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Friday, September 18, 2020

YouTube squelches scientific debate and other commentary

Conservative: YouTube Crushes Scientific Debate

Big Tech’s latest “extreme and arbitrary” censorship should worry all Americans, argues Jonathan Tobin at The Federalist: Google-owned YouTube took down the video of an interview with Scott Atlas where the “prominent neuro-radiologist and professor at Stanford University Medical Center . . . spoke of his belief that the pandemic lockdowns might have done more harm than good.” The company said the tape violated its terms of service, similar to its claims “for the many other instances of YouTube censorship of videos about the COVID-19 crisis.” Perhaps it can justify squelching conspiracy theories, but this was “a video from a widely respected think tank, in which Atlas discussed a data-driven analysis of the catastrophic impact of the lockdowns.” It may be time for the Justice Department to “finally act to apply antitrust laws against Google.”

From the Right: GOP Poised To Lose Senate

“Unless things turn around,” warns the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney, “Republicans will definitely lose the Senate this fall.” With a three-seat cushion, the GOP is “playing defense in 10 races” and “definitively trailing in three” of them. “At most, Democrats are playing defense in four races” and aren’t behind in any. It wouldn’t be “shocking” if Dems pick up eight seats or more; a four-seat gain — and thus the majority — seems more likely than not. If so, a re-elected President Trump probably couldn’t get new federal judges confirmed. And since Democrats are “nearly guaranteed to hold the House,” a Biden victory would “mean complete Democratic control,” allowing the party to hike taxes, fill judicial vacancies — “and who knows what else.”

Iconoclast: The Logic of ‘Bell Curve Leftism’

“As a schoolteacher,” Fredrik deBoer “encountered the simple, unavoidable fact that some humans are more academically gifted than others, and there’s nothing much anyone can do about it,” writes Andrew Sullivan at The Weekly Dish. “This genetic reality — in fact, the very idea of nature ­existing at all — is currently a taboo topic on the left,” and deBoer “is risking cancellation by even mentioning it” in his new book. But there is a “logic” to the author’s “Bell Curve Leftism.” When it comes to obesity and mental illness, “progressive people tend to believe that it’s biology, not willpower, that plays the largest role.” So, asks Sullivan, “why not intelligence?” Its “genetic roots” are “well-established,” though its “heritability . . . is for individuals, not groups.” In fact, the “very American cult of education . . . exposes and entrenches” this unavoidable “inequality of nature” among individuals (though not racial groups).

Team Trump: Media Cover for Joe’s Virus Follies

Despite what CNN’s Jake Tapper claimed on-air recently, there is ample proof that Joe Biden initially opposed Trump’s COVID-19 travel ban, calling it “xenophobic” on multiple occasions, reports senior Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes at The National Pulse. Tapper’s denial is just one more example of how “most mainstream-media mavens are brazen public agents for the Democratic Party.” Biden’s camp has decided to rewrite his virus response, and the media are all too eager to “assist [its] obfuscation.” Journalists who can’t “separate reporting from propagandizing” are destroying trust in the press. They may as well “go to work ­directly for Biden’s campaign” and spare us the act that they aren’t blatantly partisan.

Gadfly: The ACLU’s Turn to Partisanship

The venerable American Civil Liberties Union is sending out direct mail like what “you’d ordinarily see from a political party or an actual candidate’s campaign, not a nonprofit,” notes Ira Stoll at The New York Sun. He received a letter warning: “Fueled by racial animosity and political desperation, Trump won’t stop at anything to keep people from the polls this November.” Yet the group’s last tax return “cites the organization’s articles of incorporation in stating, ‘The ACLU’s objects should be sought wholly without political partisanship.’ ” Oddly, the same filing lists a staff job of “national political director,” paid $346,000 — and: “That staffer, Faiz Shakir, left the ACLU to serve as campaign manager” for Bernie Sanders. It all sure looks like “the hollowing out of an essential American organization from within.”

Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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