censorshipThe first person in the auditorium got up and walked out ten minutes into my presentation. Minutes later, two more walked out. One shouted, “This is not what we came for!”

What had I said that so offended them?

As an author/journalist, I’m often commissioned to speak on freedom of speech and the press, topics considered “controversial” in today’s toxic climate.

“Who believes we are the freest people in the world when it comes to freedom of speech and freedom of the press?” I asked.

Virtually every hand shot up. Hands descended when I explained that, according to the World Press Freedom Index, the U.S. is now 46th in the world when it comes to First Amendment liberties. How can that be?

America is rapidly becoming the most censored nation on the globe, manifested in three areas: pressure censorship; self-censorship through political correctness; and government censorship:

Pressure Censorship: “Self-appointed censors,” explained historian Victor Davis Hanson, “try to stamp out any idea or word that they don’t wish to be aired—in their pursuit of a new race, class, gender, environmental orthodoxy. . .”

EXAMPLE 1: The Washington Post received 110,000 signatures on a petition demanding that all articles questioning global warming be banned;

EXAMPLE 2: Editor of The Harvard Crimson: “Radical leftism should be the only permissible political philosophy on campus. . . Giving university students/professors the right to hold controversial views puts liberalism in a bad light.”

Self-Censorship: Take a principled stand on religion, same-sex marriage, abortion, immigration or any other non-approved orthodoxy and you are promptly labeled a hate monger, bigot, homophobe, racist, sexist. . .

EXAMPLE 1: Christian student groups have been thrown off campus because they refuse to sign “non-discriminatory” clauses in support of same-sex marriage;

EXAMPLE 2: The President of Harvard University made a politically incorrect observation that men and women may have different aptitudes. Offended ladies on broomsticks forced him to resign.

Government Censorship: In The Nation, Jeremy Seahill warned of a “war on journalism” to “whitewash” truth while government seeks a “state media.”

EXAMPLE 1: Hundreds of conservative journalists—but no Progressive ones—were audited by the IRS the same two years in a row, including Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and myself after I published Going Bonkers: The Wacky World of Cultural Madness. The intended message: Keep your mouths shut and pens silent unless we approve.

EXAMPLE 2: The “Free Flow of Information Bill,” had it passed, would have required all reporters down to bloggers to obtain government licenses. Lenin and Stalin used mass propaganda by “licensed” government writers to lead the Great Unwashed to communism.

So. . .I understand why some people walk out when I speak. They don’t want to hear the truth if it contradicts truths approved by pressure groups, political correctness, or Progressive government.

“The further a society drifts from truth,” George Orwell noted, “the more it will hate those who speak it.”

“What if the President of the United States was trying to destroying the nation—and you found out about it?” From A Thousand Years of Darkness, by Charles W. Sasser. Available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com