Niall Gooch on free speech and its enemies:
Free speech, like the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, is a procedural virtue, which is why fanatics and revolutionaries hate it… Defenders of free speech are arguing not only for free speech as an abstraction, but a wider culture of honest debate, factual argument, respectful disagreement, and civilised co-existence with people who see the world very differently from us. Complaints about attacks on free speech can be seen as proxies for concerns about the maintenance of this culture, particularly in the context of the university. So in a sense, free speech isn’t one thing. It’s many things. It’s a whole network of overlapping norms about the exchange of ideas. One thing that people commonly mean when they say “free speech” is “if I’m invited to give a talk somewhere I should be allowed to do so without intimidation, interruption or threat, and people who want to come and listen to me should be able to do so.”
Ed West on things you mustn’t laugh about:
There are plenty of subjects that merit satire today – the diversity industry, with its shakedowns and professional bullshit artists is a rich seam, as is the transgender movement. But these areas really are too edgy for satirists, most of whom – like the vast majority of influential people in the arts – hold quite uncontroversial (left-liberal) political views and also fear the next wave of revolutionaries more than they do the ancien régime. That’s why they make jokes about the ancien régime. In fact there is plenty of edgy comedy these days – but it tends to be told in private.
Jonah Goldberg on the leftist leanings of the establishment media:
According to a just-released study [by the Centre for Public Integrity], more than 96 percent of donations from media figures to either of the two major-party presidential candidates went to Hillary Clinton… Anyone who has spent a moment around elite reporters or studied their output knows that they tend to be left of centre. In 1981, S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman surveyed 240 leading journalists and found that 94 percent of them voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964, 81 percent voted for George McGovern in 1972, and 81 percent voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. Only 19 percent placed themselves on the right side of the political spectrum. Does anyone think the media have become less liberal since then? None of this means liberals — or conservatives — can’t be good reporters, but the idea that media bias is non-existent is ludicrous.