Bozell & Graham Column: The Left vs. Free Speech

July 5th, 2016 11:01 PM

It's a paradox. The liberal media champion themselves as the most open-minded people on planet Earth, with a devotion to the freedom of speech. How can intelligent people be so wrong? In reality, liberal elites have a nasty tendency to dismiss “conservative thought” as an oxymoron. They don’t read conservative books or magazines, and they wouldn’t lower themselves to watching conservatives on television. They have disdain for conservative talk radio. They're virtually illiterate on conservatives and conservatism.

What happens in the event the inclusive and tolerant elites identify some spark of conservative brain activity? They respond with journalistic censorship.

This gets more interesting when a conservative book charges the Left with seeking to crush conservative freedom of speech as the quickest route to political victory. Oh, the irony!

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel has written a book called “The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech.” The New York Times is not under the obligation to review it, nor is any conservative surprised that they won't. But they have no right to misrepresent its circulation. This is precisely what The Times is doing, playing games with sales figures to suppress Strassel’s book from its Best Sellers list. 

In its first week in print, Strassel’s book ranked sixth on the Nielsen BookScan list of best-sellers. Somehow the Times couldn’t find a space anywhere on its Top 15, despite including on its list books that sold less than Strassel’s on the Nielsen list.
Best Sellers beget more sales and the New York Times is trying to thwart that possibility.  Conservative authors from Ted Cruz to David Limbaugh have seen these games before. But this book is about suppressing free the shamelessness is even deeper. 

"The Intimidation Game" paints a broad picture of liberal intimidation at the highest levels. It provides the real story the pro-Obama press refuses to report regarding the efforts by the IRS to harass Tea Party groups, deconstructing Barack Obama's fiction that this campaign was limited to a few low-level agents in Cincinnati. It reveals how Democratic senators have misused their positions to hassle universities that offended them by employing the "wrong" kind of climate scientists. 

Here's another story the left-wing "news" media have refused to report: how liberal Wisconsin prosecutors used secret subpoenas and predawn raids in attempt to criminalize some 30 conservative groups that had dared to supported Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to reform state government. Strassel also tells a sad story about how average Americans have had their cars keyed and businesses flash-mobbed for having the temerity to support conservative ballot initiatives.

The title "Inconvenient Truth" was taken. But that's what Strassel does. She tells inconvenient truths that liberals want to hide, first by refusing to report the stories and then by censoring those who do.

There have been numerous books written over the years about this left-wing censorship, including last year's  “The Silencing” by Kirsten Powers and “End of Discussion” by Mary Katherine Ham and Guy Benson.  (Neither was reviewed by The New York Times, either.)  These tomes are a call to action. Conservatives ought not to be silent about this censorship. They need to respond to the Left's effort to crush free speech with more speech designed to expose their raging and cowardly agenda. 
Liberal open-mindedness? There's your oxymoron.