'Are we free to say Jews will not replace us?' Geraldo Rivera rebuffs Jeanine Pirro's defense of hate speech
For the second time this week, Fox News host "Judge" Jeanine Pirro defended hate speech. The first instance occurred on Tuesday night's edition of The Five, when Pirro declared that antisemitic remarks made by disgraced rapper Kanye West and Holocaust-denying white supremacist Nick Fuentes were "repugnant by another standard."
Pirro's reasoning was that free speech is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. While that is true, the First Amendment does not shield a person from the consequences of what they say – a lesson that West has learned the hard way.
Nevertheless, Pirro made it clear that she believes that hatemongers like West and Fuentes should be allowed to post their vitriol on Twitter – a view shared by the platform's owner Elon Musk, who earlier this week lifted the site's long-standing ban on COVID-19 misinformation.
Then, on Thursday evening, Pirro doubled down on her stance.
"So what do you think about free speech, and Elon Musk, and Twitter – wait, wait wait. It's one thing to be anti-woke. But it's not anti-woke to be absolutely repulsed by Kanye West praising [Adolf] Hitler, or Nick Fuentes being lavishly celebrated at Mar-a-Lago. That's not woke," correspondent Geraldo Rivera explained to Pirro.
"Here's the bottom line. If you don't like what someone's saying, you don't have the right to tell them they can't close their mouth and they cannot speak. The United States Supreme Court in Brandenburg versus Ohio – I go to the highest court in the land – says no matter how repulsive the speech is, America was founded on the concept of free speech. Hate speech is protected. I'm tired of saying it," Pirro said to her fellow panelists on The Five.
"These people like [Massachusettes Democratic Senator] Elizabeth Warren who says it's wrong or offensive that one human being should decide. Well, I don't like that Tim Cook is taking down the AirDrop for the protesters in China. That's one guy. You know, it goes on and on. That's not up to us. The thing that makes America different from every other country is that we have the right of freedom of speech which means we have freedom of thought. We are not a fascist nation," Pirro continued.
Because of the First Amendment's provision, there is a growing debate over how much power social media giants like Twitter and Facebook should have over moderating their user-generated content even though they are not a part of the federal government. But as Rivera noted, some speech is downright dangerous.
"Are we free to say Jews will not replace us?" he asked, referring to the chants by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
"You're free to say whatever you want. I can slap you if I feel like it, but then I'll be prosecuted. Okay? Here's the bottom line. You don't like it, that doesn't mean the man or the woman is prevented from saying it. My god, how far have we gotten from the founding of this nation?" Pirro wondered.
"Alright," Rivera added. "Enough about Kanye."
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