Twitter, or Facebook or what have you, you don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t even have to be transparent. You could secretly ban one party’s candidate, or all of its candidates, all of its nominees. Or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else, and the rest of us might not even find out about it until after the election.
“Does he not realize all of this was already done to Republicans?” asked talk radio host Clay Travis. Naturally, there are a multitude of examples of Twitter cracking down on conservative speech, including that of elected officials:
- Twitter permanently banned Donald Trump shortly after he left the Oval Office, purportedly “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Twitter subsequently banished the Twitter account of Trump’s website, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” which shared messages from the 45th president of the United States (and an all-but-declared GOP candidate for president in 2024). Yet Twitter continues to allow of the “Official Twitter Account of the Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid” to tweet out extremism 280 characters at a time;
- In January, Twitter permanently banned the personal Twitter account of a sitting member of Congress, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), months after “accidentally” locking her out of her account;
- The platform allegedly shadow-banned numerous Republican congressmen, including former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), then offered a dubious denial that it ever engages in such a practice. “We do not shadow ban,” said two company officials. “You are always able to see the tweets from accounts you follow (although you may have to do more work to find them, like go directly to their profile)”;
- Twitter has locked the accounts of Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Vicki Hartzler (R-MO) for upholding biological reality, and “mistakenly” locked the account of then-Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL);
- When Miranda Devine of the New York Post exposed the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop in 2020, Twitter locked the newspaper out of its account and prevented users from sharing the story; and
- Even former CEO Jack Dorsey admitted to Congress in 2018 that Twitter’s algorithm, which determines the reach of certain content, has been “unfair.”
Ari Melber’s dystopian social media censorship scenario is no idle fancy balanced precariously atop a slippery slope. It has already, in fact, occurred — without a single complaint from Melber.
On one level, these left-wing complaints are heartening, because they prove that liberals know their actions are immoral. Yet their condemnation of the very behaviors which they have come to exemplify serves as a resounding self-indictment.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.