New York Times' editorial board: free speech is a "fundamental right" not to be "shamed" or "shunned"

Originally published at: New York Times' editorial board: free speech is a "fundamental right" not to be "shamed" or "shunned" | Boing Boing


The real culture war aspect to this is this: the belief that the desperation of young people presents a strategic threat to freedom far more dangerous than the direct attacks on it exacted by the government, corporations, instutitions and private individuals who can afford lawyers. Censoring people, in the sense of coercing, threatening or retaliating against them? Not their problem until it is.

Yeah, that’s pretty mush the gist. They want freedom from their own words whenever they want it.


Screenshot from 2022-03-18 15-26-12
Contemporary Snowflakes have such an odd dress sense


“The common rabble are allowed to get on Twitter and tell me that my reporting is bad, that my facts are wrong, that my treasured belief in my own inherent inborn superiority is a myth?! THEY’RE CANCELLING MY RIGHT TO HAVE MY ASS KISSED!”

If this country were a meritocracy, nearly all of the reporters, editors, and pundits at the Times would be shoveling horse muck in North Dakota.


We don’t know who wrote this collective editorial.

I’ll put money on John McWhorter, the official “oh-so-articulate Black best friend” of the NYT’s well-heeled and privileged white readership, being one of the co-authors of this muddle-headed piece. He’s been beating a particularly disingenuous drum against “cancel culture” for months now.

People have a Constitutional right (with certain limited SCOTUS-approved exceptions) to say what they want in the U.S. without government censorship. Other people and institutions in the U.S. can avail themselves of that same right to criticise and de-platform* and otherwise impose consequences on people when they say something offensive.

I’m afraid, dear NYT editorial board, that shunning and shaming and associated hurt fee-fees may be amongst those consequences. As might be criticism and outside fact-checking of distinguished NYT journalists (e.g. Judith Miller, Jayson Blair) and columnists (e.g. Bobo, Cardinal Douthat).

[* e.g. a certain newspaper of record’s shunning of shameful hate speech]

As always for our newcomers (esp. white Libertarian dudebros and right-wing snowflakes and visitors from the wizarding world of TERFs), the obligatories…

To the same folks: your “mind-blowing” and “brilliant” arguments in favour of free speech absolutism aren’t as original or novel as you think they are:


NYT motto:



And isn’t that exactly what this editorial is doing? Shaming those who would “cancel” others?


yeah someone post that comic about the paradox of tolerance please
(edit: haha, must have been loading while I scrolled past it. maybe someone should expose the NYT to it, though)


To stop being shamed, maybe stop acting shamefully? :person_shrugging:


Golly, thank you Mr. New York Times man* for that warm pat on the head. Shouldn’t the next sentence start with “but”, though, just so there’s no confusion about what you really think?

Perhaps they should take steps to educate themselves. If only there were a widely distributed and read source that could help with that conversation.

*I feel comfortable using that word, and would bet money on it.


Done above.




“Attacking people in the workplace, on campus, on social media and elsewhere who express unpopular views from a place of good faith is the practice of a closed society.”

Holy shit is that a bad take.

Shaming and shushing is how we set acceptable norms in human society. It has always been that way, from when Ogg wouldn’t stop being a dick to everyone and we asked him to leave the cave, right up to now.

There has never been, nor should there ever be, a universe where everyone gets to spew whatever they want from their pie holes with no repercussions. You have a right to say it. You do not have a right to say it without consequences. This is so, so basic. To see the NYT get this so wrong is really disappointing. If I had a subscription, I would cancel it.


Fuck Off NYT. All ‘free speech’ means is that our government can’t pull a Putin and just imprison anyone that says anything they don’t like.

It’s NOT “freedom from consequences.”


Also, stop worrying whether what you’re going to say is acceptable or not and just stop generalizing according to race.


Wow what a shockingly terrible take from the op-ed section that hired Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss and didn’t die from embarrassment ten minutes later


Ding! Ding! Ding!

Yep, the NYT editorial is absolutely defining free speech as “the right to say some stuff, and force nobody else to say anything unkind about what you just said” which is starts off as 100% free speech and then makes an abrupt u-turn into “my free speech means you don’t have any, so simmer down and shut up”

It is so absurdly not free speech that they really ought to have just made up a new phase with the word speech in it, but not free. “Polite speech”, or “Speech without consequences”.


“This is the shit sandwich everyone else has been eating since time immemorial and now you get to eat it too, you stupid fucking soaks.”

epic mic drop. Perfectly sums up what should be so fucking obvious.


It also includes the cop out of “from a place of good faith.” Much like “sincerely held religious beliefs,” whether you’re speaking in good faith is something anyone can lie about. So intentional trolls and “just joking” bros and Sarte’s anti-Semites can claim good faith while undermining the value and the very concept of meaningful dialogue…which slips back in to the Paradox of Tolerance.

And why are random anonymous editors allowed to thus undermine the value of dialogue as they are doing by stating that no one else can cancel the bad faith, “but, no, I swear I’m being sincere” trolling of others?

What’s their practical suggestion? Everyone can speak but no one can respond to one another because it might be perceived as critical? No one can demand the Nazis literally calling for race wars and genocide be deplatformed? Fuck that.


Free speech is a fundamental right. It’s truly a shame that the NYT is so illiterate that it doesn’t know what that actually means.

From yelling racist things in a predominately minority neighborhood, to yelling fire in a crowded theater, to telling your employer exactly what you think of them, there have always been common sense curtails to what you can say. You are free from official, governmental reprisal, but that’s as far as it goes.

Before you lecture us, NYT, perhaps do a little research into what you’re writing about. I know research is so 20th century, but indulge us. And if you have an issue with what I’m saying… well, you’re free to castigate me in return. Because THAT is how free speech actually works.