The crime … Last week, Aaron Blake of the Washington Post noticed that the Newseum online store was selling a hilarious “You are very FAKE NEWS” T-shirt. Of course views opposing that of the left-wing media are not to be tolerated, and a deluge of blue-checkmark outrage started pouring down on the Newseum, which is a museum about the news media.
Not to be outdone, CNN media critic/cheerleader Brian Stelter joined in the fun with a whiny rant in his email Friday night.
So why is the Newseum selling these shirts? Museum spokesperson Sonya Gavankar defended the decision to sell the shirts. “Fake news is a word that is in our popular culture now and this is intended to be a ‘satirical rebuke’ and appears in our store with T-shirts that include a variety of other ‘tongue-in-cheek’ sayings,” she said in a statement. “The mission of the Newseum is to champion freedom of the press along with all the freedoms of the First Amendment, so being a place where people of different viewpoints feel welcome is very important.”
BACKGROUND: The Newseum is in a dire financial situation. It’s deep in debt. But Gayanka said revenue from the store is a small percentage of the Newseum’s budget…
BOTTOM LINE: Fostering free speech is a wonderful ideal. But the Newseum is not a place to make a quick buck off a cheap joke…
Sorry, Brian, but a museum dedicated to the First Amendment can “make a quick buck” off of anything it damn well pleases.
Successful censorship … By the end of the weekend, the Newseum had caved and removed the offending T-shirt. Not content just to have the shirt removed from the Newseum store, according to Politico, the Boston Globe’s Matt Viser tweeted that it didn’t belong anywhere.
“’This T-shirt doesn’t belong anywhere. It particularly doesn’t belong at the @Newseum, a place that celebrates journalism and has the First Amendment etched in stone outside its building,’ Matt Viser, the Boston Globe’s deputy Washington bureau chief, wrote on Twitter about the ‘fake news’ shirt.”
Get that? Anti-free speech “journalist” Matt Viser from the Globe thinks that the T-shirt shouldn’t “belong ANYWHERE.” For all their carping about “free speech” and the “freedom of the press,” the media has increasingly become a group of people looking to stifle the speech of others they don’t agree with.
It’s a good thing I ordered my T-shirt before the anti-free speech posse stopped the sales. I wonder if they’ll actually ship it.
Darcy gets his wish … Last month I wrote about how CNN’s Oliver Darcy was pushing for Facebook and other social media companies to ban people he disagreed with. Over the weekend, the campaign Darcy started culminated in InfoWars’ Alex Jones being banned from the platform. In addition to Facebook, Spotify, Apple, and YouTube have followed suit.
Yes, Alex Jones peddles in conspiracy theories. But in a free society, he should be able to promulgate them without the mob stifling that speech by pestering others to censor him. This action by the tech companies and the censorship of the “FAKE NEWS” T-shirt are from the same tree. The Left wants to shift the acceptable forms of speech to ones they can control. They aren’t going to stop at the Newseum and Alex Jones. Mainstream conservative outlets like Conservative Review, National Review, The Daily Wire, and others are on the hit list as well.
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Links … Here’s what I’ve been reading since my last email to you.
What a weekend! In addition to the normal boardgaming and grilling, this weekend I was treated to a Sox-Yankees series for the ages. The forces of good and light – aka The Boston Red Sox – fended off the Evil Empire with a four-game sweep that left the Yankees holding bags full of tears. It was glorious.
Hate mail for the above and constructive criticism can be sent to [email protected]. Also as eagle-eyed reader Linda informed me on Saturday, there was a typo in a headline link to the Federalist in Friday’s email. I typed, “CNN’s Jim Acosta continues to prove he is not a political activist, not a journalist.” It should have read, “CNN’s Jim Acosta continues to prove he is a political activist, not a journalist.”
Thanks for reading.
Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.