Senior Writer John Nolte talked about his return to Breitbart News, the left’s war against free speech, and the current state of Hollywood with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Tuesday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily.
Marlow reminisced about how he and Nolte were among the first members of the Breitbart News team, with Nolte serving as inaugural editor for the Big Hollywood section. After a year and a half away, Nolte returned to Breitbart with an article on Monday entitled “5 Reasons Why Trump’s Pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio Is Awesome.”
Sizing up the current political environment, Nolte said: “There is no bottom the media is not willing to hit in order to take their version of the country back.”
“I think that the great definer of how low the media is willing to go is Antifa,” he continued. “You have in Antifa what is basically a left-wing terrorist group, a vigilante group, spreading out across the country to shut down – through chaos, violence, and riots – any opinion they don’t agree with.”
“Now, none of us sympathize with neo-Nazis. But it’s not just neo-Nazis,” he observed. “And by the way, neo-Nazis should have a right to peaceably express themselves, no matter how noxious their views. But it’s not just neo-Nazis, it’s Trump supporters.”
“One of the great undercovered stories during the whole Charlottesville episode was that the day after Charlottesville, in another city – I think it was Seattle – a bunch of Trump supporters held a rally, and Antifa also went over there and beat the hell out of those people, and shut them down,” Nolte recalled. “Those weren’t neo-Nazis. Those weren’t neo-Confederates. Those were just Trump supporters, and violence was used to shut them up and to stop it, and the media just doesn’t care.”
“This is the same media that freaked out because middle-aged people gathered together for the Tea Party, and I think the most violence we ever saw there was them picking up their own litter,” he said.
“The media is part of the Antifa conspiracy because you can see it. You can see it across all media platforms: the ever-expanding definition of the ‘alt-right,’ the ever-expanding definition of ‘hate speech,’ the Southern Poverty Law Center labeling opposition to same-sex marriage ‘hate speech’ – which, by extension, labels the Christian church a hate group. As the media says ‘maybe it’s OK to commit violence against Nazis and the alt-right and haters,’ they’re also expanding the definition of the alt-right and hate to include traditional conservative views,” he warned.
Marlow played an astonishing audio clip of CNN hosts implying that Islamic terrorists were somehow inspired to use cars as murder weapons by the man who drove into a crowd in Charlottesville when of course the “car jihad” strategy was pioneered by Muslim terrorists long ago.
“Listen to the language that they use: the white supremacist who allegedly used his vehicle as a weapon, and the alleged white supremacist, they just label that ‘a white supremacist used his car to murder someone.’ But when it came to the Barcelona terror attack, they used the word ‘apparently,’” Nolte pointed out. “That’s another area where you’re seeing the left drift away from due process, from the rights of the accused.”
“We don’t know what happened in Charlottesville,” he elaborated. “We don’t know if that person who used his vehicle in that way, what his intentions were. Now, it looks to me like he’s guilty as hell, because he backed up and did it again. We don’t know what was in his mind, and intent matters.”
“If I were going to write a headline at Breitbart about this, you would tell me to use the word ‘alleged,’ because he has not been convicted yet, and that’s the word we use,” Nolte told Marlow. “We all learned that during the Richard Jewell case, that no matter how guilty someone looks, you wait. The media’s just not doing that anymore.”
“So maybe that guy was panicked. I don’t know. I doubt it very, very much. But as a journalist, these are the cautions that you use, and the media is even throwing those away while they wonder what the motive of a guy is who yells ‘Allahu akbar!’ before stabbing a bunch of people. That’s another area where we’re seeing the media devolve into what really is becoming a vigilante group,” he said.
Nolte agreed with Marlow’s proposition that the media has effectively become the party of the left, the primary force behind the left-wing policy agenda, as the actual Democrat Party fades away.
“You just don’t hear from Chuck Schumer. You just don’t hear from Nancy Pelosi,” Nolte noted. “Both of them are so bad on TV. I think that’s why the media said, ‘Okay, you guys need to hold my beer, we’ll take care of this.’”
“Every pretense of objectivity has been thrown out the window. You even have people who defended the objectivity of the media for years admitting that now. It’s just over. The fight now is at least out in the open,” he said.
“It’s a fight between the media institution, which is still very powerful, and those of us on the Internet. That’s why they’re attacking those of us on the Internet. They’re trying to shut us down. They’re going after our advertisers. They want to give all these left-wing corporations a veto power over the First Amendment,” he cautioned.
“It’s going to be a pitched battle. Like I said, when you have the media cheering on Antifa, when you have Chuck Todd bringing the guy on Meet the Press and treating him seriously as he talks about how it’s okay to meet peaceful neo-Nazis, peaceful white supremacists, peaceful quote-unquote ‘hate groups’ with force – meaning violence – you can see where this is all headed,” Nolte warned.
Marlow and Nolte discussed a topic of profound mutual interest, the control of free speech by corporate entities – once the subject of dystopian fiction, but now accepted without much complaint by the dominant media culture because the corporations in question have left-wing leadership.
“Corporations are given veto power over the First Amendment,” said Nolte. “It is now okay to fire someone if they went to a rally where a bunch of neo-Nazis got together to protest the taking down of a statue. Even though we don’t know what this person’s personal views are, even if the person is a neo-Nazi, I think the idea of firing someone – we’re not talking about a job where he expresses his opinions, we’re talking about a job where he bags groceries, or whatever it was. It’s a slippery slope of firing someone over his personal political beliefs, and we don’t even know if he’s a neo-Nazi.”
“That gives corporations a veto power over free speech,” Nolte argued. “Corporations that remove their sponsorship, these boycotts, that gives corporations a veto power over free speech.”
“But the most troubling thing happening is that Twitter and Facebook, and most especially Facebook, have become the Ma Bells of the 21st Century,” he continued. “They’re the telephone. You know, when I grew up, all you had was the telephone. They are the means by which people communicate with one another now.”
“Those two corporations are, again, aligned with media: expanding the definition of hate speech, expanding the definition of the alt-right, and using that sort of moral imprimatur to monitor our communications, to say ‘No, you can’t say this, and you can’t say that. If you do say that, we’re going to cut your telephone wire, and then you’re not going to communicate with anyone,’” he said.
“The lazy conservative argument to that is that a corporation should be allowed to run its company how it pleases. But what do you do when suddenly we’re living in the world of Robocop, and Demolition Man, where corporations have all this power, all this control, and are so necessary for us to communicate with each other?” Nolte asked.
“How many websites would die without the ability to post their posts on Facebook? And then there’s the issue of the Daily Stormer, which is a disgusting neo-Nazi website. No one will serve their site anymore,” he continued, prompting Marlow to interject with the news that the Daily Stormer has gone offline, evidently for good.
Marlow noted that the Daily Stormer has tried to boycott Breitbart News for employing gay writers. Nolte chuckled that they probably would not have a very high opinion of his own marriage to a Mexican, but the important point is defending free speech for one’s adversaries, not just for friends.
“You have the media ever-expanding these definitions, so if these corporations have the power to make the Daily Stormer disappear, what’s next?” Nolte wondered. “Because we’re slowly all being aligned with the Daily Stormer because of our opinion on gay marriage, or our opinion on statues. That is a huge veto power to give to these mega-corporations. It’s like a dystopia, like Robocop, where these corporations have this unbelievable power. The media goes right along with it and gives them the cover that they need to use that power in ways that continue to be more troubling.”
“No one sympathizes with neo-Nazis. No one sympathizes with the Daily Stormer. But the whole idea of American free speech is that we defend the worst of the worst because we understand the slippery slope argument,” he declared.
“Now that corporations have control of free speech, it’s a very sticky issue. The Supreme Court has already ruled that Facebook and Twitter can’t deny sex offenders a right to their site, so it should be interesting to see if this ends up going to the Supreme Court as well. Maybe it should,” he suggested.
“Whatever happened to that saying that I don’t agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it?” Nolte asked. “The liberal ideal of free speech, it’s gone. The liberal that Big Business is evil, it’s gone. The liberal ideal of due process for the accused, ask George Zimmerman. It’s gone.”
“It’s not Democrats. It’s not rank-and-file Democrats. It’s not everyday people. A lot of Democrats I know are pretty disgusted by this behavior,” he noted. But when you have the media on the side of this stuff, that is everything. That’s all that they need to continue this corporate fascist rampage.”
“The media is totally out of control. I don’t know how you can fight the media except with more speech. I think the media understands that they’re losing the argument, and that’s why they’ve moved in this direction. That’s why Chuck Todd is giving cover to people who claim that violence is okay. That’s why they’re expanding these definitions and pressuring, pressuring, pressuring Facebook and Twitter, because they can’t win the argument, so they’re going to just shut the argument down,” said Nolte.
Nolte talked about his decision to return to Breitbart News after working happily at the Daily Wire with Ben Shapiro.
“It really was the best job I’ve ever resigned from,” he said. “But the two sites, the Daily Wire and Breitbart News, are two very different sites. Both are successful, both have hit the target of what they want to do. It just felt to me like choosing between the Army and the Navy.”
“I was over there for about a year and a half. Like I said in my piece at the Daily Wire, I just feel better fighting on the water – in other words, joining the Navy as opposed to the Army. I have nothing but good things to say about Ben, and I have nothing but good things to say about the Daily Wire,” he declared.
“It’s just about where my very narrow skill set, which I think you can sum up with the word ‘belligerence,’ fits best, and where it can be the most effective,” Nolte said with a laugh.
“I just thought it could be more effective at Breitbart. I think we’re at a point where all hands are on deck. We’re in a pitched battle now. They’re trying to take down Trump – in other words, they’re trying to overturn a duly elected president, remove a duly elected president and overturn an election through fake news, through lies. All hands have to be on deck,” he urged.
“I just felt that I would be more effective – and I say this in the humblest way possible, I don’t want to pretend that I’m some sort of nuclear weapon or anything like that, but just whatever I can contribute, I would contribute more effectively at Breitbart,” he said. “It’s great to be back. It feels right.”
Speaking as a longtime film fan and critic, Nolte offered a bleak assessment of one of the left’s major cultural power bases, Hollywood. He said film studios have “painted themselves into a corner” with the summer-blockbuster model.
“They killed off the movie star: the idea that a face or a name on a poster can bring in people,” he explained. “They killed off these mid-budget movies, and they put all their marbles into these franchise films that cost $250 million to produce and promote, and they need $650 million in returns to make a profit. There’s only so many franchises out there, only so many universes you can create. People are tired of them.”
“Now what’s Hollywood going to do? What do they have left? It’s not like they have some sort of a bush-league team out there that they can call up. Hollywood is in very, very big trouble. People are getting out of the habit of going to the movies. That’s their fault, and it’s a quality issue more than any other issue,” Nolte judged.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern.