On the Efforts to Silence Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity

On the Efforts to Silence Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity
An advertisement features Fox News personalities, including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, in New York City, on March 13, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Brad Bird
Fox News Channel’s political commentators Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are under attack, with many calling for their removal from the airwaves.

While this is perhaps a predictable extension of cancel culture’s ongoing persecution of those who uphold traditional values, the attack on these men is a particularly offensive attempt at censorship—a line in the sand.

This is because they’re among the few remaining voices in North American journalism with the courage and commitment to report views and facts that challenge the wisdom of progressive thinking. They also defended and respected President Donald J. Trump, who was endlessly and unjustly attacked and maligned by most in the media who betrayed the tradition of fair and balanced reporting.

Carlson and Hannity have been accused, among other things, of spreading “harmful propaganda and downright fiction,” according to one source.

This is rich, considering what the mainstream media has been doing in recent years. We need to understand this clearly: Carlson and Hannity make no pretense of being objective newscasters such as the late Walter Cronkite or the current Lester Holt. They’re commentators who present their opinions in the same way the acclaimed William F. Buckley once did.

The problem is that people who want just the facts can’t get them anymore in the legacy media, such as The New York Times, because it’s so tainted by wokeness, political correctness, and the anti-Trump parade. So they turn to Carlson, Hannity, and others such as Laura Ingraham for relief and common sense.

I don’t know Carlson or Hannity personally, and I’m not in the pay of either of them. I have never spoken or communicated in any way with either of them. I’m an independent Canadian writer, a semi-retired reporter/editor with more than 40 years of experience, including work in war zones and positions in Canada at both large daily (Winnipeg Free Press) and small weekly newspapers. At the age of 62, I don’t fear retribution from those who might wish to silence me for defending my American colleagues.

After a lifetime of seeking and reporting the truth as best I could—not always succeeding, at times being in error, but having won many awards for my body of work, which includes five books—I decided, inspired by the brilliant books and columns of Conrad Black, to speak up and defend traditional values, our basic freedoms, and others who embrace them.

And since my late father, Clayton Bird, fought to defeat fascism and protect our freedoms in World War II as the pilot of a Halifax bomber, I also owe him, and his peers, a great debt of gratitude.

Thriving on Diversity

Democracy, like nature itself, thrives on diversity. Just as monoculture in agriculture is scorned as damaging to soils and crops alike, so too does a single voice in democracy lead to sterility and rot. We need a rich panoply of opinions like a meadow needs grasses, shrubs, and wildflowers, so they can help each other grow and thrive. We need progressive voices to help society evolve and improve—but we also need conservative views to protect the wisdom we’ve inherited.

Just as yin needs yang in Chinese philosophy for balance and harmony, so, too, does democracy need divergent views for a healthy intellectual life, for testing ideas and rejecting those that prove unfit and fallacious and embracing those that pass tests of reason and utility.

The truth emerges not from a single source—surely we learned that from Pravda’s propaganda in the Soviet Union and from the Chinese regime’s current censorship—but from a multiplicity of competing viewpoints that challenge each other, allowing the best to prevail.

You don’t have to agree with all that Carlson and Hannity say. I don’t, and they don’t expect us to. What matters is that they give many millions of people a different perspective to that in the mainstream media; they offer a conservative point of view to balance and question the progressive creed of those who now dominate our elected offices, the halls of academia, legal institutions, public schools, and the bastions of popular culture.

Attack on Free Speech

Whatever your nationality, you will recall that the First Amendment in the U.S. Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which covers TV news and commentary. The United States has been the world’s bulwark of free speech for 245 years, since 1776.

In modern history, the only affront to freedom of speech in America similar to what we see today occurred during the post-war period of McCarthyism in the late 1940s and early 1950s when people suspected of harboring communist sympathies were removed from their jobs. William L. Shirer, an esteemed war-time radio reporter and author of the best-selling “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” about Hitler’s destructive rule, was among those silenced.

Today the situation is reversed. It’s progressives, some clearly sympathetic to the Antifa-Marxist fringe of the Democratic Party, who are doing the persecuting, and they do so with impunity. We saw this last summer when Antifa and related groups toppled statues, injured hundreds of police officers, burned cruisers and private businesses, and actually took control, for many weeks, of portions of inner cities such as Seattle. Yet they were allowed this rampage in direct violation of the law. The mainstream media insisted these were “peaceful protests.” Thanks to Carlson and Hannity, we got some sanity on this madness.

In his inaugural address, President Joe Biden correctly declared that “The American story depends not on any one of us ... but on all of us.” Yes it does, and that includes all of your voices, our voices, including those of Carlson and Hannity. Biden is right, so don’t censor them, help them and others carry on their good and necessary work.

Brad Bird is an award-winning Canadian reporter and editorial writer with a master’s degree in political studies. His book “Me and My Canoe” (Pemmican Publications) relates his many wonderful experiences paddling the Mississippi River to New Orleans.
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Brad Bird began his career by freelancing in the 1970s. He worked for the Winnipeg Free Press in the 1980s and various smaller papers since, as well as abroad in conflict zones and for a Conservative MP in the Harper government. Also an author, he divides his time between Manitoba and B.C.