Free Speech

Do You Wish the FBI Had Shut Down "Lock Her Up" Language Because It Was "Hate Speech"?

That's what Christiane Amanpour asked former FBI Director James Comey.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

From CNN, Apr. 2, 2019:

AMANPOUR: Going forward, the president had just said that, you know—I mean, you saw, we put a little bit of what he was saying about you, all sorts of nasty names, et cetera, and that there will be counter investigations, you know, sort of accounting for this hoax that exonerated him. You know what I'm saying.

COMEY: Yes.

AMANPOUR: To investigate perhaps you, perhaps others. Do you fear that? Do you think that's coming down the pike?

COMEY: I don't fear it personally. I fear it as a citizen, right. Investigative what? Investigate that investigations were conducted? And what would be the crime you'd be investigating? So, it's a terrible cycle to start. He's already started it with calling for the locking up of his political opponents, including people like me.

And so, it would just be more of that dangerous step. And I would hope, although he continue to disappoint me, the Republicans would finally stand up and say, "We don't do that kind of thing." But me personally—ask me questions. Go ahead. I'd like to answer them in the daylight if I could.

AMANPOUR: I've got one question —

COMEY: Ask me questions.

AMANPOUR:—because you just said look her up —

COMEY: Yes.

AMANPOUR:—or lock me up. Of course, lock her up was a feature of the 2016 Trump campaign. Do you, in retrospect, wish that people like yourself, the head of the FBI, I mean, the people in charge of law and order had shut down that language, that it was dangerous potentially, that it could have created violence, that kind of hate speech? Should that have been allowed?

COMEY: That's not a role for government to play. The beauty of this country is people can say what they want even if it's misleading and its demagoguery. The people should have shut it down. We're Republicans who understand the rule of law and the values that they claim to stand for, shame on them, but it wasn't a role for government to play.

Ah, "hate speech," the nonexistent First Amendment exception that just keeps on giving.

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  1. Really? Amanpour, although no brain trust, can’t be this abysmally ignorant. I suspect this silliness was just an hackneyed effort to rehabilitate or bolster Comey’s credentials as an objective arbiter of justice, perhaps grooming him for a CNN post.

    1. When I saw the quote, my initial thought was that she was asking the question rhetorically, to elicit an explanation about why the First Amendment would not allow such censorship. I would have to watch the whole thing to see if my guess was (a) likely correct, (b) maybe or maybe not correct, or (c) unlikely to be correct.

      “Mr. Smith. You’ve just been found guilty of election tampering. Do you, in retrospect, think that election commissioners, like yourself, should be allowed to count ballots with no other person in the room? Should that have been allowed?”

      I do not see how asking this question suggests that the interview is in favor of election tampering, or in favor of one person counting ballots with no one else in the room during the vote counting. Seems more like a routine way of asking questions in a way designed to coax answers out of an interviewee. Does C.A. have a long history of publicly supporting these kinds of speech restrictions? (A quick Google did not lead me to any evidence of this, btw.)

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      2. “I do not see how asking this question suggests that the interview is in favor of election tampering…”

        No, it suggests the opposite: that the interviewer is against allowing election commissioners to be alone with the ballots, and trying to elicit such a response from the interviewee.

        In your analogy and in the real interview, the interviewer is suggesting that a counterfactual might have been better that what actually transpired.

    2. ” I suspect this silliness was just an hackneyed effort to rehabilitate or bolster Comey’s credentials as an objective arbiter of justice, perhaps grooming him for a CNN post.”

      Is there anything BESIDES your wild imaginings to suggest this has any relationship with reality?

      Comey has pulled off that challenging task, becoming disliked by his own party AND the other one. Is that the sort of thing that a news network looks for? Hey, let’s seek out someone that nobody trusts… that’s what people want in their newscasts!

      1. Politicians and insiders are always crossing the street and getting news commentator gigs. Why did Fox hire Donna Brazille, known liar and leaker of debate questions to Hillary? Why did CNN hire Eliot Spitzer of all people? What is Brennen, known liar to Congress, doing commentating for CNN.

        There are other examples I am sure, but those three come to mind. I think it is more about the elite class backscratching and us hoi polloi not playing video games instead of having cable on.

        1. “Politicians and insiders are always crossing the street and getting news commentator gigs.”

          Not if the politician and/or insider isn’t trusted, they aren’t. Remember all those times Nixon was on TV, in the 70’s and 80’s? They get paid to talk about the things they know about, because people believe that they know what they’re talking about… that people believe what they say is their marketable skill. This is also why former athletes are hired to talk about sports events. People believe that Johnny Weir knows what he’s talking about when he’s talking about skating, or John Madden knows what he’s talking about when he’s (boom) talking (boom) about football, or Charles Barkley knows what he’s talking about when he’s talking about basketball.

          1. You think Brennen or Spitzer are trusted personalities? CNN by putting them on instantly limits its credibility, and with Brennen to a substantial extent.

            I don’t dispute your larger point about marketing, but there is more to it than that. I’m not sure what the answer is other than some sort of version of the revolving door whereby politicians get jobs as lobbyists and generals get jobs at corporations that make weapons.

      2. I’m gonna have to change the habits of a lifetime and agree with Mr Pollock here. Fox hires Brazille as a known Dem partisan so that their audience can see what Dems partisans think. Why would any media organisation hire Comey ? He’s not a Dem partisan* or a GOP partisan. Nor even a well informed intelligent dispassionate observer. He just a Comey partisan. He’s a narcissist, whose every move is designed to puff the glorious creature that is James Comey. Who’s gonna be interested in watching him pontificating night after night ?

        At present he’s welcome as an occasional guest on CNN because his current gig is Trump-bashing. But nobody on CNN (or anywhere else) cares what he thinks about anything else.

        * just for the avoidance of doubt, I’m not suggesting that he was anything other than totally in the tank for Hillary in 2016. But only because he thought it was in his interests to be so, not out of any actual political commitment to the Dems. All you need to understand about Comey is that it’s all about him.

        1. Comey is a Republican, but he thought Hillary was going to win. He thought the R’s would hold Congress, and Hill would win the WH, and he didn’t want the FBI to be caught between the two.

          1. Well, of course he thought Hillary was going to win. Everybody did, includng the Russians. And Trump.

            It’s difficult, as someone with a standard sized ego, to work out what was going on Comey’s mind when he decided to make his announcement. No doubt there was an element of the “noble and honest cop, Jim Comey, plays it straight down the middle” – just overlooking the fact that he was trashing all the DoJ rules as set out in Rosie’s memo. And I’m pretty confident that he was utterly oblivious to the fact that by referring to Hils, er, “carelessness” he had made himself into fishfood (if she’d won – she surely wouldn’t have been satisfied with just firing him.) But I also suspect that he was a bit miffed. Where was the job offer from the Clintons ? Surely at least AG would be offered. But to a man of is outstanding talents, perhaps the Scalia spot would be more appropriate. But presumably that had been what Bill offered Loretta. So no job offer, he’s annoyed.

      3. Well James, either Amanpour is dumber than AOC or it was a set-up question. While I’m perfectly willing to believe that Amanpour is not the sharpest tool in the shed, I just wanted to point out the alternative.

  2. I guess if I report anybody for anything that I suspect is a crime, I am potentially committing hate speech. I was thinking of reporting my neighbor to the IRS because he has way more expensive toys than what I know of his income would support. Plus the IRS offers a bounty if I am right!

    However, we are not exactly ethnically, politically, religiously, or sex behavior identical, so now I am wary I may be accused of “hate speech” if my accusation falls short even in the teensiest detail.

    1. Yeah, even if hate speech were somehow unprotected, how would this qualify as hate speech (aside from, maybe, the speaker hated the person they were talking about)?

  3. We’ll give Comey credit here for giving the correct answer.

    Now, if only he and McCabe could agree on which one lied to Congress and which one didn’t….

    1. Oooo – can I vote for both ?

      btw on Comey’s long march through the liberal TV studios, has anyone got round to asking him to explain his testimony to Congress that he was moved to make his July statement on Hillary by his discomfort at Lynch’s tarmac meeting with Bill ?

      The puzzle is how a June tarmac meeting provoked him into drafting his Hillary statement….in May.

      1. Comey is just that good. He can predict the discomfort he will encounter and act before the actual action.

        Maybe Barr will look into why no one was charged in the other investigation Comey oversaw. I always remember these texts…

        “FBI Employee: “boom?how did the [witness] go”

        Agent 1: “Awesome. Lied his -ss off. Went from never inside the scif [sensitive compartmented information facility] at res, to looked in when it was being constructed, to removed the trash twice, to troubleshot the secure fax with HRC a couple times, to everytime there was a secure fax i did it with HRC. Ridic,”

        FBI Employee: “would be funny if he was the only guy charged n this deal”

        Agent 1: “I know. For 1001. Even if he said the truth and didnt have a clearance when handling the secure fax ? aint noone gonna do sh-t””

      2. Are you having trouble distinguishing between him preparing a report and him releasing it publicly?

        1. Ha ! I knew someone would come back with something like that. But I thought it would be someone like Pollock, not you.

          There is of course a difference between a draft and a release. But why on Earth would he draft something that he had not the slightest reason to suspect he would ever want to release ? As FBI director does time hang heavy on his hands ? He gets on with drafting a report – personally – that there’s no reason for, because he wants to have it ready just in case some unprecedented event happens in the future that might cause him to want to release it ? And then he sends it round senior FBI leadership for discussion ? Does time hang heavy on their hands too ?

          OK then, let’s see all the other reports on other matters that he drafted and sent round the FBI leadership for comment, just in case Loretta or before her, Eric, were to turn up in a compromising photograph with a suspect’s family member.

          1. If you’re ever arrested outside your cheatin’ ex wife’s house, in your car with a pistol, a shovel and a bag of lime in the trunk, do not tell the police :

            Nieporent : “I wanted to protect her from a marauding bear”
            Officer : “What bear ? ”
            Nieporent : “Oh, it was just in case one happened by.”

        2. According to Congressional testimony by former FBI Attorney (to McCabe) Lisa Page, the decision to not prosecute Clinton for violation of the Espionage Act based on the gross negligence standard had already been made at that point at the top of the DoJ, and that had been relayed (forcefully) to the FBI. Making the FBI even more unhappy was that the DoJ was refusing to provide prosecutorial resources such as search warrants, subpoenas, and grand jury access. But they were demanding that they be present, in force, whenever the FBI met with anyone on the Clinton side of the investigation.

          I think, in the end, when all of the dust settles, what we are going to find with Comey, is that he felt himself caught between a rock and a hard place, with a credible criminal referral of fairly significant wrongdoing by Clinton, that his people saw as important to investigate, and the DoJ, on the other hand essentially telling the FBI that they wouldn’t prosecute unless they had the smoking gun in her hands, the body on the floor in front of her, and irrefutable forensics tying them together. And do it without search warrants, subpoenas, and a grand jury. And, BTW, it was his problem to make go away. I think that the DoJ had every legal and Constitutional right to refuse prosecution. I am just bothered by the way that they tried to hide their decision not to prosecute, essentially putting the blame on the FBI and Comey.

          1. By Comey’s own testimony, he’d been “memorializing” his meetings with the Bush administration, stopped during the Obama administration, and then resumed during the Trump administration.

            In spite of the fact that he claims things were going on in the Obama administration that made him very uncomfortable, he never bothered recording them.

            In light of this, I think Comey was not as conflicted as you suggest. He was pretty firmly on the DOJ’s side of things, and was just trying to find a way to get Clinton off without prompting some kind of public rebellion from people further down the chain of command in the FBI. Indeed, didn’t he admit that the only reason he went public about the emails found on Weiner’s laptop, was that people further down the ladder were threatening to blow the whistle on it if he didn’t?

          2. If comey felt that way he wouldn’t have said no reasonable prosecutor and continued to repeat it on the lecture circuit. Comey is a straight asshole.

          3. I think Comey was complict in the DOJ decision not to prosecute. He could’ve kicked the ball elsewhere, kicked it back to the DOJ, informed the media, etc. He chose not to. He chose to play ball with the DOJ’s decision to hide the decision not to prosecute.

            The DOJ may have had the technical legal “right” not to prosecute. Just like Trump has the technical legal “right” to fire everyone in the administration who might try to investigate him. But exercising those “rights” tends to lead to severe Congressional oversight and impeachment proceedings.

            By any reasonable standard, Hillary should’ve been facing charges. The major issue was…she was the current Democratic nominee for president, and Trump was her opponent. What Hillary “should” have done is step down, and allow Tim Kaine to run for President in her place. (We probably would be having President Kaine now, if that had happened). But Hillary did/would not, and the Democratic administration bent the rules to the point of breaking to ensure she wouldn’t be disqualified.

      3. Doctor Who is not the only time traveler in the universe

    2. God help him if he gave the wrong answer. No matter what his personal preferences, and questionable ethics, he knows the FBI can’t survive if it wants to be the hate speech police.

      Amanpour does a lot of her reporting from Europe and the Middle East, the question would be perfectly reasonable there, or maybe in the Middle East it would be framed more honestly:

      “I mean, the people in charge of law and order had shut down that language, that it was dangerous potentially, that it could have” led to an opposition winning the election?

  4. Unfortunately it does appear that hate speech is, in fact, protected by the First Amendment. Should it be, though? For a powerful argument to the contrary, I recommend Reason contributor Noah Berlatsky’s piece Is the First Amendment too broad? The case for regulating hate speech in America.

    Hopefully when the next Democratic President expands the Supreme Court, this issue will be revisited.

    1. I find that comment hateful. So you should go to jail.

      1. I second the call for OpenBordersLiberal-tarian to go to jail.

        I found his hateful comment traumatizing. I may never recover.

        1. You poor snowflake.

          1. The sarcasm fairy came up and poked you in the nose. Did you see him?

            1. Apparently, you didn’t.

              1. *laughs in irony*

    2. The paradox of tolerance applies to the first amendment. The one viewpoint-based restriction that we should view as permissible is the conviction and incarceration of those, like Berlatsky, Delgado and Stefanic. Only with people like this safely in prison will free speech be safe.

    3. Finally found Somin’s sock puppet,

    4. Hopefully there won’t be a next Democratic President. (Not like the GOP is doing a lot better at the moment.)

      The truth is hate speech to those that hate the truth, like you.

    5. Charming to the last. You don’t know how hard I found it signing the order to terminate your life.

      1. I should have known I’d find you here, holding Vader’s leash.

        … that’s no moon…

        You’re all clear, kid, now let’s blow this thing so we can all go home.

    6. Delgado and Stefanic, though, argue the price for freedom in this case may be higher than we think. For example, a John Hopkins study published in 2013 concluded that being exposed to racism can lead to high blood pressure and stress among African Americans. Similarly, according to research by Claude Steele at Cornell, negative stereotypes affect African-American self-perception, and can lead to lower test scores. More, the rash of recent stories about sexual harassment in the workplace provide stark examples of how hostile words or technically non-violent actions ? like men exposing themselves ?can create an intolerable environment, forcing women out of industries and leading to long-term stress and trauma.

      So, under this Berlatsky doctrine, civil rights can be infringed if its exercise hurts people’s feelings.

      Same-sex marriage hurts people’s feelings. I guess it should be banned.

      What about gay pride parades? Do they not hurt people’s feelings? Why not ban gay pride parades to protect their feelings?

      what about shutting down Islamic mosques because they hurt the feelings of terrorism survivors? Or shutting down Catholic churches because they hurt the feelings of sexual abuse survivors?

      1. And, of course, is not public safety a greater interest than protecting people’s feelings?

        Why not arbitrary searches and seizures at the whim of the police?

        Why not reducing the burden of proof in criminal trials to a preponderance of the evidence?

        The question is not what civil rights violations could be justified under the Berlatsky doctrine.

        The question is what could not.

  5. MKE – the more likely answer is “pandering to her audience”, which IS that ignorant

  6. Watching right-wingers tsk-tsk with respect to a journalist’s misguided First Amendment musings while remaining obsequiously mute with respect to those of a Republican president, a Republican judge, and Republican legislators makes me glad to be part of the liberal-libertarian alliance.

    Republicans follow the same course with respect to expression on campuses, howling with outrage at perceived problems on strong liberal-libertarian institutions while ignoring far more severe censorship on conservative-controlled campuses, which unsurprisingly tend toward the fourth-tier and unranked lesser regions of American education.

    Engaging in ineffectual, cherry-picked, misleading ankle-biting while getting clobbered in the culture war doesn’t seem to be an appealing lot in life. It certainly seems to have made right-wingers cranky and disaffected.

    1. You, too, should go to jail for hate speech.

      Hate speech laws are an abomination to the Constitution, and a slippery slope no sane person should support.

      But if course you do.

      1. “You, too, should go to jail for hate speech.”

        If that were a thing, which it is not.

        “Hate speech laws are an abomination to the Constitution”

        Or would be, if they existed.

        1. Oh, they exist. They are, thankfully, being mostly found unconstitutional so far. But they most definitely exist.

          1. Or would be, if they existed.

    2. Just curious, apart from yourself, who is the other lunatic in your liberal-libertarian alliance?

      1. All of the people who have been effecting the American progress you right-wingers rail against. The people who have been stomping you in the culture war. The people who operate our best schools, provide our best entertainment, build our successful, modern communities. The people who prefer reason, tolerance, science, inclusivity, education, freedom, and modernity. The elites you despise, yet must obey.

        Have fun on the losing end, clinger.

        1. “Best entertainment”? Like Alec Baldwin? Jussie Smollett? Felicity Huffman? Lori Loughlin?

        2. *affecting, you illiterate fckwad imbecile

          1. Get an education, clinger. Start with standard English, focusing on “effect” and “affect.” Backwater religious schooling doesn’t count.

            Or get someone who isn’t a clinger to try to explain this for you.

            1. He still had you pegged though.

            2. Go fuck yourself, jackass.

          2. “*affecting, you illiterate fckwad imbecile”

            No, actually, the correct word there is “effecting”, not “affecting”.

            First rule of Internet Pedantry… make sure you actually ARE more correct before clicking “submit”.

            1. Wow…excuse me for being taken aback at first by your recommendation because this particular rule has not apparently restrained your actions in any way. But, maybe you’ve grown up since your last post.

        3. Yes, those successful modern communities like Detroit.

    3. I think that the observation that partisans, including both conservative and liberal partisans, will be hypocritical is obvious. That doesn’t mean YOU have to be also.

      You always talk about hypocrisy, which is fine. But it seems like it is a substitute for actually standing up for free speech. I am not saying that is your intent. Just how it comes off sometimes.

      BTW, for what is worth, if someone goes to some sort of right-wing Christian-based university or college and that university or college engages in censorship, I don’t see it as big of a problem. That is a small community of people who have chosen these institutions under conditions where they could investigate the rules ahead of time. I am not saying it isn’t bad, because it is. But, censorship in public universities, even if that censorship is less severe, is even worse. Maybe that I a wrong point of view, but if someone holds that point of view (as I do) I don’t think it is necessarily hypocrisy to be more concerned about censorship at public universities than private ones.

      1. I hope you’re not expecting some kind of reasoned response from the Rev. Reasoned debate is not his strong suit.

      2. I am not in the market for pointers on free expression from right-wingers. If someone who objects to right-wing censorship has insights concerning substandard conduct on strong liberal-libertarian campuses, those are insights I would welcome. Partisan polemics, such as those peddled by the Volokh Conspiracy, are largely unworthy of respect.

        I do not support censorship, which is why I frequently observe that ‘bigots have rights, too.’

        I do not engage in censorship. That distinguishes me from Prof. Volokh, simultaneously a right-wing darling and a viewpoint-based censor. His conservative fans adore him because he bashes liberals and censors them.

        1. Would substandard conduct include the assault committed against Hayden Williams on the UC Berkeley Campus?

          1. If it is the incident I think it is it involved very substandard conduct.

            Bigots have rights, too.

            1. Well that’s a start. I’m almost motivated to ask your definition of bigotry, but we all know it would just be some rambling incoherent nonsense.

      3. ” I don’t think it is necessarily hypocrisy to be more concerned about censorship at public universities than private ones.”

        The hypocrisy comes into it when it just sort of happens to turn out that the censorship that alarms you is alleged censorship of one political faction, while the kind you’re just fine with happens to be consistently censorship of another political faction.

        1. Right, so if I like apples, but don’t like the taste of oranges, it’s definitely because oranges are orange, and not because I don’t like the taste of oranges.

          It’s amusing how Artie, and others like him and you, continue to confuse apples and oranges.

          1. You should hold off commenting until you figure out what the topic is, if you want to avoid saying weird-ass shit first thing in the morning.

          2. You should hold off commenting until you figure out what the topic is, if you want to avoid saying weird-ass shit first thing in the morning.

          3. You should hold off commenting until you figure out what the topic is, if you want to avoid saying weird-ass shit first thing in the morning.

            1. Yeah, you really showed him.

  7. That’s CNN for you. Fake news, and dangerous opinion.

    1. It’s “dangerous opinion” that people should NOT be imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment before being convicted of any crimes?

      1. Comey doesn’t work for CNN.

        1. Oh, sure, THAT’S got something to do with it, somehow.

    2. It’s kind of absurd they even characterize “lock her up” as hate speech. I didn’t know we had lese majesty laws in this country, or did Amanpour think they wanted to lock up Clinton for being a White Woman, I hear they are starting to be targeted for hate now. Doesn’t hate speech have to target a group? Who’s the group?

      Or should the FBI shut down “hate speech” against Trump too? I just heard about 2 years of chants of “lock him up” on CNN and MSNBC if we are going consistent.

      1. ” Doesn’t hate speech have to target a group? Who’s the group?”

        Interesting development. How long has this been a “rule”?

        “Or should the FBI shut down ‘hate speech’ against Trump too?”

        Comey’s answer applies to that, too.

      2. “It’s kind of absurd they even characterize “lock her up” as hate speech.”

        It’s speech Ms. Amanpour hates.

  8. So is the phrase “hate speech” just a trigger phrase or what? Because I’m not seeing the problem. A journalist asked a question, he gave the proper answer (“not the government’s role”).

    Are you really so easily triggered, that rhetorical questions can upset you?

    1. A law professor specializing in first amendment law was “triggered” into writing a blog post by a journalist suggesting that the FBI should silence opinion! Quick, someone bring me my feinting couch!

      1. A law professor specializing in first amendment law sees first amendment law issues where none exists. (Hint: There are no journalists suggesting anyone violate the first amendment in this blog post.)

        1. Of course, not, she’s just asking a question. Nothing to see here, folks.

        2. Of course not. CNN doesn’t have any journalists, just a bunch of opinion-spewing jackasses.

    2. Like Homer Simpson, you don’t know what the word “rhetorical” means.

      1. And you sir, have put unnecessary quotes around the word rhetorical.

        Which is very HATEFUL. Those are the most hateful quotes I have ever seen. My eyes burn.

        Off to jail Nieporent! Only then will society be safe from your hateful Homer Simpson references!

        (BTW, I already KNOW that you don’t support hate speech.)

        1. They are necessary.

          See “use-mention distinction.”

    3. Are you really so easily triggered, that rhetorical questions can upset you?

      Many, if not most, Republicans have been stuck in hair-trigger outrage mode for many years. They just can’t handle all of this damned progress in America.

      1. Yes, as is shown by their violent reactions when speakers they disagree with are invited to speak. /snark

        Once again. Kirkland, you only succeeded in beclowning yourself.

        1. “Yes, as is shown by their violent reactions when speakers they disagree with are invited to speak. /snark”

          /unsnark

          There is a definite trend towards muttering about “second amendment solutions” when different parts of the country elect people who are not Republicans, and speak publicly in non-Republican-honoring ways.

          1. There is a definite trend towards muttering about “second amendment solutions” when different parts of the country elect people who are not Republicans, and speak publicly in non-Republican-honoring ways.

            Yeah, next thing you know, they’ll be shooting up the Democratic softball team at practice.

            1. And attacking their Democratic neighbors while they’re trying to mow their lawns.

            2. “next thing you know, they’ll be shooting up the Democratic softball team at practice.”

              Or blowing up federal buildings by parking vans full of explosives in front of the daycare center.

              1. Or blowing up federal buildings over a period of several years, along with a townhome when they fuck up the bomb construction.

              2. Is this where dumbfucks still pretend mcvay was a republican?

                But to add…

                Or walk into a family lobbying group attempting to kill everyone.

                Or walk into gay hating fast food establishments to shoot up.

          2. Muttering? As compared to assaulting by the left. Not quite equivalent.

            1. “Muttering? As compared to assaulting by the left. Not quite equivalent.”

              I didn’t say they were equivalent. There are nuts at the fringes that don’t represent anybody but themselves doing “assaulting”, and those are pretty much equivalent (the nuts who are against one side are about the same as the nuts who are against the other side, and in neither case do the nuts actually represent large groups of people.

              Then, after you account for them, you gots one side doing all the muttering, and the other side doing… nothing. Not quite equivalent.

      2. You mean like the idiot Palo Alto woman who lost her shit simply because there was an old guy sitting in Starbucks in a MAGA hat? Tried her best to dox him only to have it blow up in her face?

        1. No idea what you’re talking about. I don’t live anywhere near Palo Alto.

          1. That and you relish your own ignorance.

  9. Christiane Amanpour is so clueless that James Comey was obliged to put aside his customary self-promotion and self-aggrandizement to school her in the First Amendment.

  10. Some of the same liberals who don’t have respect for the 2nd Amendment also want all sorts of loopholes for the 1st Amendment.

    New Zealand is talking about more than just gun control in response to the mosque shootings. They also banned the shooters writings.

    1. “They also banned the shooters writings.”

      Well, it’s not like it’s a complete ban. If you’re the right kind of person they will sell you a copy for $102.20.

    2. Some of the same liberals who don’t have respect for the 2nd Amendment also want all sorts of loopholes for the 1st Amendment.
      New Zealand is talking about more than just gun control in response to the mosque shootings. They also banned the shooters writings.”

      In today’s news flash, it turns out that New Zealand is not bound by either the first OR the second amendment, and are even allowed to run their country they way they feel appropriate. Shocking!

      1. We believe that some truths are self-evident. And that people are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That includes people in New Zealand.

        1. Yes. And the rights outlined in the First and Second amendments aren’t on the unalienable list. Otherwise we wouldn’t routinely constitutionally alienate said rights.

          This isn’t complicated.

          1. They most certainly are on the unalienable list.

            More so than shooting off into another man’s tuchis, anyway.

      2. Yes, and shockingly Pol Pot wasn’t bound by the Constitution, either, and yet we somehow dared to criticize his genocide. It’s almost as though we think the Bill of Rights simply wrote down some principles that ought to apply universally.

        1. What if they don’t think/agree that a well-armed militia is necessary?

          1. Leftists don’t like the idea of an armed populace — it makes it more difficult for them to push people around.

            1. It’s not hard to get the better of conservatives . . . just promote reason, education, modernity, tolerance, science, freedom, and progress and you will not only drive them batty but also crush them to stale, inconsequential powder in the culture war.

              Carry on, clingers.

          2. Or don’t agree that there should be freedom of speech, or of the press? Or that property shouldn’t be simply confiscated without compensation?

            Well, that’s for the Kiwis to fix themselves, if and when they finally get tired of being subjects instead of citizens. But we’re still free here in the US to notice that they’re oppressed, even if they haven’t gotten sick of it themselves.

            1. Glad you came around to my point, Brett.

              Did it hurt?

              1. Your “point” was moronic

  11. “Lock her up” is just shorthand for, “She should be subject to a fair investigation and subsequent prosecutorial decisions, which I fully anticipate would lead to a trial at which she would be convicted, and sentenced to time in prison.”

    Just try chanting that latter, though. Just doesn’t scan.

    1. +10,000

    2. This is commonly understood, but it’s the kind of shortcut that makes control freaks salivate.

      A neighbor, literally next on this road, was recently arrested for embezzlement of “hundreds of thousands” of dollars, released on $250,000 bail, and you shoulda seen the facebook comments, almost all talking as if she were already convicted and serving time. I personally have little doubt of her guilt, but I posted a somewhat snarky comment that people should remember “innocent until proven guilty” because otherwise how could a jury ever be seated to find her guilty?

      I am just as convinced that all those people commenting on how she deserved it, couldn’t happen to a nice person, they always knew it, etc — I believe the vast majority of those people understand the need for a trial to prove the case, that you can’t simply trust the police to always get the right person.

      It’s shorthand — all their comments, I am certain, were in the same sense as “Lock her up”, meaning “probably guilty, let’s find out”.

      1. So you’re unreasonably optimistic then.

      2. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a standard for the judicial system. Individuals not operating within it are perfectly free to comment on the guilt of an individual. O.J. Simpson was acquitted on his murder charge, but I am still free to believe and say that he’s a murdering murder who murdered then murdered again.

    3. Well that, and also shorthand for totalitarian-like persecution of political opponents. One thing about mass chanting is it doesn’t provide occasion for fine distinctions. Trump obviously enjoys that. So do too many of his supporters.

      1. We’ve got a long, long way to go from the current corrupt bargain, that each administration holds the prior harmless for its crimes, in anticipation of itself being held harmless for its own, to “totalitarian-like persecution of political opponents.

        Maybe on the way from one to the other we could stop at, oh, investigations that aren’t blatant whitewashes?

        Anyway, it’s kind of darkly humorous accusing Trump of even suggesting totalitarian-like persecution of political opponents after the prior administration sicced the intelligence services and FBI on him before he even got the nomination.

        1. “We’ve got a long, long way to go from the current corrupt bargain, that each administration holds the prior harmless for its crimes, in anticipation of itself being held harmless for its own, to ‘totalitarian-like persecution of political opponents.'”

          Not so long a ways to go, if you listen to the Trumpenfans. They’re ready for that step.

          (Keep in mind, Team Trump floated the idea that he could pardon himself. He’s not counting on President Warren to lay off him.)

          1. Not so long a ways to go, if you listen to the Trumpenfans. They’re ready for that step.

            So are you and your fellow lefties, if the Covington case is any indication.

            1. “my fellow lefties”? If you mean nobody, just say nobody.

        2. the prior administration sicced the intelligence services and FBI on him before he even got the nomination

          His campaign had extensive clandestine contact with agents of a foreign government. You think the FBI was supposed to ignore that?

          1. Every Presidential campaign that stands any chance of winning has extensive contacts with foreign governments, and if they’re not of the same party as the outgoing administration, they’re likely to be “clandestine”, too.

            There’s a reason why the Logan act hasn’t actually been enforced, like, EVER.

            1. Not all contacts are the same (the Nixon campaign’s Vietnam shenanigans may have been treason),
              Trump was in talks to enter into a construction agreement and giving the Russian government their internal polling numbers as well as meeting with them to get dirt on their opposition.

              This wasn’t ho-hum usual stuff.

      2. Do you mean like the last 2 years trying to get trump and still going hard even post Mueller, Stephen?

        1. Jesse, Trump is a sitting president. Clinton is a private citizen. Valid reasons for congress to investigate Trump, and depending what they find, maybe impeach him, are too numerous to list.

          Valid reasons to investigate private citizen Clinton? After revenge, what have you got? She holds no office. She sets no policy. Do you demand a repeat of previous investigations? What?

      3. Well that, and also shorthand for totalitarian-like persecution of political opponents. One thing about mass chanting is it doesn’t provide occasion for fine distinctions. Trump obviously enjoys that. So do too many of his supporters.

        As well as his detractors, since it allows them to feel morally superior to what they consider a basket of deplorables. Nuance would require them to understand why some people may support Trump over Hillary, without being bigoted or racist.

        1. Which for all her ham-handedness Hillary conceded in her deplorables comment.

          The side that erased all the nuance was the other side that assumed.

    4. Oh right.

      That’s what all those chanters meant.

      If Trump ordered Clinton arrested and held without trial not a one of them would object, and neither would you. Trump would offer some BS reason and you’d buy it.

  12. The right is outraged at Comey because he didn’t recommend prosecution of Hillary and because he was apparently concerned that Trump might be in cahoots with the Russians. The left is outraged at Comey because he characterized Hillary’s email activities as extremely careless and reopened the investigation of her 11 days before the election, while not disclosing that Trump’s campaign was also under investigation. After reading Comey’s book, I think he was a competent and intelligent official, placed in an absolutely impossible position, doing his best to perform his job in a dispassionate and nonpartisan fashion. While I’m not sure I would have handled things the way he did, I think his conduct fell within the range of possible appropriate responses. It is regrettable that American political dialogue has become so polarized that neither side seems capable of accepting that there might be a middle ground.

    1. He tells a story that is a creditable sequence of events. People in positions like his can sometimes find themselves in situations where they have to choose from options that are all bad. His choice involved a serious violation of policy as the IG reported and justified his firing on those grounds. Even imputing to him the best of intentions, sometimes the best outcome achievable still involves falling on your sword.

    2. “After reading Comey’s book”…

      Does he explain his double standard? One of the largest double standards is the “lying to the FBI” standard.

      On one hand, you had one of Clinton’s IT folks who apparently lied his butt off in an FBI interrogation room, changing his story 6 different times. Charges here would’ve been dead simple, and he could’ve been squished for information. No charges.

      On the other side was the Flynn matter, which was the worst sort of hit job. Imagine, you’re friends with an FBI agent. They come over to chat, just friendly like. “How’s things going, what you up to, how are the kids…” yada yada yada. Then they ask “What did you do last Saturday?” You respond, “Went to the grocery store, gym, and bank”. “They say, “You didn’t go anywhere else?” You say “No.” Again, this isn’t in an interrogation sort of atmosphere, there are no warnings, you’re just chatting with friends

      Then they say “You’ve just lied to the FBI, you went to the post office too. We have it on tape”. You respond…”What, I forgot about that, sorry”.
      “Nope, you lied, we’re bring you up on charges. We want everything on your boss. And if you fight it, by pleading not guilty, we’ll bankrupt you with legal charges, and then go after investigating your kids, and we’ll find something, and then they’ll go to jail. At the very least, they’ll be bankrupt, and no one will ever hire them again”

      That was the Flynn deal. It was the worst sort of abuse possible.

      1. “That was the Flynn deal. It was the worst sort of abuse possible.”

        Law and Order folks think it’s OK to be abusive of people who are actually guilty.

        1. Glad to know you agree with blackmailing people into pleading guilty by threatening their kids.

      2. Your description of the charges against Flynn is ridiculous.

        Did you get it from Hannity?

        1. From Comey’s books and interviews.

    3. Comey didn’t have the authority or the responsibility to not recommend prosecution. That’s the prosectutor’s job, not Comey’s. He’s dirty and should be sharing a cell with Hillary.

      1. “Comey didn’t have the authority or the responsibility to not recommend prosecution.”

        Nonsense.
        He didn’t have the power to decide not to prosecute, which is different from what you said. Literally anyone can recommend, or not recommend prosecution.

        “He’s dirty and should be sharing a cell with Hillary.”

        Like that, yeah.

    4. I don’t think that Russian collusion had anything to do with the decision not to prosecute Clinton. Doesn’t work with the timeline of known events. Rather, it very much looks like it was a decision made at the top of the DoJ by political appointees there. Which is probably the right place for the decision to have been made, because it was, in the end, a political decision. No one should be surprised that political appointees of one party didn’t want their party’s Presidential nominee prosecuted for Espionage Act violations in the remaining 4-5 months before the election. As I noted above, my complaint is that the DoJ tried to pin their decision not to prosecute on the FBI.

      1. There’s the point that Hillary didn’t do anything new or original. People before, and after, her used private email servers, at least in part to avoid official records act retention requirements. People before, and after, her, people were occasionally slipshod in their handling of classified information. There wasn’t evidence that she was intentionally leaking classified information, nor negligent in a criminal degree. As a general rule, prosecutors don’t like to take on cases where they don’t think they can prove a crime was committed, even if lots of people wish to believe that a crime was committed, because politics.

        1. I would agree that there’s no evidence she intentionally leaked classified information. OTOH, the relevant laws are strict liability, and criminalize knowingly taking chances of leaking, even if no leak actually takes place. They explicitly do NOT require intent to leak. And there’s plenty of evidence that she deliberately had classified information transmitted to her by insecure means, and handed off classified information to people without the relevant clearances. (As when she had her legal staff review the emails and decide which to delete.

          Somebody without political pull would probably have been prosecuted for that.

          She also violated laws requiring official communications to be backed up to the government system if a private email is used, and laws requiring that such communications be turned over when leaving government employment.

          And that part was central to her apparent intention in using a private server: To enable her to evade FOIA and delete any communications that might be embarrassing even if they WERE work related.

          The most galling thing about the whole whitewash is that nobody got prosecuted. Not her, and not even that guy she had wipe her server AFTER it was under a preservation order. I guess everybody had to get off, in order to prevent anybody from becoming mad enough to blab.

          1. She also signed a affidavit under penalty of law stating she turned over all her emails and the ones deleted were not government related. We know for a fact this is now a lie from the recovered emails.

          2. You’re equally upset about the many violations of information security by this administration, I know, which is why you post about them constantly.

            1. You’d have to inform me of them, before I could be upset about them.

              Illegal stuff, mind you, not simply disagreeing with a President’s lawful decisions.

              1. Like, say, this or this.

    5. I actually defended Comey in part for his extraordinary exoneration of Hillary Clinton.

      That’s not 1% of why I am outraged at him. And I am outraged at him.

      I agreed he was put in a difficult spot, felt the question was political, and tried to punt it to the voters. That was a very public situation and I still don’t fault him too much for it, although now with the benefit of hindsight we know that he was really stepping in to help out the “team” when everyone around him was drowning in the swamp of their corruption. He didn’t have to step in and save Lynch and Clinton, and he shouldn’t have, but he did so to help them. But at the same time he pointedly criticized, I suppose you could call it, Clinton’s behavior which would have resulted in an ordinary Joe being locked up. This probably made him feel morally justified and balanced, or cynically one might say it helped to blunt even greater perceptions of injustice and political favor.

      But the rest of what Comey did is another story. The questionable investigation of Trump, torrents of leaking for political purposes, angling to have a special counsel appointed, lying and covering it all up after the fact. Comey has become a scared, lying rat trying to protect his own behind, and doing it all in the most self-righteously obnoxious way possible.

  13. I don’t see the complaint. Ms. Amanpour didn’t say “hey, why didn’t you start arresting people for…”

    She said, “don’t you wish that people in authority had ‘shut it down;”. An action which can be done in complete compliance with the first amendment. For example, in politics, something can get shut down quite quickly if people simply don’t support it. (Obviously, not all people have equal weight amongst the population.) If someone Trump trusted and respected had privately told him to knock it off, he might have. Of course, it’s not clear that there IS anyone Trump respects more than himself, so it’s hard to say.

    I mean, the reason to put the kibosh on that wasn’t because it was “hate speech”, it was because it made Trumpenfans look stupid. It’s not clear that they CARE about looking stupid, though, so…

    1. She said, “don’t you wish that people in authority had ‘shut it down;”.

      Wrong. She said “Do you, in retrospect, wish that people like yourself, the head of the FBI, I mean, the people in charge of law and order had shut down that language” Christ, the direct quote is right in the OP.

      If your going to attempt these kinds of mental gymnastics, it helps to not fall flat on your face before you even launch on to the equipment.

      1. You want to look up the verb “paraphrase”, rocket scientist.

        1. “You want to look up the verb “paraphrase”, rocket scientist.”

          Let me guess. I means, “Pretend someone said something more convenient to my position”.

          1. For you, it probably does. Let’s stick with the dictionary definition, though.

        2. Is “paraphrase” shorthand for lying?

          1. I said to look it up. Couldn’t figure out how?

            1. Stop trying to cover for your dishonesty.

              1. I’m dishonest because you don’t understand paraphrasing?

                Nope. No sale.

                1. No, you’re dishonest because you’re deliberately misquoting to argue a position that doesn’t make Amanpour look like a totalitarian shitheel.

          2. Often it is, when practiced by journalists.

    2. No I don’t really care about looking stupid, winning though, I do care about winning.

      But Hillary and her campaign were a little too concerned about looking stupid, I can imagine the conversation: Can you imagine how stupid I would look having to go out and campaign in Wisconsin and Michigan in late October and into November?

      Looking stupid and winning is a lot easier to stomach than acting stupid and losing.

      But one question, what role do you think the FBI Director should have in shutting down hate speech? I mean just using his moral authority, as you absurdly try to spin it. There are a lot of people that do have some moral authority and might speak out if they really thought “lock her up” was hate speech, but an FBI director isn’t in the top 1000 that come to mind.

      1. “But one question, what role do you think the FBI Director should have in shutting down hate speech?”

        Same as everybody else… calling it out and not just accepting it.

        “There are a lot of people that do have some moral authority and might speak out if they really thought ‘lock her up’ was hate speech, but an FBI director isn’t in the top 1000 that come to mind.”

        How about the top 300 million or so?

        1. We’ll have to disagree with you there. Any law enforcement official commenting on acceptable discourse in a political campaign is not in the top 300 million people that should be commenting.

          1. So… you disapprove of the First Amendment? Too bad, we still have it.

            1. So… you disapprove of the First Amendment? Too bad, we still have it.

              Too bad for you and Ms. Amanpour as well, apparently.

          2. I’m suddenly curious if you know the ball-park population of the United States.

            1. … to the nearest hundred million, anyway.

        2. “Same as everybody else… calling it out and not just accepting it.”

          Yeah, smart thinking there James, maybe the FBI can join forces with Twitter and Facebook to bring about some real progressive change?

          1. Speaking of twits, welcome to the party, MKE.

    3. Do as many backflips as you want, Jimmy.
      Three options: either Amanpour believes hate speech is not free speech; or, she’s just a dunce reading whatever the producers handed her (“Go Fuck Yourself San Diego”); or, she thought Comey would fall into the trap and label himself a Mayor Richard Daley-level fascist.
      Do you have to stick to a special diet to maintain that level of idiocy in your comments?

    4. I think Comey would be grateful for your clarification of Amanpour’s remark, since he (Comey) thought she was calling for some kind of government censorship. With your re-interpretation in hand, I’m sure Comey will apologize to her for his misunderstanding and mansplaining.

  14. Liberals are seditious traitors. It’s that simple.

  15. I think Amanpour was asking the question in good faith, and I would hope she could blaze a trail so we can see how it all would work.

    My modest suggestion is for her to voluntarily submit all of her scripts and the tape of her show to the Trump administration 24-48 hours before her show airs. Then the White House media office would edit out any thing they consider hate speech, then Amanpour and CNN can air the tape as they receive it. The White House can helpfully insert its own commentary so it doesn’t leave CNN in a bind if 2 or 3 minutes are cut out. I think their viewers would be happy to get 2 or 3 minutes of exclusive Presidential commentary in return for the missing hate speech.

    All of this would be voluntary of course, so Amanpour can show us how government censorship can make information better for all of us.

  16. “…sort of accounting for this hoax that exonerated him…”

    So is Amanpour saying that the Mueller investigation was a hoax, since it didn’t turn out the way she wanted?

    Or maybe Mueller is actually a Russian bot, since that’s the other go-to when liberals aren’t happy.

  17. “Hate speech” is FREE speech. Besides, don’t we want all the crazies to self-identify? I’d much rather have a spirit expose of just how big a problem there is than be unable to estimate the size of the “unhappy” population. For example, in a country of 350M people, 500 KKKers is “ignorable” where as 5M is not. Further, isn’t the remedy for “bad speech” more speech?

    1. Too many people get confused by “hate speech” laws in Europe, which is a thing that exists, with “hate speech” laws in the United States, which is a thing that doesn’t.

      Maybe they’re confused by “hate crime enhancements”, which is a thing that DOES exist in the United States, but which is not about speech.

      1. re:
        …”hate crime enhancements” [are] not about speech.

        ?
        They most certainly are. The whole idea is to punish X more severely if, in addition to whatever he did to Y, he said something about Y’s religion/race/etc.

        1. Technically, the laws don’t punish more severely if you said something, but were motivated by it. But liberal DAs infer that if you call someone a name while beating them, that you did so because of it.

      2. “Too many people”, in this case, referring to a nationally-recognized member of the political cognoscenti.

  18. “I don’t fear it personally” says the man who LIED TO CONGRESS in a much more serious fashion than others have been LOCKED UP FOR, of his own potential criminal liability.

    Why? Because he’s a made man, just like BRENNAN AND CLAPPER, all of them lied vociferously under oath but all them continue to freely spout off on the communist news propaganda networks. THERE IS NO JUSTICE

  19. “I would hope.. Republicans would finally stand up and say, “We don’t do that kind of thing.””

    WE DON’T INVESTIGATE PEOPLE FOR POLITICAL REASONS . . . . OH, WAIT

    I mean, we don’t investigate people for investigating people for political reasons. When the former people are named James Comey.

    Let’s see if we can make an analogy.

    1. I shoot you and try to kill you.

    2. You don’t die, and you manage to get my gun.

    3. I proceed to post Bible verses on Twitter about truth and justice.

    4. I moralize egregiously about how YOU shouldn’t shoot ME because YOU “don’t do that kind of thing.”

    4. ??????

    1. WE DON’T INVESTIGATE PEOPLE FOR POLITICAL REASONS . . .

      Is that called the Birther-Benghazi-Email doctrine?

      1. Basically, yes Arthur. So you’re agreeing with me that it’s just a tit-for-tat, political game of one-upmanship.

        I think the American people see that very clearly, maybe more clearly than you realize.

        1. RAK did not concede that the investigations of Trump are political, but you just conceded that the investigations of Hillary were.

          Do you approve of one and not the other? Because just throwing up your hands because politics is so savage is just Bob from Ohio-style nihilism.

          1. My point is about Comey and the Russia hoax. It appears there was no evidence justifying this, and it was mostly political espionage turned into a hoax and cover up and attempted bureaucratic coup — probably with some sincere but delusional conspiracy theorizing mixed in.

            Instead of rebutting this or offering any evidence of why this was justified, you get responses like Arthur’s — “b-b-but the Republicans did it too.” OK, thank you for impliedly conceding the point.

            1. Now, indulging Arthur and taking the whataboutism bait, the reality is “scandals” and partisan investigations of this nature are inevitably, necessarily political — even when they’re justified. A realist must acknowledge there is always a political aspect of any investigation of the likes of Clinton, Obama, or Trump. Even a county DA may be politically motivated with reelection in mind as they go about prosecuting local criminals. So, this is all kind of by design, and the pursuit of politics either for ideology or self-interest isn’t mutually exclusive with the pursuit of justice, although they’re certainly in conflict and the former threatens to destroy the latter. If you’re trying to push for a debate about the scandals Arthur mentioned, on Benghazi, I really never paid close attention to that. It sounded like there was some arguably negligent discharge of duties, and a political lie about a video, but nothing criminal, and the degree of hoopla raised by Republicans certainly came off as primarily political. With the birther thing, I’m not aware of any facts that justified the conspiracy theorizing at all. With the emails, quite obviously that was an enormously political matter, but also there’s no getting around the fact that ordinary people have been jailed for less negligent handling of classified information.

              1. Your understanding of the facts remains as idiosyncratic as ever. As is your slipping into weird memerific language whenever this kinda stuff comes up.

                Excluding the middle between partisan and political seems very convenient. It’s a fuzzy line sometimes, but the recent meh about the Trump admins’ e-mail policies shows how purely partisan y’all have gotten.

                Whattaboutism is all your side has left; Trump’s clearly got shady stuff in whatever is going to be investigated, from finances to taxes to Russia to clearences. So you guys just keep calling it all Fake News or banging on about Irannian payments. Good luck with that.

                1. I see you’ve failed to offer any substantive response as usual. Care to elaborate on the “facts” you supposedly have some understanding of but won’t specify? Or the “weird” language you reference but won’t specify?

                  The only coherent thing in your reply is that you’ve offered up a fresh new round of vague whataboutisms – “Trump admins’ email policies” – never heard of this – and unspecified “shady stuff” that Trump has “clearly got” going on with Russia, taxes, finances, clearances, and just “whatever is going to be investigated.”

                  It’s really pathetic. You sound just like the worst conspiracy theorists that used to rant about the Clintons or something. “He’s clearly got some shady stuff going on, I have no idea what it is but I just know it, it will turn up, in the next investigation, or maybe the one after that, or the one after that, but for sure at some point.”

                  Never mind we just had the mother of all investigations to end all investigations with a special counsel, Trump campaign being wiretapped and spied on all along, illegal pillaging of NSA databases, FBI raiding his attorney’s offices, maximum pressure to “flip” brought on Trump’s associates by prosecutors fishing for process crimes and past unrelated matters with serious jail time being dispensed, etc etc

                  Unbelievable.

  20. Just allow all speech. There fixed it.

  21. Comey got the first part right before he launched into the the whole age of Trump and loss of discourse.

    Every day the most outrageous things Trump says is multiplied times ten in the other direction

  22. How is James Comey still walking free?

  23. “Do you, in retrospect, wish that people like yourself, the head of the FBI, I mean, the people in charge of law and order had shut down that language”

    So if people say “lock her up”, they should be locked up?

    1. Right, because calling for locking up your political opponents is wrong.

  24. Let’s all remember that when Kirkland matters on about how our “betters” will be running things (…and it’s coming, err, any day now, right, Artie.. ?), he means specifically people like Amanpour.

  25. Let’s all remember that when Kirkland natters on about how our “betters” will be running things (…and it’s coming, err, any day now, right, Artie.. ?), he means specifically people like Amanpour.

    1. Imagine if our “betters” ran Chicago.

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