Tag: Free Speech

Conservatives Are the Ones Attacking Free Speech at Universities

Australian conservatives claim that “woke” students and left-wing lecturers pose a threat to free speech on university campuses. But the real “cancel culture” is coming from the Right.

Source: Conservatives Are the Ones Attacking Free Speech at Universities

Canceling the anti-insurrectionists in the GOP proves Republicans never cared about “free speech” | Salon.com

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Despite all the preening about “free speech” on the right, the truth is complaints about “cancel culture” have always been code for “conservatives can say whatever terrible things they want, and liberals can shut up about it.” And while play-acting as the victims of censorship because liberals mock or criticize them, Republicans have been busy actually silencing free speech: from demanding that athletes be fired for kneeling during the national anthem to, memorably, Donald Trump ordering the tear-gassing of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park. While conservatives whine about oppression because people call them “racist” on Twitter, they are actually using complaints about “wokeness” as an excuse for the literal government censorship of discourse that acknowledges the reality of racism, as Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times chronicled. That’s conservatism, of course: Always projecting their own sins onto their liberal opponents.

Source: Canceling the anti-insurrectionists in the GOP proves Republicans never cared about “free speech” | Salon.com

Facebook’s news purge shows it could do the same with hate speech

Hate Speech What Andrew Bolt Calls Free Speech and complains is Conservatives being Censored

Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission Dr Dvir Abramovich has long campaigned against Facebook allowing hate speech on its platform. “For too long, Facebook has allowed the most base impulses that lurk at the fringes of our society to find a large audience and to enter into the bloodstream of too many people,” he said. “Bigots do not deserve a microphone.”

Facebook’s news purge shows it could do the same with hate speech

To publish or not to publish? The media’s free-speech dilemmas in a world of division, violence and extremism

To publish or not to publish? The media’s free-speech dilemmas in a world of division, violence and extremism

How do they cover the activities and rhetoric of political extremists without giving oxygen to race hate and civil insurrection? How do they integrate news-making social media material into their own content, when it is also hateful or a threat to the civil peace?

To publish or not to publish? The media’s free-speech dilemmas in a world of division, violence and extremism

Freedom of speech: Voltaire would applaud Trump Twitter ban

French philosopher Voltaire would have applauded the decision to ban Donald Trump on social media.

Contrary to suggestions otherwise, Voltaire would have applauded the decision by Twitter and Facebook to suspend the access of Donald Trump to their platforms. Much like John Stuart Mill, the British philosopher and guru of classical liberalism, Voltaire supported criminal laws against libel, slander, incitement to violence and treason. Mill is credited with developing “the harm principle” under which laws restricting personal freedom should be promulgated “to prevent harm to others”.

Freedom of speech: Voltaire would applaud Trump Twitter ban

Our psychopath president has finally imploded: And all this was totally predictable | Salon.com

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Archie Bunker was a symbol of Free Speech that Trump is not and an enabler of Violence

Donald Trump has been an unabashed menace to our country. Many lessons need to be learned. The biggest is that we should never allow a psychopath to run our country, no matter what divisions and hostilities are brewing among the people. His rhetoric, his motives, his intentions and his actions have all created chaos and turmoil — all with the goal of keeping him in power so he could serve himself, not others.

Our psychopath president has finally imploded: And all this was totally predictable | Salon.com

The more you tell me to shut up, the louder I am going to get – » The Australian Independent Media Network

So this is what we have sunk to – a Prime Minister who wants us all to be quiet and, if we don’t, he’ll make us.

He doesn’t want us to talk about his government’s woeful record on greenhouse gas emissions.  He doesn’t want us to talk about reefs dying and rivers drying up and mass extinctions.  He doesn’t want us to choose ethical investments in sustainable industries.

He wants to bully insurance companies into insuring unviable projects and he wants banks to lend money to uncommercial ventures.  He wants to make our superannuation funds invest in what will inevitably become stranded assets.

The idea that one would get their investment advice from the likes of mummy’s boy Matt Canavan is hilarious.

via The more you tell me to shut up, the louder I am going to get – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Old Dog Thoughts- Trump Sponsored Ethnic Clensing, Free Speech banned or Racism Mr Dutton? GOP betrays Democracy

New video shows abuse of slain female fighter by Turkish forces

Fighting Fake News with REAL,25/10/19; LNP and Free Speech or simply Racism; Trump’s sponsored War Crimes and Ethnic Clensing; The Republicans are even more guilty;

Old Dog Thoughts – Sky Commentators Walk like,Talk like Trump but sound like victims.

Fighting Fake News with Real, 16/7/19; Trump is certainly a reviled misogynist and racist leader of a divided Multicultural Nation.He’s divided the planet on every level; Trump to Bolt.. If you don’t like it here piss off;

Trump Only Approves Of Free Speech If It Praises Him | Crooks and Liars

Trump Only Approves Of Free Speech If It Praises Him

Trump went on to expose how clueless he is (once again) about the meaning of First Amendment or the important role journalism plays in American democracy.

“See I don’t think the mainstream media is free-speech either because it’s so crooked, so dishonest,” Trump said to his audience of plagiarists and charlatans.

He continued, “We don’t want to stifle free speech but that’s no longer free speech. To me, free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad. To me, that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech.”

Trump makes believe that everything he says or does is good, and just and the greatest of all time in American history. If a journalist, reporter or analyst claims otherwise, they are making up lies about him and they should be imprisoned.

Putin and Kim Jong-un would be proud.

via Trump Only Approves Of Free Speech If It Praises Him | Crooks and Liars

Israeli Intelligence Agency Mossad makes War on Boycott-of-Israel Movement (BDS)

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Despite clearly having a free pass to act with impunity, Israel — the occupying, nuclear-armed, apartheid state — still wants to eliminate the right to free speech and expression, as well as the right of justice-loving people to reject its military occupation and oppose it by all means. Western and European governments and institutions are weak and hypocritical and have basically surrendered their sovereignty under pressure from the pro-Israel Lobby funded by the extreme right-wing government in Israel. The Palestinians and their supporters, meanwhile, continue to exercise their legitimate right to oppose occupation and racism, and resist the Israeli oppressors.

Israeli Intelligence Agency Mossad makes War on Boycott-of-Israel Movement (BDS)

Climate science deniers make hay over Peter Ridd case

‘this trial was about none of the above. Rather, this trial was purely and simply about the proper construction of a clause in an Enterprise Agreement.’ 

JCU has been at pains to point out that Ridd “was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views,” a matter that, Cocklin said, “was admitted during the court hearing.”

via Climate science deniers make hay over Peter Ridd case

Freedom of Speech: An Insidious Monster – » The Australian Independent Media Network

After the New Zealand Terrorist attack, it is evident that every single politician who does not show democratic leadership to unite us and instead plays to the politics of fear and division will soon learn the transactional cost at the ballot box in May. We will no longer tolerate divisive politicians.

Furthermore, many suggest that Bill Shorten will become our next Prime Minister. Bill Shorten stands out head and shoulders as a leader who does seek to unite us. The current Government has a sordid history of politics of fear and division, particularly the Prime Minister. It is clear that Bill Shorten will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.

Bill Shorten, you have a huge responsibility ahead of you. Huge. You need to lead the way and be the voice that will be the emotional contagion to drive the eradication of stigmatisation, discrimination and racist culture in this country.

Bill Shorten – All eyes are on you.

via Freedom of Speech: An Insidious Monster – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Words can fly and words can bite – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A society is not served at all well if its journalists are so afraid, to tell the truth, that they become silenced hostages of the powerful – effectively nothing more than palace eunuchs.

As I write, I am watching the President of the USA mocking in the most loathsome way, a woman who dared speak out about a sexual assault she suffered by someone who is after one of the most important jobs in America –it is a job for the rest of his life- in the most important field in the running of the American society, that of the country’s Supreme Court.

President Trump was mocking Dr Christine Blasey Ford who alleged that she was sexually assaulted by the Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

And this is while the Senate is trying to assess Kavanaugh’s suitability to a seat in the Supreme Court. His words, Trump’s words, are a belligerent, bellowing cascade of bitterness, of hatred and of poison that has indeed, escaped the barrier of his teeth. They are nothing short of a vulgar, unabashed interference in the process of seeking the truth. (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/02/trump-mocks-christine-blasey-ford-at-mississippi-rally)

Interference by powerful, vested interests. An aggressive attack on a person with little power other than that invested in the truth, an attack aimed at shutting down any other person who holds the truth but who is not powerful enough to utter it.

The ABC, like the ancient Greek stage, is the platform where the truth comes to see the light and breathe the clear air. This light and this air must not be subverted in any way. It must not be turned into a “truth maybe” or a “truth but.”

Words can fly and words can bite – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Freedom of Speech — Why do we need to change?

If you were to ask the likes of Cory Bernardi if we live in an enlightened society, he would probably answer “yes”.

I’m not sure how he would answer if you asked: If we are an enlightened society, why do you think we need to enshrine in law the right to hate each other?

Surely you would think that an enlightened progressive free-thinking society would want to eliminate it, not legislate it.

If free speech’s only purpose is to denigrate, insult and humiliate, then we need to reappraise its purpose. There are those who say it identifies those perpetrating wrongdoing but, if it creates more evil than good, it’s a strange freedom for a so-called enlightened society to bequeath its citizens.

Are we saying that hate is an essential part of the human condition?

Is this really what an enlightened society means by free speech? Does it demonstrate our cognitive advancement? Is this what well-educated men and women want as free speech or should we see free speech as being nothing more or nothing less than the right to tell the truth in whatever medium we so choose?

One has to wonder why the so-called defenders of free speech feel they are inhibited by what they have now. I don’t. I have never felt constrained in my thoughts or my ability to express them. I’m doing it now. But then I don’t feel a need to go beyond my own moral values of what is decent to illuminate my thoughts.

Why is it then that the likes of Abbott, Bolt, Jones, Brandis, Bernardi and others need to go beyond common decency to express them and defend others who cannot express themselves without degenerating into hate speech?

The answer has nothing to do with an honourably noble sort of democratic free speech.

via Freedom of Speech — Why do we need to change?

Trump Demands Attorney General Sessions Probe Anonymous Op-Ed, despite No Crime

“The Times should never have done that, because really what they’ve done is virtually, you know, it’s treason,” the president said in an interview with Fox News broadcast earlier Friday.

Asked on Air Force One whether action should be taken against the Times, Trump said “I’m looking at that right now.”

via Trump Demands Attorney General Sessions Probe Anonymous Op-Ed, despite No Crime

Calls for stripping Natalie Portman of Israel Citizenship for criticizing Shooting Palestinian Protesters | Informed Comment

Prominent Likud Party member of the Israeli parliament Oren Hazan, a former casino manager in Bulgaria, said,

“[She is] a Jewish Israeli, who on the one hand cynically uses her birthplace to advance her career and on the other is proud of the fact that she managed to avoid enlisting in the IDF [euphemism for the Israeli Army]. She’s an actress, but she is unworthy of any honor in the State of Israel . . . Sweetness can come from strength: I call on Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) to rescind Portman’s Israeli citizenship. She left Israel at age four, and has no real connection to the State.”

Hazan denies that there are any Palestinians, and is notorious for harassing families of Palestinians going to see imprisoned relatives (some Palestinians have been imprisoned for writing poetry or for Facebook posts, while several hundred children are being held for acts of protest against the Israeli military). He told one bus full of relatives, that the garbage they called loved ones would never see the light of day:

via Calls for stripping Natalie Portman of Israel Citizenship for criticizing Shooting Palestinian Protesters | Informed Comment

Canberra public servant’s sacking over asylum seeker policy tweets found to be ‘unlawful’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Canberra public servant Michaela Banerji

A Canberra public servant sacked for expressing her views on asylum seeker policy, has won her case for compensation after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia found she was unlawfully dismissed.

In September 2013, Michaela Banerji was fired from the Federal Department of Immigration after it was revealed she had been using the anonymous Twitter name @LaLegale to criticise the then-government, the minister and department policies — particularly over the handling of refugees.

In one tweet Ms Banerji wrote:

“Think of the deaths we are responsible for in Iraq! Think of the refugees we have created by our invasion of Iraq!”

via Canberra public servant’s sacking over asylum seeker policy tweets found to be ‘unlawful’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Ouster of ‘Sloppy Steve’ Leaves Breitbart Bannon-Less | Common Dreams

Free Speech amongst Conservatives doesn’t exist

“God, I can’t believe the whole movement just collapsed on this guy. He’s done,” the source said.

“Bannon still thinks of himself as a revolutionary,” Swan concluded shortly after news that Bannon was ousted from Breitbart emerged. “That self-perception won’t change. It’s just that now he has no vehicle, no staff, no platform, and no major donors funding his ambitions.”

“Media Matters has closely tracked Breitbart since the site’s inception and has written countless pieces about the site and Steve Bannon. Nobody knows Breitbart better than we do. Breitbart will be as odious, contemptible, and awful without Steve Bannon as it was with him at the helm. If anything, Breitbart showed that it is now committed in total devotion to Trump and can be best identified as a mere PR apparatus serving the Mercers’ agenda. Without Bannon, Breitbart will remain just as disreputable and disgusting as ever. We’ll be watching.” Media Matters

via Ouster of ‘Sloppy Steve’ Leaves Breitbart Bannon-Less | Common Dreams

Day to Day Politics: Free Speech or Licensed Abuse – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“We will never truly understand the effect Free Speech has on an individual until we have suffered from the abuse of it”

Source: Day to Day Politics: Free Speech or Licensed Abuse – » The Australian Independent Media Network

‘If RT leaves the US, American media might stop broadcasting in Russia’ – RT editor-in-chief — RT America

Owing to the US campaign to have RT registered as a foreign agent, the channel will “in the worst-case scenario” be forced to stop broadcasting in America, which will trigger reciprocal measures towards US media in Russia, RT’s editor-in-chief has said.

Source: ‘If RT leaves the US, American media might stop broadcasting in Russia’ – RT editor-in-chief — RT America

Israel bans university lecturers from discussing politics in class — RT News

Lecturers at Israeli academic institutions will be barred from discussing political issues with their students, after the education minister introduced a new “ethical code.” Breaking it could mean a reprimand or disciplinary action.

Source: Israel bans university lecturers from discussing politics in class — RT News

Blacklists and travel bans aren’t new in Israel — the targets are | +972 Magazine

Palestinian activists and others have long faced actual travel bans, blacklists, and political persecution. Nevertheless, that some of the same methods are now being used against Israeli and American Jews is a worrying sign. One of the Israel government’s senior-most ministers said last year that Israeli BDS advocates must be made to pay a price for their political activism. A series of developments over the past month or so seem to demonstrate that he was completely serious, and that government efforts to target nonviolent political dissidents are escalating to worrying levels. [tmwinpost] First came the law banning entry into Israel…

Source: Blacklists and travel bans aren’t new in Israel — the targets are | +972 Magazine

Supporting BDS is enough to get detained by the cops in Israel these days | +972 Magazine

Instead of simply announcing that it opposes BDS, which would be a perfectly legitimate stance, the Israeli government is criminalizing the movement and its advocates. The results won’t be pretty. Police near Jerusalem picked up an Israeli citizen who was just standing on the street Monday. He was not doing anything illegal. Someone who lived in the neighborhood reported him on suspicion of carrying material related to BDS; and while it is not illegal for Israelis to carry material about BDS in territory under Israel’s control, the police answered the call. [tmwinpost] Jeff Halper, the director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)…

Source: Supporting BDS is enough to get detained by the cops in Israel these days | +972 Magazine

Fox News Caught Lying: Sweden Reinstated Draft Because Of Russia, Not Refugees

Fox News’ Fox & Friends falsely claimed that Sweden’s reintroduction of the draft was due to violence in the country precipitated by refugees, when in fact the draft is being reintroduced to counter Russian aggression in the region.Despite Fox’s assertion, Sweden’s government is reintroducing the draft for men and women in the count

Source: Fox News Caught Lying: Sweden Reinstated Draft Because Of Russia, Not Refugees

Israel releases Palestinian journalist after 10 months with no trial | 972 Magazine

After 10 months of administrative detention, it appears the army no longer views Omar Nazzal as a dangerous threat — just like countless other administrative detainees who sit in prison for months, if not years. Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal was released from Israeli prison on Monday after 10 months in administrative detention. Upon his release, Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, was welcomed by family members and supporters outside Ofer military prison, near Ramallah. [tmwinpost] Nazzal, 55, was first detained in April at Allenby Bridge while trying to leave the West Bank en route to an…

Source: Israel releases Palestinian journalist after 10 months with no trial | 972 Magazine

New Poll: Trump Supporters Believe ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ Was Real | Crooks and Liars| Free Speech Madness

A new PPP poll shows that 51% of Trump supporters believe that two Iraqis actually perpetrated the fictitious “Bowling Green Massacre.”

Source: New Poll: Trump Supporters Believe ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ Was Real | Crooks and Liars

Trump Adviser Roger Stone: CIA Director John Brennan Is A “Saudi Mole”

Longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone claimed that CIA Director John Brennan is a “mole” for the Saudi government and suggested that he be thrown in jail.Stone is a longtime friend and ally of President-elect Trump’s with a decades-long history of employing political dirty tricks, and he regularly spouts violent, racist, and

Source: Trump Adviser Roger Stone: CIA Director John Brennan Is A “Saudi Mole”

Disinformation destroys democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The internet is both wonderful and wicked.  The world’s combined knowledge is at our fingertips, as is its debauchery.  It is so much easier to find things out and so much harder to sort out the truth from the lies. We tend to live in echo chambers, seeking out the information that confirms our world…

Source: Disinformation destroys democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Donald Trump Jr. Promotes “Alt-Right” Video Claiming Clinton Camp Has Satanists Who Want To Kidnap Kids| Andrew Bolt’s Media Madness & Free Speech

Donald Trump Jr. promoted an “alt-right” video on his Twitter account that suggests Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign is engaged in satanism and her aides are trying to “kidnap your children, make them disappear, sell them into all kinds of things.” The video features “alt-right” bloggers Vox Day, who claims blacks are inf

Source: Donald Trump Jr. Promotes “Alt-Right” Video Claiming Clinton Camp Has Satanists Who Want To Kidnap Kids

NRA “Work Of Fiction” Predicts Syrian Refugees Will Establish “Islamic State In The United States” During Clinton’s First Term

A conspiratorial screed from the National Rifle Association imagines a future where the presidency of Hillary Clinton causes the rise of a new chapter of ISIS — ISUS, the “Islamic State in The United States” — culminating in a nuclear attack on U.S. soil. In a November 7 article in its online magazine America’s 1st Freedom, the NRA

Source: NRA “Work Of Fiction” Predicts Syrian Refugees Will Establish “Islamic State In The United States” During Clinton’s First Term

The FBI isn’t indicting Hillary Clinton over the Clinton Foundation, but Fox News wants you to think it is – Salon.com

The Trump campaign has no problem with the false reports, since they’re helping him VIDEO

Source: The FBI isn’t indicting Hillary Clinton over the Clinton Foundation, but Fox News wants you to think it is – Salon.com

Andrew Bolt and some Australians miss these childhood memories that Americans are allowed to indulge themselves in.

Image result for Bill Leaks cartoonImage result for Bill Leaks cartoonImage result for Bill Leaks cartoon

 

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IDF Censor redacts 1 in 5 articles it reviews for publication | +972 Magazine

The Israeli military censor has redacted, in full or in part, over 17,000 articles since 2011. While fewer articles have been censored in 2015 and 2016, the new IDF Censor is attempting to redact already-published information with alarming frequency. The Israeli Military Censor has outright banned the publication of 1,936 articles and redacted some information from 14,196 articles over the past five years. That is 1,936 articles that professional journalists and editors decided were of public interest but which never saw the light of day. In fact, the IDF Censor redacted at least some information from one in five articles submitted to it…

Source: IDF Censor redacts 1 in 5 articles it reviews for publication | +972 Magazine

Federal police raids over NBN leak should ring alarm bells for journalists | Australia news | The Guardian

The ‘official secrets’ offence has been invoked in the case of a Labor staffer and his source, not for serious espionage but for disclosing embarrassing documents

Source: Federal police raids over NBN leak should ring alarm bells for journalists | Australia news | The Guardian

How Israel is trying to enforce gag orders beyond its borders | Andrew Bolt’s silence

At Israel’s request, Twitter is blocking Israelis from viewing certain tweets published overseas. Similar take-down notices have been sent to other international online platforms, the Justice Ministry confirms. Israeli authorities are taking steps to block their own citizens from reading materials published online in other countries, including the United States. The Israeli State Attorney’s Office Cyber Division has sent numerous take-down requests to Twitter and other media platforms in recent months, demanding that they remove certain content, or block Israeli users from viewing it. [tmwinpost] In an email viewed by +972, dated August 2, 2016, Twitter’s legal department notified American blogger Richard Silverstein that the Israeli…

Source: How Israel is trying to enforce gag orders beyond its borders | +972 Magazine

Bavaria may introduce Hitler’s Mein Kampf in schools to ‘immunize’ youngsters.

The Bavarian parliament has held a discussion on whether Hitler’s notorious ‘Mein Kampf’ should become a part of the school curriculum. The idea was blasted by the country’s Jewish groups who called the book an “antisemitic concoction of hatred.”

Source: Bavaria may introduce Hitler’s Mein Kampf in schools to ‘immunize’ youngsters — RT News

Poetic injustice: Palestinian poet arrested over Facebook post | +972 Magazine

Poet and activist Dareen Tatour has been charged with incitement to violence based on a poem she posted on Facebook. Its translation by a policeman whose sole competence as a translator is his ‘love for…

Source: Poetic injustice: Palestinian poet arrested over Facebook post | +972 Magazine

Israel’s Knesset just voted on a very dangerous law | +972 Magazine

The draft law, which passed the first of three votes on Monday, would allow the expulsion of Arab MKs from the Knesset. It is one of several recent steps by the Netanyahu government to limit…

Source: Israel’s Knesset just voted on a very dangerous law | +972 Magazine

Pamela Geller Defends Free Speech By Calling for Censorship by Sheila Musaji

 Not much to say about this one.  You can’t make this stuff up.  In yet another display of “Geller logic”, the self-described “defender of free speech” will be holding a press conference to investigate Al Jazeera and stop it from being shown in the U.S.  Not surprising, since she has previously called Al Jazeera “Leftist Jihadist Media Nexus: Terror TV”, and said “Let’s not let the Islamic supremacists once again invoke the freedom of speech to kill our freedom of speech”.

Her opinion differs from that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who praised Al-Jazeera saying “You may not agree with [Al-Jazeera], but you feel you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials.”

I’ve noted before that Pamela Geller Does Not Understand Freedom of Speech when she found fault with American Muslims and others for denouncing her hate ads.  This she called an attempt to “impose blasphemy restrictions on free speech”.  Freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech.Geller’s article on the Al Jazeera press conference however, goes beyond objecting, or condemning, and includes a graphic saying “STOP Al Jazeera expansion in the U.S.”

What she wants is to censor speech that she doesn’t like, and to be the one to decide what such censored speech will consist of.  She isn’t calling for condemnation, or asking people not to watch, or to boycott the channel, all perfectly reasonable responses to something an individual considers to be inappropriate speech.  No, she is calling for them not to be allowed to be heard at all.

As Gary Wasserman in the Washington Post noted about the Al Jazeera brouhaha

The announcement that al-Jazeera is buying Al Gore’s Current TV network can be expected to run into what pundits call “a serious image problem.” Allowing the Qatar-based, Arab-owned network to be seen in 40 million U.S. households may be more than our fragile citizenry can bear.

With its alleged positions against U.S. foreign policies and wars, al-Jazeera is just too “left” to be allowed access to our fearful public. Has anyone noticed that much of the world is “left” of the United States?

Because of my occasional appearances on al-Jazeera news shows, and having written opinion pieces for its Web site, I can be accused of knowing on which side my pita is being buttered. Fair enough. And my experiences with al-Jazeera will only confirm the obvious. In its selection of stories and editorial slants, it is to the left of mainstream American media.  So what?

Al-Jazeera is also an outlet of professional journalists, generally well-informed and seeking to at least appear balanced. No one has ever suggested to me what to say or write. The network may present Arab voices, but its coverage includes more of the world than this parochial image allows. From oppressed native tribes in Peru to Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa, al-Jazeera reports undercovered news. Its reporters may be pro-Palestinian, but the network provides a rare platform in a region where Israeli officials and dissenters can both appear.

Looking for objective journalism in an era of 400 channels plus the Internet is looking backward to the bygone ideals of three national networks and Uncle Walter. Seeking the widest, most diverse sources for views of the world seems a more realistic goal for American media.

My own opinions may be shaped by experiences with al-Jazeera’s English-language channel. The Arabic part of the network has a separate staff, housed in more modest quarters across the street in Doha from the English channel. And in my few appearances on the Arabic channel, the editorial slant seemed a bit different.

Whether I was invited to comment on congressional elections, global warming or race relations, the questions inevitably veered toward the pro-Israel lobby. As in, after a few questions on the scheduled topic, something like: “Interesting point about liberalizing relations with Cuba, and how does that affect the Israel lobby?”

Obsessed? A bit. But perhaps we should wait for Chuck Hagel to actually be nominated as secretary of defense before we write off this view of the power of the pro-Israel lobby as completely delusional.

al-Jazeera will be running its American operation under a separate U.S.-based news channel with its own staff, which shows recognition of the issue of bias. Much of the paranoia about al-Jazeera rests on a somewhat antiquated notion of media ownership. While any of us writing about media will occasionally fall back on the vision of the willful reactionary owner (read: Rupert Murdoch) controlling the direction of his empire, the reality is more complicated. Reporters, editors, advertisers, sources, competitors, corporate strategists and even the audience shape the content of modern media. Bringing al-Jazeera to more of America may also mean bringing more of America to al-Jazeera.

There may be winners on both sides. We Americans do brag about our marketplace of ideas. The U.S. audience may gain access to the perspectives of a respected international network covering stories from regions of the world — sub-Saharan Africa, the various -stans and South Asia — that our national media has largely ignored. Al-Jazeera may gain insights into people that are far more diverse, engaged and welcoming than many of the images it broadcasts abroad.

Those still stridently opposing this alien investment in our homeland might remember the words of the great media strategist Lyndon Johnson. When asked why he had brought a longtime political antagonist into his camp, he replied: “Better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.”

UPDATE 5/5/2015
More of Geller’s hateful ads were to appear on NYC subways ‘Killing Jews is Worship’ posters will soon appear on NYC subways and buses.  After all the controversy and legal battles over this and other hateful ads produced by Geller and Spencer’s AFDI, MTA votes to ban all political ads. ”…  New York follows in the footsteps of cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, which already have banned political ads on public transit…”  (See: How New York City Buses Are Becoming Vehicles for Hateful Speech http://gawker.com/how-new-york-city-buses-are-becoming-vehicles-for-hate-1700075181?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_twitter&utm_source=gawker_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow )

It is ironic that Geller who hides hate speech under the claim of “defending freedom of speech” is personally responsible for reducing the amount of free speech in the public square.  This sort of confusion about the meaning of free speech is not surprising since previously Pamela Geller Defended Free Speech By Calling for Censorship (of Al Jazeera), clearly Pamela Geller Does Not Understand Freedom of Speech.

Perhaps Pamela Geller should read my article Freedom of speech does not include freedom from condemnation of that speech to gain a better understanding of this Constitutional freedom that we all share as citizens of this great country.

As I said in that article:

… What all of these folks don’t seem to understand is that freedom of speech does not come with freedom from condemnation of that speech, and condemnation of hate speech does not equal an attempt to take away the freedom of speech from those making such hateful speech.  Condemnation is NOT implementing “a de facto blasphemy law dealing with Islam in the United States.”

It is perfectly reasonable to both disagree with, or even condemn the speech of another, and at the same time defend their right to engage in such speech.  It is perfectly reasonable to ask an individual to consider the possible implications of hate speech.  It is perfectly reasonable to defend freedom of speech, and yet make a judgement that some speech is not socially acceptable, even though it is legal.  It is also perfectly reasonable to carry out peaceful protests against hateful speech.  Any intimidation or violence carried out in response to speech is immoral, and illegal and also deserves condemnation and prosecution. …

Pamela Geller’s AFDI sponsored a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas on Sunday, May 3rd.  Tragically a couple of extremists showed up and began shooting.  Thank God they only injured one individual before being shot and killed by a policeman.  What will be the fallout from this event remains to be seen, but Geller insists that she did this to defend freedom of speech.  In the past few days, this is already sparking a debate on the line between free speech and hate speech, and it is very possible that Geller’s hate speech will once again reduce the amount of free speech in the public square.