June 11, 2015
Charles C. Johnson is, so far as I can tell, the first and only person ever permanently banned from using Twitter. For those of you not in the know, Johnson has built a career as a journalist on the right, appearing in such publications as the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reason, and National Review. An enterprising young man, Johnson also runs his own website, GotNews, which is a sort of younger, edgier, ginger version of Drudge.
So what was his crime? Did he share the home address of a prominent politician? No. Did he leak credit-card information? No. Did he make physical threats? Well, maybe, if you think that when he said he wanted to “take out” anti-cop activist DeRay McKesson he meant putting him six feet underground rather than discrediting him as a source. That’s the line that Twitter and Johnson’s detractors are taking, despite the more obvious and commonsense answer that we all intuitively understand to be the correct one.
Johnson enmeshed himself in reporting on the Ferguson riots, which is where he and McKesson first butted heads. It was Johnson’s opinion, which later turned out to be approximately 100 percent true, that Officer Darren Wilson was defending himself from an attack by a dangerous criminal. The prevailing narrative was, of course, that Wilson was a bloodthirsty killer cop just waiting to gun down black schoolchildren on their way to after-school honors tutoring.
There is hardly a universal standard being imposed here. Twitter is full of threats from pro-Ferguson folks. And they”re not vaguely threatening to “take someone out.” They”re literally threatening to murder people who support the police’s side of the story. Johnson raising money to do targeted reporting was, however, considered over the line. Twitter’s Stasi escorted him out of the building.
Chasing those on the right of the political spectrum out of public life is nothing new. It’s hot on baseball’s heels as our national pastime. I got my start here covering the Passion of the Pax, erstwhile Business Insider CTO Pax Dickinson’s time in the two-minute hate penalty box. Dickinson’s crime was basically being edgy, but not in the approved progressive manner of our de facto state religion. And so, Johnson now joins Pax, Brendan Eich, Charles Murray, Paul Gottfried, Nicholas Wade, Anthony Cumia, and Taki’s own John Derbyshire on an increasingly long list of people shuttled off to a reeducation camp.
Meanwhile, convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal gives college commencement speeches remotely. Al Sharpton, a man who has built a career on race hate and false rape accusations, hosts an MSNBC prime-time television show as elder statesman of the Democratic Party. Serial bomber and alleged educator Bill Ayers enjoys a comfortable retirement, presumably on the public dime. The only leftist exiled for being too far left I could come up with was Van Jones, who seems to be doing just fine. Not long ago he was the left’s standard-bearer on CNN’s Crossfire.
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