A top-notch “bop-bag segment” from last night’s Tucker Carlson show, executed with the guest’s enthusiastic participation to demonstrate just how illiberal far-left liberalism is. The meat of this one comes in the middle when Carlson presses her on whether an alt-righter like Milo Yiannopoulos should have the right to speak in public. No, she finally concedes — with something of a novel theory as these things go. Normally the argument for shutting down right-wing speakers is that they’re committing rhetorical “violence” with their opinions, such that the left is entitled to defend itself with actual violence and intimidation. This woman’s theory is that alt-right speech, at least in a campus setting, is actually an attempt at recruitment, and therefore it must be tamped down in the name of keeping a dangerous fascist movement from growing. All political speech is a form of recruitment, though; essentially she’s complaining that Yiannopoulos might actually persuade members of his audience if they’re allowed to freely listen to him, and so of course they shouldn’t be. Rarely do you hear a defense of the “heckler’s veto” stated as forthrightly as that: You’re too susceptible to speaker X, but luckily progressive America is here to make sure his words never contaminate your ears. I wonder how many extra book sales Yiannopoulos will owe to people like this helping to make his work the height of right-wing radical chic.
Exit question via WaPo: Is Berkeley actually looking for the rioters who shut down Yiannopoulos’s speech or is that just something they’re telling the press to make it seem like they care, kinda sorta, about free speech?