Alex Berenson recently wrote about the “First Freedom.” He was on my radio program four years ago to talk about stories he was investigating after having left the New York Times. That was before he began reporting on topics related to the pandemic and vaccine that were considered forbidden.
Perhaps now you can see why he writes about free speech. He has faced social media censorship by merely reporting the truth about the clinical trials of the vaccine.
To make his point, he takes us back 82 years to a State of the Union speech given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The president talked about four essential human freedoms. The second freedom was religious, “the freedom of every person to worship God in his own way.” The third was “freedom from want.” The fourth was “freedom from fear.”
But the most important freedom according to the president was “freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world.” That was the first freedom. That is the First Amendment.
But Alex Berenson goes on to say that “freedom of speech” is really “freedom of thought.” If people can’t say openly what they think, they will be forced into a shadow world. He goes on to explain, “It doesn’t matter whether the speech is right or wrong, objectively true or false. Indeed, the First Amendment makes no reference to the truth or falsity of the speech it protects.”
He is concerned that 70 percent now favor restricting “false information” online and he isn’t even sure the New York Times believes in the First Amendment. Twitter eventually banned him. One of his offenses was accurately reporting on the results of Pfizer’s own clinical trial.
Most Americans, including Democratic presidents, used to believe in free speech. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.