John Wayne Becomes Social Media’s Latest Target

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Social media trolls recently honed in on a new target of attack. The same agitators that consistently seek to tear down statues, ban books, and silence dissidents have now dug up an interview with legendary actor John Wayne, which appeared in a May 1971 issue of Playboy Magazine.

What are Wayne’s detractors aiming for?

Well for starters, they want to change the name of the airport that is located in Orange County, California and bears Wayne’s name. Presumably the 9-foot bronze statue of the famed figure that stands at the entrance would be knocked down as well.

Even though Wayne is no longer with us and thus unable to defend himself, the transforming America crowd who are attempting to destroy Wayne’s reputation will not be satisfied until the movie icon’s legacy has been completely redacted from Hollywood history.

Screenwriter Matt Williams used his Twitter account to publish portions of the 1971 interview of Wayne, and re-tweeters managed to push the post into the viral zone.

Although some of the quotes in the interview appear to be inappropriate when examined within the context of today’s more enlightened cultural prism, at the time of the interview Wayne, along with many of his contemporaries, spoke in a blunt and occasionally harsh style both on and off screen, which was part of a projected character image.

Williams attacked the movie icon personally in a profanity laced social media post.

“Jesus f—, John Wayne was a straight up piece of s—,” Williams tweeted.

Comments to various re-tweets seemed to be at odds, with some agreeing with Williams and others urging a consideration of conversational context as well as the era in which Wayne lived.

Wayne was a man who before becoming a film icon was known as Marion Morrison, a football star at Glendale High and later at USC. He called the Golden State his home from the age of ten on and in later years was intimately involved with the once-sleepy county just south of Los Angeles, which grew in size and stature and came to affectionately be known simply by its initials, the OC.

Wayne’s fame transcended the norm of the conventional movie star and rose to a level that few ever achieve – that of enduring icon. However, Duke had something all his own. His movie star identity was wrapped up in the symbolism, beliefs, and ideals of the country he adored.

In a tell of a great artist, Wayne was able to capture the emotions that people felt about their country and place them on the big screen in all their Americana glory. His stories were their stories, perfected in a way that only Hollywood at the time could.

Interestingly, Wayne was an outspoken conservative and anti-communist. During the Playboy interview, he queried aloud, “What kind of a nation is it that fails to understand that freedom of speech and assembly are one thing, and anarchy and treason are quite another, that allows known Communists to serve as teachers to pervert the natural loyalties and ideals of our kids, filling them with fear and doubt and hate and downgrading patriotism and all our heroes of the past?”

Wayne’s popularity and influence on the American mindset disturbed Russian dictator Joseph Stalin to the point that the Soviet despot ordered an attempted assassination of the actor that auspiciously never materialized.

According to Michael Munn, film historian and author of “John Wayne – The Man Behind the Myth,” back in the early 1950s Stalin ordered the KGB to assassinate Wayne because he considered his anti-communist rhetoric a threat to the Soviet Union.

In 1959, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev came to the United States, the autocrat had two requests he wished fulfilled: to visit Disneyland and to meet Wayne.

When Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the United States in 1975, he also asked to meet Wayne, who was viewed as the personification of the American spirit.

Wayne’s iconic American status was recognized by the U.S. government, granting him the two highest civilian decorations in existence. In 1979 Wayne was given the Congressional Gold Medal, and in 1980 he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Jimmy Carter.

The legendary film star was nominated for three Academy Awards and was a one-time winner in 1969, taking the Best Actor in a Leading Role trophy for “True Grit.”

Despite attempts on the part of the left to characterize him as a bigot, the truth is Wayne was married three times and the three women he married were Latinas: Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. In the wake of the coverage of the Playboy interview, Wayne’s family released a statement to the press.

“We hope America remembers John Wayne as we do: a devoted family man, great friend and cherished actor on the big screen, as well as for his continuing work to find a cure for cancer through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the John Wayne Cancer Institute,” the statement read.

“It’s unfair to judge someone on something that was written that he said nearly 50 years ago when the person is no longer here to respond,” the statement continued. “Regardless of color, ethnicity or sexual preference, [our] father taught us to treat all people the same, with respect.”

The outrage industry is on an endless quest to secure the next individual to impugn. As a result of the social media’s stoking of the fire, a virtue-signaling editorial was recently published by the Los Angeles Times, advocating that Orange County’s John Wayne Airport be renamed.

A formidable task awaits those who wish to erase Wayne from the public square, though. In addition to the airport in Orange County, opponents will also have to contend with a 21-foot bronze statue in Beverly Hills, which displays Wayne on horseback.

There is also a John Wayne Marina near Sequim, Washington, a 100-plus-mile trail named the “John Wayne Pioneer Trail” in the Iron Horse State Park, which is also in Washington, the John Wayne Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York, which features a 38-foot mosaic mural depicting “John Wayne and the American Frontier,” and the John Wayne Parkway, which runs through Maricopa, Arizona.

Fifteen Minutes of Shame

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“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

This familiar quote, which is attributed to Andy Warhol, has resulted in a modern, truncated version of the concept that everyone will eventually receive his or her time in the spotlight. It also reflects how fragile and fleeting celebrity status has become and just how fickle the present-day public has trended.

In the age of social media, though, another phenomenon has been taking shape online, and Warhol’s iconic words are being subjected to a warped parallel paraphrasing. The twisted Warhol-ism that has emerged is the following: “In the future, everyone will be forced to suffer through his or her 15 minutes of shame.”

In today’s digital world, a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram mob is able to publicly humiliate a well known, or even not so well known, individual or group for alleged acts or statements, thereby detrimentally affecting occupation, reputation, and/or social life.

Social media shaming can result in an instantaneous career end and destructive ramifications for anyone who is the unfortunate recipient of it.

Embarrassment is an intensely negative universal human experience, which is tethered to a fundamental need to be accepted into a circle, respected by its members, and loved for who we are. The thought of losing any of these basic necessities is a terrifying prospect, and it can create a desperation within an individual or group of individuals that is unlike any other misfortune that may befall us.

For a while now, particularly within the social media realm, individuals as well as groups have been going about weaponizing social media technology via memes and bots as a means of magnifying a digital footprint and amplifying a message. This is routinely done deceptively so as to give the impression that the representative numbers are significantly greater than they actually are.

When combined with the type of hyper-political correctness that is being promulgated by various activist groups, these social media activities pose an unprecedented threat to free expression, and perhaps even more perilous, an assault on the psyche.

The latest large-scale episode of social media shaming occurred when comedic actor Kevin Hart was compelled to withdraw from hosting the 2019 Oscars. Hart pulled out of the hosting gig after he and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences received the social media shaming treatment over jokes that he had posted in the distant past.

Immediately after it was publicly reported that Hart would host the industry’s most prestigious awards show, the virtual walk of shame began. Posts cited select archived comedy routines and tweets, which featured the comedian joking about trying to stop his son from becoming gay.

Reportedly, the Academy urged Hart to apologize for the past posts, but he refused, stating that he’d already apologized.

“I’ve addressed it,” Hart said in an Instagram post. “… I’m not going to continue to tap into the past when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life.”

Hart eventually did express contrition in a later tweet, stating, “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.” He explained that the reason he was withdrawing from hosting duties was so that he would not “be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.”

In a surprising twist, Ellen DeGeneres is now in the social media crosshairs. In an attempt to try and reinstate Hart as the host of the 91st Academy Awards, the daytime talk show host acted as a mediator of sorts between Hart and the Academy.

During a recent episode of her syndicated daytime talk show, one in which Hart appeared and gave his first interview on the subject, DeGeneres disclosed that she had talked with Academy officials and suggested that they bring Hart back as Academy Awards host. She also told Hart and her viewing audience that the Oscar leadership would still like Hart to be the host.

“It was an attack,” Hart told DeGeneres. “This wasn’t an accident, this wasn’t a coincidence. …To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008? That’s an attack. That’s a malicious attack on my character.”

Hart added, “That’s an attack to end me. That’s not an attack to end the Oscars, that’s an attack to end me.” He continued in his expression of indignation and defense of his character.

“This was to destroy me. This was to end all partnerships, all brand relationships, all investment opportunities, studio relationships, my production company and the people who work underneath me. This was to damage the lives that had been invested in me. It’s bigger than just the Oscars. It’s about the individuals who are out there now that are finding success in damage. They’re finding success in damaging your ‘celebrity,’” Hart explained.

It turns out that in a prior stand-up routine, Hart had shared, “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay … If I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

In a past post, Hart had also used his Twitter account to jokingly tweet that he would hit his son with his daughter’s dollhouse if he ever caught him playing with it. He additionally told Rolling Stone in 2015 that he intended these particular jokes to be self-deprecating.

“The funny thing within that joke is it’s me getting mad at my son because of my own insecurities,” Hart said. “I panicked. It has nothing to do with him, it’s about me.”

It appears as though the digital powers that be have decided it is now Degeneres’s turn to take to the shame stage. She is presently being targeted by the social media, in part, for venturing into the truth about today’s internet culture.

“There are so many haters out there,” DeGeneres said. “Whatever is going on on the internet, don’t pay attention to them. That’s a small group of people being very, very loud.”

Taylor Swift Gets Political

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For quite a while now the Internet has had a peculiar obsession with pop star Taylor Swift’s self-imposed political silence.

Liberal-minded Twitter and Facebook users have been posting comments pressuring Swift to join the ranks of myriad other celebrity activists who use their fame capital to move the political bar ever further to the left.

Up until now digital bully tactics have had little effect on the singer-songwriter. However, times have apparently changed in a big way, and Swift, who is currently on a “Reputation” concert tour, uploaded a photo to Instagram that virtually announces her candidate picks for political office in the state of Tennessee.

Swift previously nurtured an image of being above the political fray. In stark contrast, she has now chosen to take very specific positions on a number of polarizing issues in addition to her candidate endorsements.

Letting it be known that she will be voting as a Tennessee resident in the 2018 midterms, Swift announced her support for two Democrat candidates in her home state, one who is running for the U.S. Senate and another who is striving to secure a seat in House of Representatives.

Along with her endorsements, Swift let loose with an over-the-top slam of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, who although of the female gender has the seemingly incorrect party affiliation attached to her name, at least according to leftist celebrity activists.

Swift informed her fans that Marsha Blackburn was running for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee and conveyed her emotion-laced opposition.

“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” Swift shared.

Accompanying her post was a black and white photo in which Swift wears a flannel shirt that makes her look like her old country music singing self.

A number of Swift’s A-list BFFs, including Blake Lively, Karlie Kloss, Katy Perry, and Chrissy Teigen, “liked” the post.

In her political Instagram post, Swift referenced her former approach to avoiding political expression.

“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” Swift wrote.

Swift’s habit of abstaining from political discourse had become part of her public image. In a 2012 interview with TIME, she said that in spite of keeping herself “as educated and informed as possible,” she does not discuss political subjects.

“I don’t talk about politics because it might influence other people,” she told the publication at the time.

In November 2017, a blogger criticized Swift for her political silence and actually accused her of enabling an alt-right and white supremacist fan base.

Meghan Herning wrote a piece titled “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation,” which was published in PopFront Magazine. Herning asserted that Swift’s single “Look What You Made Me Do” contains “dog whistles to white supremacy in the lyrics.”

Additionally, referring to the clothing worn in Swift’s related music video, Herning wrote that “Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazi Germany.” Herning added that “the similarities are uncanny and unsettling.”

Essentially condemning Swift for her silence, Herning wrote, “And while pop musicians are not respected world leaders, they have a huge audience and their music often reflects their values. So Taylor’s silence is not innocent, it is calculated.”

Herning received a letter from Swift’s attorneys, demanding she retract the article and threatening a lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union promptly came to the aid of Herning.

That same month, the left-leaning UK Guardian published an editorial titled “The Guardian view on Taylor Swift: an envoy for Trump’s values?”

The newspaper implied that, in part, because of her silence, Swift was a stealth Trump supporter.

“… a notable voice has been missing from the chorus: that of Taylor Swift, the world’s biggest pop star. Her silence is striking, highlighting the parallels between the singer and the president: their adept use of social media to foster a diehard support base … their laser focus on the bottom line; their support among the ‘alt-right,’” the editorial read.

The Guardian claimed that Swift’s songs “echo Mr. Trump’s obsession with petty score-settling in their repeated references to her celebrity feuds, or report in painstaking detail on her failed romantic relationships.”

In a Politico piece titled “The Weird Campaign to Get Taylor Swift to Denounce Donald Trump,” which summarized the pressure being mounted at the time on Swift to jump on the anti-Trump skateboard, Swift was labeled “studiously apolitical.”

Stats on the pop singer reveal that she has garnered 112 million Instagram followers, 84 million followers on Twitter, and 72 million “likes” on her Facebook page.

It is arguable that she is at the apex of the celebrity pyramid, as liberals who have pressured her to join their ranks are no doubt aware.

Her level of fame grants her greater endorsement power than many of the other celebrities who have been visible participants in left-of-center protests of late.

With all this in mind, there is now a question of whether Swift will be able to hold on to her popularity, and additionally whether she can maintain her sizable social media platform after the public becomes fully informed of her newfound politics.

Antitrust Law Should Be Used to Break Up Big Tech Monopolies

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President Donald Trump, via his Twitter account, recently prompted a public discussion about the possibility of using antitrust law against major technology companies, due in part to a growing body of evidence that bias is being perpetrated against conservative individuals and entities by such companies.

The primary rationale of antitrust enforcement is the protection of the American consumer and free market economy from unprincipled business behavior by monopolistic enterprises.

Never before in the nation’s history have companies, such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon, among others, possessed the size, wealth, dominance, control, and sheer power that the tech giants do.

With more than 70 percent of the PC search market and almost 85 percent of the mobile device market, Google currently has a virtual stranglehold on the gateway to digital information. And Google’s video social media platform, YouTube, controls almost 80 percent of the video market.

Facebook has about 2 billion users worldwide, and when the company’s additional acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp are factored in, 95 percent of young people regularly log on to Facebook platforms.

When it comes to Amazon, by the year’s end the company will have swallowed up almost 50 percent of the U.S. e-commerce business, and additionally lays claim to 80 percent of the e-book market. Amazon is also the largest provider of hosted cloud services, and the odds are strong that an online sales firm that competes with the company would likely be using Amazon servers for its own website.

Research on Google searches has produced data, which indicate that bias against conservative news outlets, blogs, and websites exists, and additionally indicate that ideologically right-of-center content has actually been removed from YouTube.

Despite Google’s denial of bias, PJMedia recently conducted a count of search results relating to President Trump and found that 96 percent of the most visible news articles that arose were generated from liberal outlets.

The Daily Caller reported that Google’s fact check feature engages almost exclusively in the targeting of right-of-center sites.

Facebook has exhibited bias in its trending topics, as well as in its removal of conservative content, and Amazon has manipulated book reviews to favor leftist writers.

Despite promises to the contrary, Facebook continues to censor ideas based on conservative content and has recently been caught doing so. A New York Post article by Salena Zito, which noted that supporters of President Trump were unaffected by the conviction and plea deal of two prominent Trump-associated individuals, Zito’s article was labeled as “spam.”

Facebook even took down an article titled “The School Shootings That Weren’t,” posted by NPR, that showed the number of school shootings, which were claimed to have taken place during the 2015–2016 school year, was highly inflated.

The president is correct in suggesting that the use of antitrust law against tech companies may be a necessary step that the government needs to take in order to awaken the tech giants to the duty that they have, to exercise greater responsibility in their approach to users and content. If they do not, consequences may result as seen with other companies, which were divided into smaller less monopolistic concerns.

In a previous antitrust filing, AT&T was split up into eight much smaller companies, and Standard Oil was divided into 34 firms. Each of these companies possessed the ability to almost totally dominate their respective market. The original AT&T accounted for 93 percent of all telephone calls made in the U.S., and Standard Oil sold 87 percent of U.S. refined oil.

An antitrust case that began in the early years of former President Bill Clinton’s administration was ultimately settled by the Department of Justice. Microsoft had been accused of abusing monopoly power on personal computers, in its handling of operating system and web browser sales, by bundling its Internet Explorer browser with its Windows operating system.

Microsoft’s actions are strikingly similar to a recent Google business practice. To insure its dominance of the mobile market, Google forced carriers and manufactures that used its Android operating system to make Google Search the default search engine and include a number of Google apps as well.

In 2008 the Bush Justice Department threatened to bring an antitrust action against Google, due to a proposed partnership with Yahoo for the sale of advertising. At the time, Google had a 70 percent share of the market, and Yahoo, with 20 percent, was the second largest search engine.

Due to the monopolistic realities of these giant tech companies, startups that might compete with the giants may end up being smothered. For example, an entrepreneurial startup company with products that compete with Google offerings has to be concerned that Google will give its own product a higher ranking and may even hide the new company’s competing products.

This poses a danger to the overall consumer market, because consumers lose the ability to become aware of and/or purchase any innovative products that startup companies might have to offer.

Both Google and Facebook maintain that their companies should not be the subject of antitrust scrutiny, because their product is said to be provided to their users free of charge. However, participants who are obtaining the services for free are not the actual customers of the companies. The real paying customers, in both search and social media, are the advertisers and publishers that pay for the ability to broaden their own pool of consumers.

The argument can be made that the big tech companies, via paid search advertising and paid social media advertising, have morphed into monopolies, and these monopolies have effectively stifled competition and innovation, while having a deleterious effect on the free market economy.

The Digital Threat to Free Expression

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Recently, in a series of unprecedented moves on the part of four major social media platforms, free expression was deliberately brought to a halt.

That the thwarting of the free expression in question took place on the same day adds to the alarming nature of the action by the digital powers that be.

Alex Jones’s InfoWars content was banished from Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify. The move appears to have been a coordinated effort.

The removal of the content was evidently motivated by a desire to rid the platforms of supposed hate speech. However, the same platforms continue to display pages that have far more incendiary and/or offensive content than InfoWars posted.

Provocateur Jones’s site was a convenient quarry for tech companies to begin their purge of content that they subjectively deem undesirable.

However, tech giants have laid down a track record that indicates they cannot be trusted to maintain a fair venue for the marketplace of ideas.

Approximately 70 percent of the people within our country now obtain their news from Google and Facebook. Additionally, the major tech concerns have a virtual stranglehold on the manner in which billions of people around the globe communicate.

Truth be told, there has never been a more massive concentration of media power than that which is squarely in the hands of Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and a smattering of other internet companies.

As digital companies go about the business of justifying censorship, many are looking for solutions via regulation.

Restraints on speech imposed by private companies are not protected by the First Amendment, and companies do not have a legal obligation to provide freedom of speech to their users. While internet companies were once fierce advocates of free expression, this is unfortunately not the case anymore.

Being larger than many governments of countries throughout the world, the tech giants act in a quasi-governmental manner when they eliminate or limit speech within their internet province.

Some have proposed turning the big tech giants into public utilities. Others have urged breaking up the companies through the use of anti-trust law, a logical idea when considering that the major tech firms have essentially become a monopoly with no significant competition, e.g., Google’s dominance of the internet video market and Facebook’s rule over the social media sector.

British Prime Minister Theresa May recently suggested that social media platforms be treated like news organizations, which would render them responsible for content appearing on their platforms.

Rep. Steve King has recommended revisiting the law that shields internet companies from being treated as the publisher of content users’ posts, thus restoring legal responsibility for defamatory and other tortious or criminal content that is published. The Iowa congressman is referring to a statutory provision that made the current internet social media landscape possible: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Publishers of content are typically liable for the material they disseminate, even when the content originates from individual unpaid contributors, such as a “letter to the editor.”

In 1996, when the web as we know it was still in its infancy, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act. An amendment to the original bill, Section 230, stated, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

The statute protected Internet providers from being deemed news organizations and gave legal immunity to the tech companies, ostensibly to foster industry growth and freedom of speech.

The U.S. Supreme Court stripped away much of the bill in 1998, but Section 230 was left unscathed.

Later precedents interpreted Section 230 broadly so that digital platform companies could grow exponentially, without serious concern for illegal speech placed on their platforms. And grow they did, to become the gargantuan companies that they are today, complete with secret algorithms that render selected users invisible. At the start, the young companies would not have been economically feasible minus the provision.

The law also prevents liability in the event “objectionable” material is removed. If the companies do choose to eliminate offensive user-created content, their immunity is not forfeited.

These massive companies are essentially being treated by the law as if they are still mere startups. Although many in the tech community see Section 230 as sacrosanct, i.e., not to be touched, the provision was modified by a bi-partisan coalition in Congress earlier this year. President Trump signed legislation amending Section 230 in April 2018, denying some legal immunity to internet platforms in order to fight sex trafficking.

More carve outs of the statute, or the threat of such, will get the attention of the tech giants and perhaps motivate them to return to the free and open platforms they once wanted to be.

Rebel Comics Rock, Seinfeld, Allen, Miller, and Brooks Speak Out

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Chris Rock has recently been attacked by the left because he tweeted some words of praise for his comedic colleague Jerry Seinfeld.

In his tweet, the comedian and filmmaker included a link to an article from The Federalist, titled “Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians In Cars’ Is A Welcome Respite From The Insufferable Wokeness Of Comedy.”

“Wokeness,” or the abbreviated “woke,” is the term that is being used by the so-called resistance movement to describe an individual or group’s commitment to oppose President Donald Trump.

Author of the article Ellie Bufkin argues that the value in Seinfeld’s show is that its emphasis on being funny, as opposed to actively engaging in leftist political messaging, “has created a wonderful escape from the political insanity of our day…”

As pointed out in the article, Seinfeld had been chastised by the Vulture website and others for not inserting “woke” politics into his show. Bufkin and Rock were essentially commending Seinfeld for not joining the ranks of the numerous late-night Trump bashers who in today’s cultural climate are delivering patently predictable comedy to their audiences night after night.

Further infuriating the left, Rock concluded his tweet with the following words: “Thank God for Jerry.”

Meanwhile comedic actor Tim Allen told Entertainment Weekly that the current politically correct restrictions imposed on public expression are posing an actual danger for comedians.

“It’s a very icy time. I’ve been a comedian for 38 years and I’ve never seen it, like Lenny Bruce said at the Purple Onion, ‘we’ve gone backwards,’” said Allen, whose series “Last Man Standing” is set for a return to television in September on FOX.

“There are things you can’t say. There are things you shouldn’t say. Who makes up these rules? And as a stand-up comic, it’s a dangerous position to be in because I like pushing buttons. It’s unfortunate,” Allen added.

Humor is an important relief valve for individuals as well as the whole of society, and in a cathartic manner allows people to observe new and differing perspectives on potentially polarizing topics. It is therefore critically important to examine the left’s penchant for weaponizing identity politics and the degree to which the strategy has resulted in the serious side effect of silencing laughter itself.

Human response to comedy is uniquely spontaneous. Comedian, actor, and best-selling author Dennis Miller wrote, “Laughter is one of the great beacons in life because we don’t defract it by gunning it through our intellectual prism. What makes us laugh is a mystery — an involuntary response.”

Today’s late-night comedians are often comfortable operating joke free, no longer seeking laughs but instead pursuing applause via material that panders to their like-minded niche audiences. In the same interview in which Rock told New York Magazine that he gave up performing at colleges due to hyper-political correctness on campuses, he talked about the manner in which technology and social media spur comedians to censor their own material.

Stand-up practitioners have a particularly pressing need to try out their material before exposing it to a larger audience.

“It is scary, because the thing about comedians is that you’re the only ones who practice in front of a crowd. Prince doesn’t run a demo on the radio. But in stand-up, the demo gets out. There are a few guys good enough to write a perfect act and get onstage, but everybody else workshops it and workshops it, and it can get real messy. It can get downright offensive,” Rock said.

The prevalence of smart phones, which have the capacity to record and share, has altered the way reactions to stand-up presentations are communicated.

“Before everyone had a recording device and was wired…, you’d say something that went too far, and you’d go, ‘Oh, I went too far,’ and you would just brush it off. But if you think you don’t have room to make mistakes, it’s going to lead to safer, gooier stand-up. You can’t think the thoughts you want to think if you think you’re being watched,” Rock added.

In comedy clubs back in the day, when members of an audience were offended, they simply got up and left the club. Today if someone does not like a joke, the outrage over the offending material can easily be spread in geometric fashion to an enormous number of people via social media.

Social media at the present time is extremely unfriendly to any attempts at being funny that do not fit within the strict parameters of the politically correct crowd, who are on an endless hunt for PC violators. With the advent of Twitter mobs, some of which are artificially enhanced, humor is routinely being re-labeled as hate speech.

In a recent interview with the U.K. Telegraph, legendary filmmaker Mel Brooks warned the world that society’s “stupidly politically correct” sensibilities will lead to the “death of comedy.” Brooks explained that political correctness is “not good for comedy,” since “comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks.”

Surprisingly, Brooks believes that his iconic western parody “Blazing Saddles” could not co-exist with the current climate because it has a racial theme within the plotline.

Once upon a time rational people discussed whether or not humorous content had crossed into the territory of being too offensive.

Today, however, with digital monitoring, persecution via social media, and the constant addition of favored groups that can never be the subject of comedic material, humor is in danger of becoming extinct.

Social Media Memes Obscure Bombshell Revelations in Strzok Testimony

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Peter Strzok is the former Chief of the Counterespionage Section of the FBI. He is the same individual who led the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit use of a personal email server.

Strzok became Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, the second-highest position within this division. He led the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and was part of the investigative team on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel probe.

Strzok recently testified before two House committees about the explicit and clear animus that he expressed toward then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. He did so while simultaneously showing his utter devotion for then-candidate Hillary Clinton, via tens of thousands of text messages with his then-paramour FBI attorney Lisa Page.

Under the oversight function with which Congress is charged, it must determine whether the manifest bias exhibited in Strzok’s text messages influenced his work on three very important investigations, ones that rank among the most serious in modern history.

After the testimony of the FBI agent had been completed, the social media was abuzz with memes that consisted of pictures and video footage showing some rather bizarre facial expressions and body movements on the part of Strzok.

The memes had a potentially negative effect in that, rather than enlightening the public, they served to detract from the substance of Strzok,s testimony.

Meanwhile most of the mainstream media avoided acknowledging points made by GOP representatives and continuously painted Strzok as a victim of Republican persecution.

As if they had torn a page from the Alinsky playbook, Democrats did their best to obstruct and disrupt the hearings with rapid fire interruptions, incessant points of order, and countless motions, timing their outbursts to those moments when Strzok was asked a probing question.

Tennessee Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen had the gall to talk about a desire that Strzok be given a Purple Heart for his work on the investigations, which was a serious insult to members of the armed forces who have received this distinguished honor.

The Democrats, their media allies, and broadcast television’s late-night hosts portrayed Strzok as a hero, ignoring how he attempted to explain away as mere joshing texts that called residents of Loudoun County, Virginia “ignorant,” and that the smelling of Trump supporters in a WalMart merely meant that he was aware of their presence.

The “we” in “we would stop Trump from getting elected” was supposedly a reference to all of the American people, and according to his testimony, Strzok wrote and sent tens of thousands of texts in which he did not say what he meant.

Even though Strzok was taken off the Mueller investigation for bias, according to Sztrok’s answers bias did not exist, but instead he was removed because of the “appearance of bias.”

Lost amid the strange footage of Strzok, which rapidly spread across the social media landscape, two bombshell revelations were unearthed that were new to the public and the press. The first occurred during questioning by Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert and came immediately after an exchange in which Democrats went into hysterics over Gohmert questioning Strzok as to whether he wore the same grin when he lied to his wife about having an extramarital affair.

Although the outburst by the Democrats sounded rather rehearsed, it did manage to distract from the pertinent information that was about to be exposed. Via his questions to Strzok, Gohmert revealed that the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) had informed Strzok that forensic analysis of metadata from Hillary Clinton’s email had indicated that over 30,000 of Clinton’s emails had been forwarded to the email address of a known hostile foreign entity, and that this entity was not Russia.

Gohmert stated that Frank Rucker, an ICIG investigator, presented the forensic findings to Strzok but no action whatsoever was taken by Strzok to pursue the significant intelligence matter. Strzok acknowledged having met with Rucker but claimed that he could not recall the “specific content.”

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, telling Strzok, “You were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

What possible explanation could there be for a highly placed FBI official failing to diligently pursue such a significant intelligence breach? Bias appears to be the most sensible explanation.

Still, there is an even more important revelation that arose during questioning conducted by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. The revelation deals with a fundamental question: What exactly was the basis for launching a major counterintelligence investigation that targeted the Trump campaign?

Strzok acknowledged under questioning by Jordan that the fourth ranking official at the Department of Justice, Bruce Ohr, supplied the FBI with documents that were the basis for the counterintelligence investigation. Ohr’s wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, conducting opposition research against then-candidate Trump, which was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The material Ohr provided was compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele and consists of documents that are known as “the dossier.”

“This is the first time, to my knowledge, the FBI has admitted they got parts of the dossier from Bruce Ohr, a fellow DOJ employee,” Jordan told Sean Hannity during a Fox News appearance.

The revelation confirms the fact that an unverified, unreliable dossier, which was purchased as opposition research by Clinton’s campaign, formed the basis by which a counterintelligence investigation against Clinton’s opponent in the presidential election, namely now-President Trump, was launched and was soon used to obtain FISA warrants to surveil members of her opponent’s campaign.