Dennis Prager: Capitol Siege Was ‘Vile’ but Left’s Suppression of Free Speech Is Worse

Tom Ozimek
Jan Jekielek
Radio talk show host and columnist Dennis Prager said in an interview with The Epoch Times’ American Thought Leaders program Tuesday that, while last week’s violent siege of the U.S. Capitol was “vile” and “disgusting” and worthy of condemnation, the ongoing suppression of free speech in America by the left poses a bigger threat.

Prager was responding to a question about criticism leveled by some media personalities against some conservatives and “China hawks” who they accuse of being much more concerned about denouncing censorship and curtailment of freedom of speech rather than criticizing the Capitol riot.

The two are “incomparably imbalanced” in terms of the actual threat they pose to America, Prager said. While denouncing last Wednesday’s unrest, Prager argued that it did not threaten the U.S. nearly as much as the suppression of free speech.

“The whole point of America was freedom,” he said. “The left is suppressing, oppressing the greatest feature of the United States.”

“What threatens the country? A foolish, stupid, wrongheaded, vile attack on the Capitol, which reopened for business within hours, versus the ongoing suppression of free speech? It’s not symmetrical.”

Protesters storm the Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6, 2020. (Ahmed Gaber/Reuters)
Protesters storm the Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6, 2020. (Ahmed Gaber/Reuters)

“There’s no comparison,” he said. “The disgusting events of January 6 do not threaten this country nearly as much as the suppression of free speech does,” he contended.

While a full reckoning of the attack on the Capitol has yet to be completed as investigations by the Justice Department and the FBI have only just gotten underway, there is a long historical record of the consequences of leftist repression, Prager said.

“The left suppresses liberty everywhere it takes power—there is no exception,” he said, noting the presence of numerous examples in the last 100 years of communist regimes committing egregious acts of oppression against their own people.

“And it is happening, incredibly, in the country of the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell, for which they have contempt,” he said, adding that he sees evidence that the left is exploiting the Capitol siege to dial-up restrictions on freedom of expression.

“There was no exception in the last 100 years to the left taking power and not suppressing free speech,” he said, adding that, “they’re using January 6 as the excuse to do so” now.

Amazon taking down Parler is a “perfect example” of this, he said. On Monday morning, Amazon Web Services took down Parler, sparking debate about whether the suspension was about stifling free speech.

In reply to a lawsuit brought by Parler, Amazon Web Services said Wednesday that, “This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade.”

“Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens,” the company said.

The CEO of Parler, John Matze, has condemned calls for violence on his platform.

“We would never condone it, we have a lot of things in place to stop it,” said Matze of users inciting violence, adding that Parler is about free speech.

Meanwhile, following the Jan. 6 unrest, social media giants Twitter and Facebook announced stricter measures on their platforms. Facebook is targeting content with the phrase “stop the steal,” a reference to claims of election fraud, while Twitter is taking aim at accounts that focus on the QAnon movement.