In a free society we understand, cherish and protect the right of speech. All kinds of speech. Primarily offensive speech with which we disagree. In order to remain civilized, we draw a big red line between speech and violence. This includes threats of violence. Once violence or threats of violence become accepted, we are no longer a civil society. The media collective glossing over Zoey Tur’s threats of physical violence against Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro should worry all of us.
During a Thursday evening appearance on HLN’s “Dr. Drew On Call,” Shapiro and Tur (a man who identifies as a woman) got into a heated exchange over biology. Like many of us, Shapiro could not care less how anyone defines one’s self, but he will not be shamed or bullied into the sharing the delusion of another’s personal self-expression. A man is a man. A woman is a woman. During their exchange, Shapiro referred to Tur as “sir,” and only then was the red line crossed.
Before Tur physically threatened Shapiro, the exchange was just the usual-usual cable news fodder. Then Tur went way over the line; he physically grabbed Shapiro’s neck and seethed, “You cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance.”
According to Shapiro, Tur threatened him again after the show. HLN staffers were concerned enough to walk Shapiro to his car but only after they were sure Tur had left the premises. The next day on social media, Tur threatened to “curb-stomp” Shapiro — threatened a Jewish man with an act associated with Neo-Nazis.
There is no question that Tur’s behavior is out of line, maybe criminal, and a possible symptom of an unstable mind (many in the medical community believe the transgendered are mentally ill). Frustrated by science-based facts and having no fact-based counter-point, Tur turned to violence. We’ve seen this before. We will again. Individual bullies are no reason to wake the whole town with the church bell.
What is cause for alarm is when our media glosses over and even celebrates the crossing of the line from speech to threats of violence — which is exactly what our media did.
Many in our media either covered up Tur’s threats of violence with headlines that turned the exchange into a “heated” moral equivalence, or outright attacked Shapiro.
Salon: Ben Shapiro tries — and spectacularly fails — to humiliate trans woman Zoey Tur:
Mediaite: Ben Shapiro and Transgender Reporter Get Heated on HLN
HLN(!): The moment this transgender debate got heated
The Wrap: Transgender Journalist, Breitbart Editor Nearly Come to Blows During Caitlyn Jenner Debate
Some in the media covered the story accurately. Most of the media ignored the story entirely, almost certainly because the story was inconvenient to the media’s ongoing left-wing agenda.
There is no question that had Shapiro grabbed Tur’s neck and later used social media to threaten to “curb-stomp” him, that Shapiro’s career would be over today because the story would be the biggest media storm in the country.
But because Tur is a member of a protected status — LGBT — almost all of the media is either ignoring, excusing, glossing over, and even cheering unacceptable violent behavior — because in their minds “the target” is the “correct” one.
If you want another science-based fact… Tur’s violent behavior and the media either looking the other way or championing it based solely on the identity of the bully and the identity of the victim is something right out of the early days of Nazi Germany.
What happened between Tur and Shapiro, and more importantly the media’s reaction to it, is a canary in a coalmine.
The Left’s push for gay rights was never about live and let live.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC