Quote of the day—Alex Stamos

We are going to have to figure out the OAN and Newsmax problem. These companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and such bringing them into tens of millions of homes.

Alex Stamos
January 17, 2021

[Of course they consider free speech a problem. Their ideas can’t compete in a free marketplace of ideas.—Joe]


23 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Alex Stamos

  1. It’s such a wonder. The logic disconnect of their thought process. The almost total disregard of for the future. Over which they have such little control.
    It’s to bad, cause ignorance and malice carry the same penalty.
    Like Shilla Jackson Lee and H.R.127. One can only marvel.
    Is it just that these people have never suffered a consequence in their entire life? Or is the brainwashing just that good?
    The only good thing is that the gloves are coming off. Which finishes any arguments about intent. Or what we are about to be subjected to.

  2. “free marketplace of ideas”

    But that’s not what we’re talking about. OAN and Newsmax are propaganda outlets sowing disinformation that’s rarely based on reality. Just as MSNBC and segments of CNN have become untrustworthy for their desire to be the voice of liberalism (while feeding the 24 hour news cycle), making up conspiracies that don’t actually exist.

    The free marketplace of ideas depends on its participants being reality-based. If the only goods being sold in that marketplace are propaganda, you don’t have a market, you have a garbage dump.

    • A “Free market”, requires no such things. It only requires money to operate.
      Wither we think it be garbage or not. The problem is the one you present. You’ve decided it’s garbage. Fair enough. Turn them off. Are YOU deciding for everyone which one is garbage? And should be stopped from producing your idea of garbage? Then YOU are the problem.
      The real fundamental question is control. And those who would deny freedom to others. Who is talking about doing that? Newsmax or CNN? I’ve never heard anyone at Newsmax express anything of the sort. But the Communist New Net?
      Sorry your having such a hard time, John. I was truly hoping that Trumps demise would bring you a since of peace.

      • I said nothing about stopping anyone from producing anything. I’m in full support of all speech being fully available, and think that though Trump is a waste of otherwise useful carbon and oxygen, his Twitter feed shouldn’t have been cut off.

        I’m pointing out that in order to have a “marketplace of ideas” (the “of ideas” part being the important bit) you have to have ideas that can be argued, not propaganda. There’s a difference. You can have a marketplace of garbage too, which is what we have now.

        • If you don’t like a product don’t buy it. You don’t have the right to tell me that I can’t consume a product that you don’t like. I’ve been reading Q stuff lately. i find it to be marvelous entertainment. If you don’t, by all means avoid it.

        • Yes, many of us have been screaming for logical discourse since before Walter Cronkite.
          We asked why, if you want to kill communist did we have to go to Vietnam? When Cuba was only 200 miles away? Even wanted to nuke us.
          But garbage is in the eyes of the beholder. Same as logic, it appears.
          But that wasn’t what the post was about. It was about communist trying to cement their power over the media. So that there’s only one type of garbage we can hear.
          (Were all waiting for JSNN to come online. Then we can get the straight scoop.)

    • John, your assertion is utter bunk. The free marketplace of ideas requires only a free marketplace. The basis, if any, of the ideas being marketed is utterly irrelevant.
      And especially it is irrelevant from a Constitutional point of view.

      You’re trying to set up the government as the judge of truth. That’s been done many times before, but such a thing is not a democracy, is not freedom, and is not Constitutional. Stalin and Mao and the Inquisition are the examples of such a system.

      • “The free marketplace of ideas requires only a free marketplace. The basis, if any, of the ideas being marketed is utterly irrelevant.”

        So you view propaganda and fact based ideas as being equal?

        “You’re trying to set up the government as the judge of truth.”

        Nope. I neither said nor implied any such thing.

        It does occur to me, though, that perhaps you think I’m defending Stamo’s assertion. I’m not. As I said earlier, access to an audience, even for an imbicile like Trump, should be kept available. Stamos is wrong if he thinks we should prevent carriers from carrying Newsmax or OAN. I’m more poking at Joe’s use of the word “ideas,” when much of OAN and Newsmax and MSNBC is very clearly propaganda, which by its nature distorts markets by making false claims.

        • Statements based on facts, based on opinion, based on willful ignorance and based on deliberate malicious fabrications are obviously not equivalent.

          But here’s what you’re fundamentally missing:

          There exists no person on this world that has the legitimate authority to decide that you can’t hear all of those and make your own decisions.

          Equally, nobody has elected you, or anyone you know, High Omniscient Prophet of Truth with the power to decree any statement unworthy to be heard by either the Pure Humans or the Unwashed.

          To paraphrase Buddha, when you meet one who claims to be such a prophet, kill them.

        • Interesting… It appears you have a different definition of propaganda than Merriam-Webster:

          1 capitalized: a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions
          2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
          3: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause

          Hence, propaganda is very clearly “ideas” and may, but not required to, be completely truthful.

          • The definition I use:


            “Propaganda is understood as a form of manipulation of public opinion. The semiotic manipulation of signs is the essential characteristic (“Propaganda is a major form of manipulation by symbols” ).[5]

            Thus, propaganda is a special form of communication, which is studied in communication research, and especially in media impact research, focusing on media manipulation.[6] Propaganda is a particular type of communication characterized by distorting the representation of reality.[4]”

          • Are you claiming that Merriam Webster is wrong and you are using Wikipedia as definitive proof of that?

            Furthermore you claim you were poking at my “use of the word ‘ideas’, when much of OAN and Newsmax and MSNBC is very clearly propaganda”. Are you claiming that propaganda does not qualify as a set of ideas? If so, perhaps you should start searching for a more “authoritative” definition of “idea” than first few dictionaries I examined.

          • “Are you claiming that Merriam Webster is wrong”

            Nope, just saying the definition Wikipedia uses matches my understanding of propaganda from a historical perspective.

            Seems very au courant, though, that we’re stuck arguing over the definition of a word.

        • Trumps an imbecile? 5 billion dollars, a very smart, hot wife. And successful at everything except stealing elections.
          Sez the guy that ,,,,what in life? Oh, your the libertarian smart guy! What a bunch of winners! Sure you don’t work for CNN? Sure sound like it.

          • John, try the, It’s always a new day Chinese communist dictionary next time.
            It’s always au courant.
            Joe wasn’t arguing over a word. He was politely pointing out your IQ to the rest of us.

        • John,
          Yes, I certainly interpreted what you wrote as defending Stamos. If that wasn’t your intent, why did you say anything? The points you made certainly didn’t come across as supporting freedom of speech.
          Appeals to “truth” are routinely made by totalitarians of all stripes as an excuse for preventing unwelcome opinions. The way to protect free speech is not to humor such notions — NOT by giving lip service to their arguments while at the same time saying you don’t support them.
          Consider this https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/opinion/trump-impeachment-morality.html (cited in this article which gives other examples https://www.westernjournal.com/not-joke-experts-think-biden-form-truth-commission-regulate-disinformation/)

          • I read the Kristof piece. I don’t really agree with any of it.

            Wrt why I replied:

            I agree with the basic assertion that OAN and Newsmax are a “problem” in the sense that they traffic in lies and manipulation. They’re trolls. The same is true of Fox and MSNBC, and the pundit-y side of CNN (CNN’s foreign desk is still pretty solid).

            I don’t agree that the solution is to silence them. But I also can’t sit by and not object them being equated to the kind of discourse enlightenment thinkers had in mind when they contemplated the “marketplace of ideas” (although to be fair that specific phrase didn’t actually come into use until the 20th century). They’re not the same thing, and if you really want to have a media system that works, you have to call out the bullshit artists and distinguish them from the folks who are actually trying to have a rational discussion. You can’t complain about corruption in the media while also giving support to people adding more shit to the pile.

          • Here’s the problem.
            Stamos, and many others, are viciously attacking free speech. It’s something they clearly hate with a passion. Among the arguments they make to push their attack is claims about “truth” by which they actually mean conformance to their extreme leftist orthodoxy.
            When you comment on their points and make a discussion of “truth” a centerpiece of your arguments, you come across as supporting their position.

            The correct statement is that truth is utterly irrelevant to the right of free speech. Note that this has nothing to do with merit. You challenged me if I felt group A had equal merit to group B. I don’t know and for the discussion at hand, that question is a red herring. The Constitution, and the 1st Amendment in particular, says nothing at all about truth. Truth is not a prerequisite to exercise of the right to free speech. Lack of truth, whether by the left’s definition of it or anyone else’s, has no bearing on the right to free speech. Admitting questions of truth into the debate amounts to accepting the talking points of the enemies of free speech.

            If you don’t want to attack free speech, great. In that case, I recommend you avoid arguments about free speech that involve the notion of truth.

          • At no point did I mention “truth.” I’m not arguing *for* truth, I’m arguing against propaganda being given the umbrella of “speech.” Propaganda (under the historical definition, see definition discussion above) is not speech, it’s explicitly an attempt at psychological manipulation. It’s a weapon. It’s not speech, or an idea, or rationality, it’s psychological force.

            OAN, Newsmax, and MSNBC (and many others) are all propaganda outlets. So saying they’re part of the “marketplace of ideas” is not correct (I’m asserting). You don’t have to set anyone up as the arbiter of “truth” to identify entities whose actions are clearly designed as psyops. Psyops has to include some truth as part of the attack or it won’t work. That’s what makes it effective. But that doesn’t make it part of the “marketplace of ideas.”

          • Sure you did. “OAN and Newsmax are propaganda outlets sowing disinformation that’s rarely based on reality.” You’re saying that these two outfits are in the business of speech that is not true. Furthermore, you’re saying that the marketplace of ideas comprises only those ideas that are “true”.
            Everyone should read today’s WSJ lead editorial “Liberalism’s Ministry of Truth” — https://www.wsj.com/articles/liberalisms-ministry-of-truth-11612395404?st=p72ov4305jamli3&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink . It makes all the relevant points very well.
            Something occurred to me. It’s quite disgraceful for the NYT to be pushing these notions, as they are. After all, they have a nasty history of falsehood themselves, going back a long time (their coverup of Stalin’s crimes, for which they received a Pulitzer they still haven’t apologized for) to the more recent notorious dystopian fiction “1619 Project”. I suppose they rely on the fact that liberal lies are always permitted.

  3. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it fall, does it make a sound
    If one has Freedom of Speech but only where no one can hear the speech, does the freedom really exist?

    This seems to be the First Amendment equivalent of having the right to bear arms of the Second Amendment but the right to ammunition is regulated out of existence

    • Freedom of speech has never meant being provided a microphone or a web platform, etc., which does not belong to you. All it means is that no one has the right to interfere with your speech. If you owned a platform, or a house, or a stage, etc., ideally you’d be free to control it in any way you choose, for any reason whatsoever. This is the hinge-point that’s being erased, and ultimately it will be forgotten (if it hasn’t been forgotten already).

  4. I point out that among the enemies of liberty are people who understand the truth far better than most of us. It’s just that they don’t like it, and so they’re waging war against it. If we can’t see that, then we’re the dumb ones.

    Keep that in mind while you ponder how “clueless” and “dumb” the Romish left is.

    The rise of authoritarianism is inevitable so long as we sit in denial regarding its goals and purposes.

    In Biblical parlance for example; there is none more certain of the existence of God, His law and precepts, and of the true identity of Christ, than satan, who lived among them as chief of all the angels for countless millennia.

    And while you may not ascribe to the possibility of the existence of such beings in the universe, at least ponder the concept, which applies perfectly to our situation.

    And while you may question the character of satan, and the wisdom of his decision, he is nonetheless more intelligent and cunning than any mere human, and vastly more apprised of the situation in the world and of the consequences of his actions.

    And so we end with a rhetorical question for inquiring minds. Looking at all of the above concept from the point of view of a purely intellectual exercise then, where does that leave all of our boasting over the “stupidity” or “cluelessness” of the enemy?

    And to offer a little tidbit to go along with the question; I’ve heard, from two different leftist sources on two different national programs recently, the following declaration;
    “We hate you more than we value (or love) our own lives.”

    It is “stupid”? Is it “clueless? Does it matter one way or the other so long as there is careful and clever planning and organization behind it?

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