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An Illustrious Censorship Institute
Harvard's "Berkmen Klein Center for Internet & Society"
By JOHN LEAKE
A friend recently sent me a flagrantly political New York Times Editorial by Kate Klonick, “an associate professor of law at St. John’s University who studies law and technology, including the governance of online speech by private platforms.”
In her Opinion, Professor Klonick asserts:
No feat of rhetoric could disguise the flagrantly political nature of the federal court ruling on July 4 that restricted the Biden administration’s communications with social media platforms — but Judge Terry A. Doughty, who wrote the opinion, did his best to cover his tracks. The 155-page opinion, which could hinder the government’s efforts to counter false and misleading online speech about issues like election interference and vaccine safety, is laced with lofty references to George Orwell and quotations from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, making it more reminiscent of a civics essay than a federal judicial opinion.
Two things immediately came to mind as I read this essay:
1). Gramsci’s “Long March Through the Institutions” is now complete, having now made its way through the law department as St. John’s University. Words can’t express how disheartening I found this.
2). Professor Klonick should spend less time pontificating about “online speech” and “vaccine safety” and more time studying civics.
The trouble with lawyers like her is that they don’t understand the SPIRIT of the First Amendment. Because humans are mortal and human affairs are unstable and subject to powerful external forces, the state can always point to innumerable threats (real, perceived, and exaggerated) against which it invokes Emergency Power to reduce or suspend constitutional rules in order “to protect” the citizenry from itself and from foreigners.
James Madison, the author of the U.S. Constitution, recognized that in the grand scheme of human affairs, an overgrown executive posed a greater threat to the citizenry than the unfettered expression of free speech, which will often contain errors.
After reading Professor Klonick’s flagrantly political editorial, I pondered the question: how does the New York Times go about curating columnists like her—that is, a person with a distinguished academic resume who is willing to advocate America’s baleful new censorship regime?
A little Googling revealed that she is is on leave from St. John’s for 2022-2023 serving as a Visiting Scholar at the Rebooting Social Media Institute at Harvard University. An examination of this Institute revealed that it’s a project of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, which recently announced that “Former New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern joins Berkman Klein Center as Knight Tech Governance Leadership Fellow.”
Her appointment is a notable example of how many prominent public figures who advocated or imposed COVID-19 vaccine mandates “fell upward” by landing plum positions at America’s most prestigious academic institutions after public backlash against their policies and conduct. During her tenure as New Zealand Prime Minister, Ardern imposed some of the most draconian lockdowns and vaccine mandates in the world. In the spring of this year, as New Zealanders grew weary of her tyranny, she resigned and was shortly thereafter offered a job a Harvard.
A little research of financial supports of the Berkman Klein center resulted in this list of donors, which includes the Gates Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, Microsoft, USAID, and the World Economic Forum.
And so we see how easy it is to capture men and women who have demonstrated great ambition, ability, and success in their careers, but who have no real interest in or understanding of Constitutional government.