Covington: the left find that speech has consequences for them, too

Leftist numpties with a puddle-thin understanding of both the principles and the laws of free speech love to piously intone that ?free speech has consequences?. Of course, what they mean is that they should be allowed to spout whatever vicious nonsense they like, but saying anything they don?t like will be met with bullying, harassment and as often as not violence.

Two of the left?s go-to responses to free speech they don?t like are doxxing and lawfare: publishing peoples? private information and encouraging harassment and boycotts, and using frivolous legal actions to wear their opponents down financially and spiritually.

Now they?re getting a taste of their own medicine. Quote:

Last month?s incident involving the boys from Kentucky?s Covington Catholic High School at the Lincoln Memorial may be over ? but the legal battle has just begun.

Attorneys for Covington junior Nick Sandmann made a splash this week when they sent letters to 54 news outlets, lawmakers, celebrities, media figures and Catholic institutions asking them to preserve information related to the episode and warning of a possible lawsuit. End of quote.

This action was in the air from the moment the left and the legacy media went feral because of a dodgy, doctored video and a fake news tweet from a sock-puppet account. Conservative activist C J Pearson announced that he was compiling a register of abuse and bullying directed at the Covington kids by Twitter?s ?verified users?.

As Pearson?s ?verified bullies? register shows, one of the worst aspects of the tide of abuse and threats directed at the Covington kids was that it was not just coming from unknown keyboard warriors, but from the most powerful media and political figures of the left. These were people who should have known better, but let their demented hatred override whatever vestiges of good sense they might have had.

?Preserve information? refers to the fact that many media figures, particularly, frantically deleted tweets as soon as they realised that they might be held accountable. Quote:

Those receiving the preservation letters included The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, The Hill, The Atlantic, and TMZ, as well as more than two dozen journalists such as MSNBC?s Joy Reid and NBC?s Savannah Guthrie, who interviewed Mr. Sandmann on the ?Today? show.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, and Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat, were also included. So were celebrities Jim Carrey, Kathy Griffin and Alyssa Milano, as were the Diocese of Covington and Archdiocese of Louisville.

Meanwhile, attorneys with another Northern Kentucky law firm ? Poston, Siefried and Schloemer ? confirmed that they represent the families of other teens involved in the incident. End of quote.

Lawyers? letters are one thing, though; winning a case, quite another. Quote:

Do the boys have a case? Legal experts emphasized that it would be impossible at this point to evaluate the merits, given that no lawsuit has been filed, but agreed that simply making insulting comments about the teens would fall short?

Mr. Phillips accused the boys of chanting ?build that wall,? although no video has shown that. If media outlets said that they did engage in the chant, ?then that?s a factual allegation,? Mr. Calvert said.

?If you attribute a quote to somebody that they did not say, and that quote harms their reputation in some way, then that might be actionable,? he said?Then there are the questions of negligence and malice. End of quote.

But as anyone can see, that isn?t really the point of this action. Quote:

Of course, there are other reasons to engage in legal action??The video Lin Wood released is designed to fight this out in the court of public opinion about Sandmann as much as it is a court of law,? he said. End of quote.


So, where does this leave a free-speech advocate? It?s certainly satisfying to watch bullies get their comeuppance, but does that justify potentially attacking free speech?

?Free speech has consequences? is an argument for wannabe censors, but is this a case of that? As even the great philosopher of liberty, J. S. Mill pointed out, slander and incitement are outside the pale of free speech. If powerful people have slandered the reputation of these kids, and especially if they have incited violence against them, then they deserve everything they get.