On Sunday, a plane in route from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to Minsk, Belarus after a bomb threat was called in. But that's not the whole story. Once the plane landed, Belarusian authorities arrested a passenger, an opposition blogger who is critical of the government. Back with us today to discuss this incident is Ukraine-based defense expert Reuben Johnson. He reveals that the Belarusian government called in the threat just so they could arrest a "dissident." Several members of the international community, including the U.S. and the EU, have condemned what is being referred to as a hijacking. What are the implications of this incident? More importantly, will other totalitarian governments see this as a precedent?
In the constant battle for free speech between the left and the right in this country, very few people tackle the argument from the middle of the field. Joining us today is, as John calls him, the man in the middle of the row boat trying to stop it from toppling over. That man is Matt Welch (reason.com), Libertarian and Editor at Large at Reason Magazine. He looks at the state of free speech today and the difference between the cultural value and the legal value of free speech in society. He also covers the history of journalism and how media is now coming out against free speech in some areas. Will the war on our constitutional freedoms continue to get uglier?
Censorship seems to be a popular activity these days, but it has picked up a surprising champion – the mainstream media! Joining us today is John Tierney (city-journal.org), Contributor Editor to the City Journal, who points out that censorship had been ramping up, but since the Capitol violence, it has been unleashed virtually unabated. And as crazy as it sounds, woke leftist media outlets seem to be welcoming it. Conservatives are being banned, but when leftists called for violence during the Trump administration, nothing was done. It's a dangerous plan to ignore the freedoms found in the Constitution – when that happens, totalitarianism isn't far behind.
What happens when a false narrative falls apart? In this week's boralogue, John looks at the three stages of a collapsing narrative. First, there is the explaining away of inconsistencies which quickly moves to shutting people up through censorship. Those of us who know the truth must then use our freedom of speech to counter with facts. Finally, when they've been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they simply redesign the cookie jar by claiming they were always for the now evident truth and hope that no one notices. Moving on, not repentance, is the way of politics it seems.