It’s Not Just About Judge Jeanine, But About Free Speech

Judge Jeanine Pirro returns to her regular slot on Fox News Channel tonight, and her fans are rightfully celebrating.  Her keen wit, incisive “prosecution” of the dishonesty of the political establishment, and brash style are a breath of fresh air. But don’t celebrate too eagerly.

Troubling Shift at Fox News?

Judge Pirro was suspended for criticizing freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) two weeks ago. This move, coinciding with the hiring of former DNC Chair Donna Brazile, may be a sign of a troubling shift in corporate policy at Fox News. Lovers of liberty should be concerned.

In her opening statement March 9, Judge Pirro criticized the hateful anti-Semitic statements Rep. Omar has made.  She also pointed out that Rep. Omar obeys at least some aspects of Sharia law, and asked whether Sharia is congruent with the U.S. Constitution. Critics howled that Pirro was attacking Omar on the basis of her faith, but Pirro made clear in a statement the following day that she did nothing of the kind. She was asking provocative questions. She even invited Rep. Omar to come on her show to discuss it.

“I did not call Rep. Omar un-American. My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution. I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing Americans today.”

Freedom of Expression and the Free Exchange of Ideas

The key issue here is the free exchange of ideas. The first thing that attracted me to candidate Donald Trump was that he said things considered politically incorrect. He expanded the borders of permissible speech. Judge Jeanine does that too, as do people like Tucker Carlson, Mark Steyn, Rush Limbaugh and Chris Plante.

We live in a society where the greatest threat to the free exchange of ideas doesn’t come from government. It comes from the private sector: social media giants, corporate cowards and bullies, and the oppression of loud voices and increasing violence from the Left. Make no mistake: Our right to engage in free political discourse is under sustained attack—that is a key part of the Leftist agenda.

Do Something About It

The First Amendment doesn’t guarantee our right to have Twitter broadcast our ideas. Nor does it dictate that Fox News balance out Leftist voices dominating other TV news outlets. Only we can protect that liberty, by being informed, educated and engaged.

Write or tweet to Fox News, and tell them you are glad to have Jeanine Pirro back on the air. Tell them they should be ashamed for blocking free speech in the first place. And seek out and support conservative voices everywhere, who speak up in defense of our liberty. If you don’t, nobody will.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Bart Marcois

Bart Marcois (@bmarcois) was the principal deputy assistant secretary of energy for international affairs during the Bush administration. Additionally, Marcois served as a career foreign service officer with the State Department.

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