CNN “journalist” Christiane Amanpour sat down to have a chit-chat with fired FBI director and social media influencer James Comey. First Amendment beneficiary Amanpour queried the Twitter-friendly Comey about the FBI’s responsibility to shut down undesirable political speech.
AMANPOUR: I’ve got one question because you just said “lock her up” or “lock me up.” Of course, “lock her up” was a feature of the 2016 Trump campaign. Do you in retrospect wish that people like yourself, the FBI, I mean, the people in charge of law and order, had shut down that language, that it was dangerous potentially, that it could’ve created violence, that it’s kind of hate speech? Should that have been allowed?
COMEY: That’s not a role for government to play. The beauty of this country is people can say what they want, even if it’s misleading and it’s demagoguery. The people who should have shut it down were Republicans, who understand the rule of law and the values that they claim to stand for. Shame on them, but it wasn’t a role for government to play.
Now might be a good time to bring up that Amanpour’s employer CNN was hit with a $275 million lawsuit accusing the network of engaging in precisely the kind of speech Amanpour wistfully wants the FBI to quash.
More specifically, CNN falsely asserted that Nicholas and his CovCath classmates were in a “racis[t]” “mob mentality” and “looked like they were going to lynch” the Black Hebrew Israelites who were merely “preaching about the Bible nearby” “because they didn’t like the color of their skin” and “their religious views,” and that Nicholas and his classmates then “surrounded” one of the Native Americans, 64-year old Nathan Phillips, creating “a really dangerous situation” during which Nicholas “blocked [Phillips’] escape” when Phillips tried “to leave” the mob, causing Phillips to “fear for his safety and the safety of those with him,” while Nicholas and his classmates “harassed and taunted” him.
It sure sounds like CNN’s speech is “dangerous potentially” and it might have incited or “created violence”: school kids with a racist mob mentality that were going to lynch a minority because of the color of their skin? What is the purpose of misleading people with such story-telling if not to stir them up? Get the FBI on the line.
Comey managed to squirt out the right answer: that it is not the job of the government to shut down political speech. The former FBI director and his friends have other ways to control political outcomes.