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CBS: The Antifa Network

Look, Richard Spencer is a terrible person, but I find this to be disturbing. It’s a clip from the CBS All Access web series The Good Fight:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [4]

A network series actually affirms and justifies the violent physical assault of a living American who was peacefully stating his opinion. And not only justifies it, but uses the assault to promote its own programming by rallying potential viewers to the episode.

Here is a recap of that particular episode [5], via Vulture, New York magazine’s culture site:

Sometimes titles are evocative and strange, more about setting a tone or a theme than telling audiences what they’re in for. As the bully Nelson Muntz says of Naked Lunch in The Simpsons, “I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.” But then sometimes it’s really satisfying for a piece of art to deliver on its title, especially if it involves literally beating back the surge of white supremacists in this country. To that end, “The One Where a Nazi Gets Punched” is like that first deep breath of fresh mountain air — crisp and pure and totally invigorating. Always feels great to watch Nazis get punched.

But is it right? Here’s Jay’s entire monologue, delivered straight to the camera, as a racially instigated melee breaks out in a parking lot of a polling place on election day:

Is it alright to hit a Nazi unprovoked? I was always taught never to throw the first punch, never to instigate. Defend, but don’t attack. But then I saw a video of the white nationalist Richard Spencer being punched in the face during an interview. I realized Spencer was in a pressed suit, wearing a tie, being interviewed like his opinion mattered — like it should be considered part of the conversation, like neo-Nazism is just one political point of view. And then I realized there’s no better way to show some speech is not equal. Some speech requires a more visceral response. It’s like Overton’s window — that’s the term for which ideas are tolerated in public discourse. Well, Overton’s window doesn’t mean shit unless it comes with some enforcement. So yeah, this is enforcement. It’s time to punch a few Nazis.

In the episode, its Republican and Democratic characters put their differences aside for the sake of beating up Nazis, à la Antifa, and then covering up for the Nazi-beaters.

EW’s recap describes the circumstances: [6]

As Lucca and Jay wait for Polly’s doxing to do its work, they watch Naomi interview the [neo-Nazi] Red Jackets’ leader, who is pretty open about his racism. After the interview ends, Jay runs into him in the bathroom and actually ends up punching him. One of the Republican lawyers is in one of the stalls when this happens, but he covers for Jay and pretends like it didn’t happen. This camaraderie rears its head again outside of the school where one of the Red Jackets flips out over being fired from his job because of Polly’s doxing. Lucca admits she doxed him and the other Republican lawyer stands up with her, as do many others. And that ends up leading to an all-out street fight between the Nazis and everyone else. The Good Fight is a fairly cynical show, but it’s rather optimistic of it to show Democrats and Republicans uniting to beat up Nazis. Cars are flipped, windows are smashed.

The most interesting part of the brawl, though, is Jay’s monologue, which he delivers directly to the camera.

That’s the monologue above. Keep in mind that this viewpoint is not rebutted in this episode, but sustained. The community of this show unites around the principle that punching people with offensive political views and then covering up for the crime is morally right. This is an extraordinary line for CBS to cross. What’s more, Richard Spencer is an actual person. A scripted network television show aired with approval a statement encouraging street violence against him, and against those who agree with him, in an effort to silence political speech.

Remember when liberals (rightly!) criticized Trump for encouraging political violence in his speeches? [7] That was so three years ago.

“And then I realized there’s no better way to show some speech is not equal.” What an incredible thing. Yeah, I agree with you: Richard Spencer is a rotten person, and his views are horrible. But look, do you really think they’re going to stop with Richard Spencer and his kind? This happened last year in Toronto. The speaker (off camera) is a peaceful pro-life protester:

Having taken the position that “some speech is not equal,” and that there is “no better way” to demonstrate that than to beat up unpopular speakers, what is the limiting principle, CBS? What would you, CBS, say to some right-wing person who attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar over her words, you having promoted the point of view that violence is the best way to set the limits on free speech?

I’m old enough to remember when liberals defended the right of racist deplorables to gather peaceably [8], because by so doing, liberals were defending important liberal principles enshrined in the First Amendment. I do not enjoy seeing peaceful American citizens, however disgusting their words and beliefs, being physically assaulted to punish them for their words, or to deter them from speaking — and you shouldn’t either. Not even Richard Spencer. CBS is not a bit player. It’s a Hollywood mainstay — and for the sake of being edgy, woke, and of-the-moment, it has violated an important taboo in liberal democracy. CBS is the Antifa network.

(Via Robby Soave [9])

UPDATE: I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’m going to: I have no personal sympathy for Richard Spencer, as someone who is not only strongly opposed to his views, but who has also been the target of some of his rants. This is not about Richard Spencer. This is about the kind of country America is, and is going to be.

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117 Comments To "CBS: The Antifa Network"

#1 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 15, 2019 @ 9:05 pm

Still running with this bull!#$*

In the kingdom of the blind, the man with sight is considered crazy. Fortunately, your blind kingdom falls far short of The American People in its scope. Sorry to debunk your security blanket.

#2 Comment By MM On April 16, 2019 @ 2:54 am

JK: “I would like to see the quotes. Even so, the perpetrator is responsible for the deed, not Sanders. But I very much doubt that Sanders ever incited an attendee at one of his rallies to go and beat somebody up.”

Good grief, you don’t read the news much, do you? Time to open the window and get some air in your echo chamber.

The allegation that Trump “incited” violence has been addressed. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit alleging just that last year:

[10]

As for Bernie’s rhetoric contributing to Hodgkinson’s actions, I’ll cite at length:

05/05/17: Sanders: “If, which is not going to happen, the bill passed today in the House became law, thousands of Americans would die, because they would no longer have access to health care.”

[11]

06/14/17: Ato Rand Paul who was there when it happened, Hodgkinson, a Sanders supporter and campaign volunteer, yelled “This is for health care!” while attempting to assassinate 20+ GOP members of Congress.

[12]

Also:

“Hodgkinson also engaged with his own representative. Congressman Mike Bost said in a statement that Hodgkinson contacted his office 10 times in recent months with complaints about the Republican’s stance on health care and his voting record.”

[13]

About a week after the shooting, Bernie continued with the same rhetoric about Republicans causing people to die because of their health care votes:

06/23/17: Sanders: “Let us be clear and this is not trying to be overly dramatic: Thousands of people will die if the Republican health care bill becomes law.”

[14]

Now, I’m perfectly willing to accept the argument that Trump’s rhetoric had something to do with Cesar Sayoc sending pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and journalists last year, thankfully unsucessfully.

But given the facts and timeline of Hodgkinson’s actions and motivations, if Bernie’s specific rhetoric on health care didn’t contribute to what happened, then NO politican can ever be accused of such things, because I can think of no more straightforward example of political speech leading to political violence, literally directed at a political progressive at elected representatives he clearly hated enough to want to kill.

Respond however you like, I really don’t care.

I can also point you to over 300 reported hate crimes of a political nature directed at conservatives and Trump supporters from 2016 to the present, including aggravated assault, and two homicides.

I’ve never heard any Democrat or progressive take responsibility and admit that their rhetoric contributed to those acts. Ever. And they never will, because they’re not interested in any kind of ideological introspection. They just resent losing an election, hence the Big Lie about Russian collusion.

#3 Comment By Polichinello On April 16, 2019 @ 9:12 am

In the kingdom of the blind, the man with sight is considered crazy.

I’m not calling you crazy. I’m saying you’re full of it. There’s a difference. The only thing that lets you off is that you’re [email protected]%#$ing yourself as well.

#4 Comment By wake On April 16, 2019 @ 11:29 am

05/05/17: Sanders: “If, which is not going to happen, the bill passed today in the House became law, thousands of Americans would die, because they would no longer have access to health care.”

[11]

This is a true statement about the impact of voting.

Unlike President’ Trump’s edited tweet on Rep Omar, or President Trumps suggestions that people rough up Americans who do not support him

#5 Comment By MM On April 16, 2019 @ 12:14 pm

wake: “This is a true statement about the impact of voting.”

It’s not true, the act of voting in a representative government doesn’t harm anybody.

But that sentiment did encourage Hodgkinson, who literally cited health care as the reason he did what he did.

Trump has been accused of all manner of things, called all kinds of vitriolic things, and he receives death threats on a regular basis. But when the issue of rhetoric from the left is brought up, you people run for the hills.

While at the same time, as Alan Dershowitz has pointed out, the same progressives seek to criminalize speech, political differences, indeed diplomacy, all because they lost an election.

Nobody will ever accuse you of being morally consistent about anything.

Absolutely gorgeous…

#6 Comment By MM On April 16, 2019 @ 12:24 pm

“Unlike President’ Trump’s edited tweet…”

Right, of course, because Democratic politicans have never publicly accused the President of crimes he never committed, like being a Russian agent. And CBS, CNN, NBC et al. have never misquoted the Presiden, or fact-checked him which turned out to be wrong itself, or misreported, over and over again, allegations that were later shown to be false, like Comey’s and Cohen’s testimony for example.

And Democratic politicans have never promoted high-profile hate crimes blamed on Trump supporters that turned out to be complete hoaxes.

The sheer willful ignorance and hackery on display here is quite illuminating…

#7 Comment By MM On April 16, 2019 @ 12:41 pm

Wow, did Mr. wake justify the Congressional baseball shooting?

What Bernie said was “true”, therefore what Hodgkinson did was, what, “truth to power”?

I think he did… thanks for putting that on the record.

#8 Comment By James Graham On April 16, 2019 @ 2:11 pm

Sanders honeymooned in the USSR, a state that murdered more of its own citizens than Nazi Germany.

#9 Comment By MM On April 16, 2019 @ 9:54 pm

What’s ironic about Bernie, beyond the fact that he’s a self-described millionaire who calls for much higher taxes, yet pays the statutory minimum for his bracket, is…

The Democratic Party just spent the past 2 years calling the President illegitimate because the Russians intefered in the election in part to help him. But we know from Mueller’s filings that the Russians also interfered in the 2016 primaries to help Bernie.

And Bernie’s now the Democratic front-runner, at least of declared candidates. So I guess Democratic voters by and large don’t mind a presidential candidate tainted by Russian influence so long as it’s THEIR candidate!

#10 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 16, 2019 @ 10:39 pm

It’s not true, the act of voting in a representative government doesn’t harm anybody.

Sure it does. Votes in legislative chambers have consequences. Voting to declare war means people are going to die rather soon who otherwise would have lived a lot longer. Sometimes its necessary, but the consequences are real.

As for the ACA, I wondered why Senator Johnson was trying to kill me.

I’m saying you’re full of it.

That’s not news. But its not evidence either.

#11 Comment By MM On April 17, 2019 @ 1:36 am

Jenkins: “Sure it does.”

Show me how the health care votes of those Republicans that Hodgkinson targeted directly hurt anyone.

“but the consequences are real.”

You have it backwards, sir. The consequence for those GOP members of Congress who cast their votes on health care was being shot at with bullets by James Hodgkinson, some of whom sustained life-threatening injuries.

I’m noticing a conspicuous avoidance of that reality, which is at the heart of the matter of political rhetoric and violence.

I wonder why that is? Is the truth so unpalatable that it causes TAC leftists to avoid it like the plague?

#12 Comment By MM On April 17, 2019 @ 10:33 am

Jenkins: “As for the ACA, I wondered why Senator Johnson was trying to kill me.”

Before the ACA, I wonder why you were trying to kill yourself?

Since the ACA, I wonder why President Obama killed so many people, as the U.S mortality rates when up?

I could go on illustrating this ideological rubbish, but you get the point.

To equate population statistics, even rhetorically, with Hodgkinson’s actions, speaks volumes about you people…

#13 Comment By Mark Krvavica On April 17, 2019 @ 9:25 pm

I wouldn’t want Richard Spencer at my place in San Jose, CA, but I can’t condone violence against people peacefully stating their own opinions. CBS should be ashamed of itself for using Antifa’s tactics.

#14 Comment By Retiree On April 17, 2019 @ 10:57 pm

Rod, this comment stream is way below your usual standards and trimming about 80% of it would have improved the quality significantly. Normally I read your comment segments because of the quality; not this one.

#15 Comment By MM On April 18, 2019 @ 10:24 am

Nothing, JeffK?

Consider that the last time I honor a request from you for facts, evidence, or quotes, on any topic. Clearly you were never interested in the truth.

It’s amusing to observe the lengths some partisans go to deny a clear path from some political rhetoric to violent actions.

Imagine if Congressional Democrats publicly voted against a bill that would prohibit the deportation of illegal immigrants, even violent criminals.

And subsequent to that, a Trump campaign volunteer, not just a supporter of the President, proceeded to shoot up the Congressional Democratic strategy retreat, while yelling “This is for immigration!”

Am I supposed to believe that all you good liberals and progressives, who admit quite openly while a mass shooting is happening that they HOPE the perpetrator is a white male, conservative, Trump supporter, etc. would NOT draw the inescapable conclusion of what led to what in that situation?

Give me a break…

#16 Comment By JonF On April 19, 2019 @ 9:58 am

MM, do we want our political speech dumbed down to bland mush? I’m going to say, No, and emphatically. Neither Sanders nor Trump bear any responsiblity for the acts of crazy folk. Neither of them said, “So go out and kill some people on my behalf.” Direct calls for violence are out, a soluty. Occasional hyperbolic rhetoric shouldn’t be since it’s been part and parcel of political diatribes since Solon’s day.

#17 Comment By MM On April 19, 2019 @ 12:21 pm

JonF: “Neither Sanders nor Trump bear any responsiblity for the acts of crazy folk.”

Your side, and the press, say something quite different, and have been for years. They’ve stated unequivocally that Trump incites all political violence we see today, even when his own supporters are victims of it, despite the fact that most of it, and the most serious examples of it, have come from liberals and progressives who hate Trump and supported Hillary and Bernie.

Case in point, and I’ve cited this for your edification, which you didn’t even bother to read, was the incident in San Jose in 2016 where people exiting a Trump rally were beaten and sent to the hospital by Hillary and Bernie supporters, after the mayor told the police to stand down. The mayor, a Hillary supporter, blamed Trump and his supporters for the violence.

You’re a voice of one on your side, sir.