The Twitter campaign lumping Fox News host Tucker Carlson in with the accused Buffalo mass murderer began almost immediately. Rick Wilson of the NeverTrumper Lincoln Project said on the platform, for instance, that the “Buffalo killer’s manifesto reads like a job application for a junior producer on Tucker Carlson.” Wilson, to dispel any notion that he may have merely been upset to the point of flippancy, added, “And no, I’m not being flippant.” This fledgling campaign against Carlson soon metastasized from a social media storm in a teacup and made the jump from a Twitter mob to a real-life legal challenge.
Ben Crump, the star “civil rights” attorney and Democrat powerbroker, beat feet to Buffalo to stand before the cameras and indict Carlson for murder. Appearing at a presser with the family of Ruth Whitfield, who had been murdered just a day and a half before, Crump said: “We always talk about who pulled the trigger, but we really need to start focusing on who loaded the gun.” He blamed politicians who failed to act or who build their base on fear. And then Carlson, whom he indicted not by name but description: “These cable news pundits who are talking about this race replacement theory. They’re accomplices to this murder.”
Asked by a reporter if he would sue cable news hosts, Crump said, “We’re looking at trying to hold everybody accountable who had a responsibility in loading that gun.” His accusations amount to a charge of accessory before the fact or accomplice liability. The novel theory applied by Crump is that Carlson promoted the idea that massive immigration would negatively impact America and its political policies. Since the murders were motivated by a desire to advance that theory or terrorize those people from becoming Americans in the first place, Crump says that Carlson shares the blame. After all, if the television personality never talked about this issue, maybe the killer wouldn’t have used it as a reason for murder.
Bernie Bros Are Killers Too
Under this theory of liability, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders would be liable for James Hodgkinson’s congressional baseball game shooting, for instance. Well, that’s assuming equal application of the rules, which historically falls outside of Mr. Crump’s intentions. It’s still the law, however, as is the precedent that establishes Tucker and Bernie have nothing to worry about.
Critical thinkers need never address what Carlson said about replacement theory. The legal standard the government must prove to restrict speech is that it be “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” The rule is from 1969’s Brandenburg v. Ohio, the landmark free speech Supreme Court case on what speech may be made criminal. The First Amendment protects speech far more radical than anything Carlson is accused of saying. In Brandenburg, KKK members remonstrated for the forced removal of blacks and Jews from the US. The Supreme Court found those statements could not be punished. Civil rights champion Justice Thurgood Marshall was a member of the unanimous court that established the Brandenburg test, under which we still live today.
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” So goes number 12 of Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals. There seems little doubt this is the impetus for the campaign to cancel Tucker Carlson by smearing him as a murderer’s accomplice. That progressives believe he poses such a danger is practically a compliment, from the conservative TV host’s perspective. In its campaign against Carlson, though, the radical left is once again demonstrating how far it is willing to go – and how selectively it will apply its own standards – in an attempt to destroy anyone it perceives as a threat.
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