Silence of the Sheep
July 28, 2010
Andrew Klavan wrote a book called Empire of Lies. It was slated to be published in France by Seuil Policiers, but the editor who bought the book left that firm, and the new editor decided not to publish Klavan’s book. This wasn’t because she thought it wouldn’t sell; it wasn’t an economic decision at all, as Klavan had already been paid. Rather, the editor explained that “she can not publish . . . because of the political and religious aspects of the story.” That is, the book’s protagonist is a conservative Christian. Not only that, the liberal media is a sort of collective villain.
Klavan applies this experience to recent headlines here in the U.S., and contrasts liberals with conservatives:
[E]verywhere, the Left favors fewer voices and less information, and conservatives favor more. Everywhere, the Left seeks to disappear its opposition, whereas the Right is willing to meet them head-on. …
Take the e-mails that the Daily Caller obtained from the now-defunct lefty Web service Journolist. Never mind the personal or psychological implications of a radio producer who lovingly imagines Rush Limbaugh’s death or a law professor who doesn’t know that the FCC has no power to deprive Fox News of a license or a reporter who wants to smear Fred Barnes and other right-wing commentators as racist in order to distract the public from the hateful radicalism of Jeremiah Wright, then Obama’s pastor. The point is not these people’s animus or ignorance or wickedness. The point is that what they desired was not victory in open debate but silence–the silence of censorship, intimidation, or the grave.
When has Rush Limbaugh ever wished a liberal’s mouth closed forever? Really, who can deny that Rush would happily argue a point with absolutely anyone anywhere? When has Fox News ever done anything to its rival cable stations but trounce them in a free competition for ratings? When has Fred Barnes ever tried to bully or intimidate someone into shutting up?
And, of course, Andrew Breitbart, everyman as journalist, figures in this schema. It’s an interesting question: do liberals try to silence their opponents because of an inherent authoritarian tendency, or merely because they are losing the argument? I think it’s a combination of the two.