Why Should We Care About Faux Free-Speech Warriors? Because the Koch Brothers Are Paying Their Bills. - 2019-06-20
The incident set a certain set of free-speech warriors ablaze. Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan, and other pundits who have made their name online for defending free speech—particularly those organized under the umbrella of the so-called "Intellectual Dark Web," or IDW—have made Crowder a martyr of a pernicious war on civil discourse.
You've probably heard their arguments before: They claim to be opposed to censorship, "no-platforming" (when people are excluded from online or offline forums because of the views they express), and any attempts to discourage the open expression of ideas. These figures—who self-identify as classical liberals, conservatives, and libertarians—say that their project is completely non-ideological: It's just about giving everyone a fair hearing.
But these same free-speech warriors went mum earlier this month when one of their own, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, met with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, who has bragged about making Hungary "an illiberal state, a non-liberal state," and has provoked mass protests for cracking down on academic freedom. Crowder's defenders have also neglected to mention that he once went with a camera crew to the workplace of a commenter he disagreed with, harassing them and trying to get them fired. Indeed, IDW members and their acolytes have repeatedly fought against allowing those they disagree with a platform to speak.