Lockdown TV with Freddie Sayers


Suzanne Moore: Why I had to leave The Guardian

Suzanne Moore is one of the most famous columnists at the Guardian newspaper — or at least she was until she finally left last week, accused by colleagues of being a 'transphobe'.

For the first time, she talks about her experience to Freddie Sayers — what it felt like to be rounded on how she felt couldn't stay.

It's a sobering story of an attempt to shut down freedom of speech at one of the world's biggest newspapers.

Don't miss her full essay on UnHerd: https://unherd.com/2020/11/why-i-had-to-leave-the-guardian/

Watch the full interview on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSVd36xEplY&feature=youtu.be

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Andrew Sullivan: I was right about Trump

Freddie Sayers speaks to writer and commentator Andrew Sullivan to help understand what's going on in America. The images from the 6th January riots at the US Capitol will be with us for years — shocking, unnerving, and ultimately tragic for the five people who died. But was it “armed insurrection” or a failure of policing? How close did the President come to directly inciting violence? What is a wise way for Democrats to respond? To help understand this significant moment, and what these final astonishing weeks of the Trump administration mean for the US and for the world, I spoke to writer and commentator Andrew Sullivan. He lives just a few blocks away from the Capitol and from the first moments of our interview you can see how traumatised he has been by the events of the past few years, culminating (so far) in the events of last week: "Do not minimise this, for God’s sake. This is what conservatives have been doing from the get go, which is attempting not to see what is in front of your face. They planned it. They wanted to take over. They had ties to hold people hostage. They were calling for people to be killed… They had a plan — maybe not one that could have succeeded, but you only need one gun." Sullivan is worried that it is not over yet. Many of his friends in Washington DC are planning to leave the city for the inauguration on 20th January on the grounds that it is not safe: “We don't know what's going to happen now. There are a lot of arms in the country. And Inauguration Day is going to be another stress test of whether this place is going to survive civil conflict.” He sees the “tyrannical” streak in Donald Trump’s character as constituting the tragic part of this epoch, because he has now prevented the overlooked and important issues that got him elected from being properly addressed: "This is the tragedy of it. He brought attention to subjects and issues that really the elites had completely ignored, because they could: the question of the implosion of the middle class economy, the question of immigration and trade, and indeed, the swift demographic change that really destabilises the entire idea of a coherent nation state. Equally, what happened last summer, when people let the cities of the United States burn, because of another large conspiracy theory that white supremacy which was operating on the Left — as often happens, the radicalisation of one side radicalises the other. I think Trumpism and an adjustment of conservatism towards the needs of the working class is, is a great move, but you just can't separate the two, unfortunately, you can't. He is so uniquely dangerous and irrational, that there was never a way." As a result, he fears that any attempt to challenge “wokery” is now fatally undermined. An illiberal Left, closely coupled with the might of Big Tech, will now seek a revenge that may be unassailable: "It's possible that the Republican Party really is over, that it will fracture, and it has to fracture so that the rump, know-nothing part of it will be in permanent exile. And that Trump's legacy will be a kind of Left-liberal orthodoxy in America that will never loosen its grip." Responding to the challenge by some of President Trump’s defenders that he didn’t, in fact, directly incite violence, and that the social media bans are therefore unfair, Sullivan counters: "If you want to play legal scholar on that, you can. Okay, go ahead. But at what point are these conservatives gonna recognise what's in front of them and stop excusing this stuff? It's insane that people will find any excuse for this person. I'm sorry, I am exhausted. There is no fucking way to justify this person in any fashion of any way, whatever the cause. This is an unbelievable breach in American history. And in the West. It's a huge blow beneath the waterline of Western democracy, fomented by this person, and people are asking me to prove it. I mean, text and verse, look at the last four years. Has he ever tried to hold the system together? Has he ever not tried to blow it further apart? Has he done anything which isn't about him, rather than the country as a whole?" At the end, he confessed that he is wracked with emotion about the whole topic: "People say I have Trump Derangement Syndrome or whatever. But I love this country. And he’s taken a flame thrower to it. There comes a point at which you have to say, I don’t care. Get rid of him. Get him out of here… He’s driven me crazy". It’s a powerful nearly hour-long discussion that I won’t forget. Deep thanks to Andrew for his sharing his time and thoughts.Watch the video version of this episode here: https://unherd.com/thepost/andrew-sullivan-i-was-right-about-trump/

Glenn Greenwald: tech censorship of Covid discussion is dangerous

Recently, in the comments underneath our LockdownTV YouTube videos, people have been saying that our videos are being ‘downrated’ on YouTube search. Type in Aella, or Michael Levitt, for example, and videos come above ours in the search results that are much older, viewed much fewer times, and come from channels that have much smaller followings. It feels a bit rich to make accusations of censorship against a platform that has brought us millions of views and over 110,000 followers, but could it be that heterodox channels like ours have found their way onto a blacklist of channels that should be ever so gently… suppressed?This was one of the questions Freddie Sayers put to Glenn Greenwald — perhaps one of the most famous free speech and civil liberties advocates in the world. Talking from his home in the mountains outside Rio di Janeiro, his answer was unsettling: “You don’t need to be a conspiracist to believe any of that. They acknowledge that they are doing all the things that you just described.”The pandemic has brought this issue to the fore even more visibly, with channels and videos regularly being taken down having been judged as dangerous to public health, and the YouTube CEO announcing earlier in the year that anything that fell foul of WHO guidelines would be removed (notwithstanding that organisation's patchy, to say the least, record during this pandemic).“It’s incredibly dangerous,” says Greenwald. “What competency do tech giants have to arbitrate over science and health policy? … How did they get into a position of some sort of philosopher-king to be able to sit in judgement as overlords of our discourse and decree not only what is permissible but what is true and false when it comes to highly complex questions such as how to manage a pandemic, or whether vaccines are safe and effective, or whether the balances of a lockdown are justified by their cost? These are incredibly complicated decisions that a society ought to be debating.”It becomes even more sinister when it dovetails with party politics. Greenwald sees the merger of the Democratic Party and the tech platforms as a serious threat to free speech:“You can look at every metric and it all leads to the same conclusion. There is a union that includes the establishment wing of the Democratic Party, Wall Street and Silicon Valley. One way you can see that is that Silicon Valley overwhelmingly poured its money into the campaign coffers of the Democratic Party… Their employees are overwhelmingly progressive, overwhelmingly liberal, overwhelmingly Democrat and whenever there is agitation within these companies for greater censorship, it is almost always on the grounds that Right-wing or conservative voices ought to be censored.To me, that censorship episode involving the Hunter Biden reporting in the weeks leading up to an election was one of the most alarming and significant events to take place in politics in years. That one of the primary means that citizens have to communicate with one another was simply manipulated to prevent incriminating reporting about the candidate that the employees and executives and shareholders of those means of communication wanted to win the election. It was pure brute censorship of the most toxic and damaging kind.”The prognosis, according to Greenwald, is not good. Instead of being magnanimous in victory, the Democrats are likely to use their influence to further shut down discourse they find unacceptable.“It’s like a tide that keeps coming in. You hope that it doesn’t get to you. As long as it doesn’t you feel free on the beach, but you see the water inching ever closer.”#Censorship #Pandemic #Democrats