For most of its history, the contemporary American Left has honored intellectual Noam Chomsky as a major liberal hero. Chomsky famously said, “If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise you’re not in favor of freedom of speech.”
‘If you’re in favour of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favour of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise you’re not in favour of freedom of speech.’ https://t.co/jpV9xw3WLl
— Media Lens (@medialens) March 1, 2022
For most of Chomsky’s life, protecting free speech was liberalism 101.
Matt Taibbi is significantly younger than Chomksy, but for most of his life he has been a talented, award-winning, yet openly left-leaning, journalist. By his own admission, when he was told that there was a treasure trove of data showing that Twitter had partnered with the U.S. federal government to censor news and speech, his journalist instincts led him to uncovering this obvious monstrous affront to liberalism.
Which is now a rightwing position, apparently. Being in favor of free speech, is rightwing. Taibbi is rightwing for daring to expose government censorship of speech.
Just ask Left Twitter.
I can't believe that Matt Taibbi and Shellenberger still claim to be liberals.
Those two are pure right wing disinformation peddlers.
— The Nerdskull, Woke Moralist (@the_nerd_skull) March 9, 2023
"Hypocrisy is the hangover of an addiction to attention" — Wasserman Schultz does a great job exposing Taibbi's right-wing grift here pic.twitter.com/wn4iPi50AX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 9, 2023
What a coward. The man has no testicular fortitude to stand up and tell people even basic truths. He was hired by a stinky MUSKy guy, conspired to push a radical right wing narrative by a stinky MUSKy guy and Matt Taibbi shrinks like a wilted flower when asked about it. https://t.co/j8NCWBjtfZ
— Texas Paul Schroder (@Paultx890) March 9, 2023
I don’t retweet a ton, but this is so deeply satisfying. The Democrats are finally playing hardball as they expose the TwitterFiles right wing grift. Matt Taibbi is a fraud, and Rep. Wasserman-Schultz exposes him deftly. https://t.co/vXyVBIg0Ss
— Matteo, Il Maestro (@TeachAllAmerica) March 9, 2023
To be clear, Taibbi’s alleged “right-wing grift” is reporting that a major social media company worked in tandem, deeply, with the federal government to regulate speech, manipulate news, and directly violate Americans’ First Amendment rights.
Free speech as a “right wing value.” This gets scarier by the day. https://t.co/2WIxb9g3UZ
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) April 30, 2022
Last year, for both BASEDPolitics and The Spectator, I covered this emerging phenomenon of free speech becoming more and more an exclusive concern of the Right and something today’s Left increasingly rejects.
It’s weird as hell.
After spending a decade or so insisting that American liberals no longer believe in free speech — in fact, they believe it's a dangerous and crypto-fascist value — it's bizarre but weirdly gratifying to watch them have to explicitly admit it:https://t.co/P0szv6nUdI
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 30, 2022
It's always instructive when corporate journalists leave their jobs and don't have to pretend any more, no longer need to hide what they are and how they think.
This one left the WPost and now he gets to call censorship opponents "whiny free speech piss-babies." https://t.co/GVuckuIIpf
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 17, 2022
Given the primacy of identity politics on the Left, some have even suggested that concern for free speech is the obsession of white males.
Thank God for men! What y’all’s problem with free speech ladies?
“Fred Turner, professor of communication at Stanford University… argues that ‘free speech seems to be much more of an obsession among men.” https://t.co/DYRlHungtI
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) April 30, 2022
Those who wrote the First Amendment were white males. Chomsky is a white male…
So maybe they’re right!
Noam Chomsky is also a liberal. Or used to be.
In 2023, that’s questionable.
6. Then we saw "disinfo" lists where evidence was even less clear. This list of 378 “Iranian State Linked Accounts” includes an Iraq vet once arrested for blogging about the war, a former Chicago Sun-Times reporter and Truthout, a site that publishes Noam Chomsky. pic.twitter.com/eaGRruJNUk
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) March 9, 2023