Editor: From time to time we publish good comments or opinion pieces from our readers. Previous commentary is archived in our category entitled ‘Comments worth noting/guest posts,’ click here to read previous reader opinions. This opinion from reader ‘Julia’ is a view I share. When Fox&Friends and other Fox News talking-heads blamed Pamela Geller for what happened in Garland, Texas, we knew the writing was on the wall and that we have no defense for free speech in the dinosaur media. Fox (excepting perhaps Judge Jeanine!) has joined that despicable club.
Saturday, May 30, 2015, Fox&Friends joined an alarming trend when one of its hosts labeled former Marine Jon Ritzheimer and his fellow bikers who held a “Draw Muhammad” contest as “anti-Islamist activists.”
Perhaps Fox&Friends should have read the stories on “The Gateway Pundit” detailing how Islamists have made threats of violence – including murder – to attendees of the contest, published the home address of Mr. Ritzheimer, and caused Mr. Ritzheimer’s family to fear for their lives and go in hiding.
There has been a coordinated effort to characterize citizens who are concerned about the growing threats of terrorism in the U.S. as “anti-Islamic.” There are legitimate concerns about the radicalization of Muslims in America and F&F, by joining the effort to smear these individuals, is failing Fox’s “fair and balanced” approach to reporting.
What’s more is that F&F is employing the tactics of the left that one of its own contributors, Kirsten Powers, denounced in her new book, “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.”
Ms. Powers appeared on “Justice With Judge Jeanine” *** on Saturday, May 30, 2015, and was questioned by Judge Pirro on whether there is currently an attack on the First Amendment. Ms. Powers responded by warning that progressive scholars “have been taught that the First Amendment is not a bulwark against the government, but is an impediment to progressive policy;” that now there are “major legal scholars coming out and suggesting that maybe we need to to have hate speech laws;” . . . “and it’s terrifying.”
During this interview, Judge Pirro touched upon the movement to ridicule and ultimately marginalize those concerned about radical Islam when she suggested that “we’ve gotten to a point where even the word [Islam] is almost frowned upon.”
Leo Hohmann at World Net Daily recently reported on the plans of refugee resettlement contractors to quash the efforts of persons and groups opposing the resettlement of refugees in their communities. Part of these contractors’ plans include coordinating their offense with the Center for New Community and the Southern Poverty Law Center – groups known for ridiculing their opponents and associating them with hate speech.
Much has been written about an alliance between Islam and the left – be it Marxism, communism, etc. This targeting of persons and groups concerned about the spread of radical Islam in the United States suggests the reality of such alliance. That is, Islam is being used as a tool of the left to limit free speech and perhaps ultimately eliminate the First Amendment protections of speech in the U.S. Constitution.
This is why F&F’s joining in the chorus of the left’s demonization of Mr. Ritzheimer is so problematic. Inasmuch as Mr. Ritzheimer titled the protest the Freedom of Speech Rally Round II, Mr. Ritzheimer and the other contest attendees intended to act as “free speech proponents.”
F&F dropped the ball. They owe Mr. Ritzheimer an apology.
In addition, perhaps F&F can demonstrate its support of free speech by investigating and reporting on law schools that teach “that the First Amendment is not a bulwark against the government, but is an impediment to progressive policy.”
We won’t be holding our breath waiting for Fox&Friends to utter an apology! Why? Can you hear that sound (after the ad)?
*** Watch the Judge Jeanine interview with liberal Kirsten Powers about how the Left is killing free speech, here, beginning at the 1:57 mark.