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Welcome To The Bitchery

In light of arguments for and against Anthony Cumia's firing, I thought a conversation about the difference between corporate control and government control over speech might be worth our time.

Often corporations, either with or without government support, have stifled speech, and often progressive voices have been the ones stifled. The most famous example is probably the blacklist. While the blacklist had its roots in the HUAC (House UnAmerican Activities Commitee), the actual enforcement of the blacklist was entirely at the hands of the studios, who colluded in not hiring people they believed ere communist sympathizers (albeit with government pressure). It took people willing to defy the blacklist by hiring people like Dalton Trumbo to break the blacklist, and had nothing to do with a change in government or the law but a change in public opinion.

Illustration for article titled About censorship and stuff (edited with new intro)

This is not to suggest that Cumia is being blacklisted; I'm certain that some less scrupulous broadcaster will pick him up. However, it's worth noting that sometimes corporations can indeed be the enemy of free speech. Sometimes all it takes is coercion and collusion to stifle speech.

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