Megyn Kelly attacked Donald Trump Wednesday night for his statements criticizing the free speech event in Garland, Texas in May 2015, of which I was co-organizer and co-sponsor with Pamela Geller, and one of the speakers. Trump was wrong, no doubt, and Kelly correctly explains why.
But in the course of doing so, she says that “Pam [sic] Geller…no question is a hateful person.” Why? Apparently because “she’s a provocateur and she’s not a fan of anyone who’s Muslim from the sound of what she says.” That puts her on par, as far as Kelly is concerned, with Westboro Baptist Church, which Kelly describes as “as hateful as they come. But for years I defended them on the air because they have the right to show up at these funerals. It’s horrible, but they do – and say the hateful, vile things they say.”
The Westboro Baptist Church shows up at military funerals with signs such as “Soldiers Die God Laughs” and “Pray For More Dead Soldiers.” Other signs include “God Hates Fags,” “God Hates You” and “You’re Going to Hell.” Hateful and vile is right. But on what grounds does Kelly put Pamela Geller in the same category? Because “she’s a provocateur and she’s not a fan of anyone who’s Muslim”? Even if that were true, how is it remotely comparable to the cruelty, contempt and schadenfreude of the Westboro Baptist Church? In reality, Kelly’s claims aren’t remotely true: Pamela Geller’s work has been devoted entirely to defending the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, the equality of rights of all people before the law, and individual rights. She has stood for people the “human rights” establishment steadfastly overlooks: apostates from Islam, Muslim girls in danger of honor killing for refusing to wear the hijab, and many others. The only reason why Kelly thinks she is “hateful” is because the Leftist establishment that Kelly is courting so assiduously thinks that she is. What qualifies her as a “provocateur”? In January 2015, Islamic jihadis murdered the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists because they drew Muhammad. In the face of that, free people have two choices: draw Muhammad or submit to this violent intimidation. Pamela Geller and I chose the former; for this, Kelly says she is “hateful” and a “provocateur.”
Clearly, despite her words in defense of the freedom of speech, Kelly still doesn’t understand that freedom, and doesn’t realize what was happening or what was at stake in the Charlie Hebdo massacre and at Garland. What she characterizes as “hateful” is precisely the defense of the freedom of speech that she says is justified. She says, “This is America. We’re allowed to draw whatever we want.” Yet because of what Geller chose to draw, even though her point wasn’t about drawing Muhammad at all but about defending the freedom of speech and standing up against violent intimidation, Kelly says she is “hateful” and a “provocateur.” One may say that Kelly is simply defending Geller’s freedom of speech while disapproving of how she did it, in line with the old adage “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That certainly applies to the Westboro Baptist Church: one may defend their freedom of speech while disapproving of messages such as “Pray For More Dead Soldiers.” But that doesn’t apply here. Kelly isn’t just disagreeing with what Geller says; she is contradicting herself by simultaneously defending and excoriating Geller for the same action. For Kelly, drawing Muhammad makes one a hateful provocateur, and drawing Muhammad also makes one a defender of the freedom of speech. She doesn’t realize that she has already internalized the stigma upon this activity that Islamic jihadists and supremacists have placed upon it by their threats. She is already halfway to Sharia compliance.
Here are Kelly’s full remarks on this:
You know, on the, you know, like the flag burning, it’s – we did a segment on it, just one segment. It’s a no-brainer. The Supreme Court has been very clear on this. The First Amendment – Donald Trump and the First Amendment – it’s not a beautiful match. It’s not a match made in heaven, you know, between the free speech rights that he has not defended and the freedom of the press which he has not defended. It’s problematic. And, I mean, I called him out on this back before he even declared his candidacy because he was going after Pam Geller, who there’s no question is a hateful person, who held this Draw Muhammad contest down in Texas. Remember this? And they got attacked by two terrorists. Now she’s a provocateur and she’s not a fan of anyone who’s Muslim from the sound of what she says, but this is America and she has the right to say those things. And she has the right to have a contest like that. And he was one of the ones out there arguing she invited her own attempted murder.
Now, that’s just nonsense. This is America. We’re allowed to draw whatever we want. And if you’re offended, what the Supreme Court has said the answer to speech you do not like is not less speech, it’s more speech. There are many people in the country who don’t get that. I mean, like, the Westboro Baptist Church is another example – as hateful as they come. But for years I defended them on the air because they have the right to show up at these funerals. It’s horrible, but they do – and say the hateful, vile things they say. Now there can be time, place and manner restrictions, but you can’t shut down the speech altogether. I don’t know that Donald Trump fully appreciates that or cares. I think he is truly a populist. And if the popular thing to do is to say you have to ban flag burning, even if it ultimately means we’re compromising a core principle of who we are as a republic, I don’t think he really thinks that that deeply into it.
Here is Pamela Geller’s able takedown of Kelly:
“Pamela Geller: Megyn Kelly Says ‘No Question’ That I’m a ‘Hateful Person,’” by Pamela Geller, Breitbart, December 8, 2016:
In hitting President-elect Trump and supposedly defending the freedom of speech, Megyn Kelly on NPR Wednesday night referred to “Pam [sic] Geller, who there’s no question is a hateful person, who held this Draw Muhammad contest down in Texas.”
Kelly said this in the context of defending the freedom of speech: “Now she’s a provocateur and she’s not a fan of anyone who’s Muslim from the sound of what she says, but this is America and she has the right to say those things. And she has the right to have a contest like that.” But in smearing me as “hateful,” she demonstrates that she doesn’t really know what was at stake when Islamic jihadis attacked our free speech event in Garland.
Why am I hateful for standing for the First Amendment? Is she copying the tactics of Islamic propagandists, smearing as “hateful” those of us who refuse to submit to the most brutal and extreme ideology on the face of the earth?
And I’m a “provocateur”? Why? The Garland attack was part of a longstanding jihad war against the freedom of speech. Those who say I provoked the jihadis don’t remember, or care to remember, that as jihadis were killing the Muhammad cartoonists in Paris, their accomplice was murdering Jews in a nearby kosher supermarket. Were the Jews “hateful”? Did they “provoke” the jihadis?
I held the event in the same venue where Muslim leaders held a conference in support of the sharia, in support of the ideology behind the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre. Was that provocative? Should we submit to the devout Muslims who use violence to impose the speech laws under the sharia?
Drawing Muhammad offends Islamic jihadists? So does being Jewish, as many anti-Semitic attacks have proven. How much accommodation of any kind should we give to murderous savagery? To kowtow to violent intimidation will only encourage more of it.
Megyn Kelly should know that….