I am in week two of a God-knows-how-long trial in San Diego. It’s a great city and if you have to be away from home in trial, this is one of the best places: walking a few blocks to the courthouse, enjoying mild weather, sampling the frankly pretentious array of craft beers and so forth. It does make long-form writing harder, though.
However, I am managing to keep up with Serious Trouble episodes, recording from my hotel room before court. Many of our listeners have started to send questions and comments — some of them actually non-obscene — and otherwise engaging, which I appreciate. We try to use those in the episodes. This week, we scrambled to re-record an episode after Dominion and Fox settled. Last week? Goat murder and Trump indictments.
Meanwhile, in the back of my mind, I’m working on an update and expansion of a classic post: censorship tropes and how to rebut them. My aim is to update this old chestnut with many more examples to make it more comprehensive — to catch as many of the common cliches and tropes used in First Amendment discussions and explain why they’re not useful or persuasive. Is there one that sticks in your craw? Offer it up in the comments.
Least favorite new trope after yesterday: “[Media outlet] isn’t a news company, it’s an entertainment company.”
1. "Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences" (said in the context of government-imposed consequences, not social consequences)
2. FIRE's push to describe disruptive protests as a "heckler's veto" in order to confuse from the legal concept. (I suspect there is some concerted effort to prop this alternative usage up. Of note, the Wikipedia article for Heckler's Veto contains a section on "Outside of Law" which only contains examples from the last 15ish years)