It is called the protection racket, and it begins with a gangster saying to the proprietor, “Hey, nice business you got here; be a shame if anything happened to it.”
This is an act of extortion, where the gangster promises not to destroy the proprietor’s business if the proprietor agrees to do business in a way that benefits the gangster.
This is exactly what CNN did to a number of business owners last week. … Because CNN is losing in the open arena of ideas as its ratings bottom out, the anti-Trump cable channel has now decided to silence us using the protection racket — to intimidate our advertisers under the guise of journalism. …
CNN sent out a reporter to ask various companies why their ads are appearing on YouTube videos produced by Alex Jones and InfoWars. In other words, CNN is not only publicly shaming and outing these businesses, CNN is also threatening that this exposure will lead to astro-turfed harassment campaigns and boycotts.
But like the smart gangsters they are, CNN also gives these proprietors a way out, a way to buy protection: drop this advertising and CNN will ensure your business is not burned to the ground.
The public square is increasingly restricting non-PC speech:
Biases up front — I am no Alex Jones fan. He has some talented people on the payroll, but if InfoWars was to go out of business organically, I would not be able to summon a damn. But I am also a free speech extremist who loves living in a country where Alex Jones is part of the public square. …
YouTube is part of our public square, as are Facebook and Twitter. And if you are banned from any of these speech platforms, you are no longer part of the public debate. Rather, you are in a dark room speaking to no one.
This is why the social media crackdown against right-of-center speech is so alarming. After capturing the ways in which Americans communicate with one another, these tech oligarchs are now threatening to exclude us from their platforms if we do not behave, speak, and believe, in the appropriate ways.
hat-tip Scott of the Pacific