Moving Free Speech Behind the Velvet Rope – Opinion


Three, actually. RedState has one. “List Service” is especially for our VIP subscribers, and I enjoy sharing the week’s craziest RedState stories with listeners. Another is a Hallmark podcast (don’t judge until you’ve heard it). But my most popular podcast still remains “Just Listen to Yourself.” It is hosted by an urban network out of Cleveland, and each week I take hot topics and encourage people to think critically about those topics.

We’re proud to have built a loyal audience over the last two years and taken on some sponsors. It’s hard but rewarding work. I like to think I help people say the things they’re thinking but can’t quite seem to lend words to.

I never thought I’d be in the position of having to censor myself, but one day I found myself preparing an episode on the transgender trend and the resulting escalation of misogyny in American society. After taking out my notes, bookmarking some articles and going through my pre-show checklist I noticed a feeling of unease. I couldn’t place it.

That feeling is familiar. It feels like there is something wrong, something that’s at the back of your mind that you forgot about but keeps needling you anyway. Some call it a sinking feeling. “I feel like I’m supposed to be worried about something, but I can’t remember what it is.”

As I crossed off the things on my checklist, I realized exactly what was making me nervous. I sent an email to my producer.

“I want to do this next episode on the transgender trend, but I’m a little concerned it might wig out some of our advertisers.”

He quickly responded. “Yes, it’s probably smarter just to put that one somewhere else. I hate to say it because it isn’t fair, but we’ve got a whole network to protect. Yours isn’t the only show that pulls ad dollars.”

He was correct. He was right. And it hurt me. I scrapped the episode, but I’d be lying if I didn’t feel a little defeated. I’m in the business of opinions, and yet here I am, having to self censor those opinions because of what it might do to my livelihood. My livelihood, as well as the livelihoods of others at the station. It felt absurd.

This is the current situation. In a state of absolute, unceasing absurdity, where men compete on women’s sports teams and women have perfectly healthy breasts removed so they can support the “social construct” of a masculine body. Despite all of the obsessions with SCIENCE AND DATA these days, basic biology and science can be used to your advantage.


The worst part was that it wasn’t just about me. Maybe I wouldn’t have taken that risk. The entire network I represented was made up of shows and people. Our ads often interconnect. If I were to be dropped or censored, everyone else’s money would be affected too. It was important to consider who my producers feeds and how they keep the lights on. To protect those we love and cherish, we erred on behalf of censorship.

That’s how they get you, isn’t it? Sure, it’s technically not violating your First Amendment rights. Say what you want, but we just won’t pay you for it. If you’ve worked for years to earn the privilege of getting paid to speak into a microphone, it can be a terrifying ultimatum; one, as I pointed out, that can affect not just you but everyone around you. Is it possible to feed ourselves and others by taking food from the hands of our fellow humans?

It’s a weapon that the progressive left, led by Big Tech and legacy media, has been wielding against the truth with crushing power lately. The Townhall website family has spent many hours strategizing on how to withstand this growing pressure and not compromise our mission. It felt as though we were the only ones responsible for this. We needed to be savvier, wealthier, or bigger so as to be “untouchable,” like some of the more visible players in the industry. Many ideas were explored and many solutions tried. As it turns out, it wasn’t ever really up to us at all…it was up to you.

RedState is a website that hates to add more cost to its customers. We’d like to share our expertise with you freely and often, but as this new era of censorship has begun to close in on reasonable and informed thought, we thought a good way to protect our flow of information and our livelihoods would be to offer a subscription side to our daily front-page offerings. To keep our writers happy, we wouldn’t have to rely on Facebook or Google Advertising Gods. We could still say what we wanted to without worrying about losing support, while also offering lots of exclusive and new content for our subscribers.

The number of people who have supported freedom speech via our website not only with their money but with joy and enthusiasm has overwhelmed us. Our readers get it. We’re all in this absurd but enormous battle together. We all sit at a desk, pondering. Some of you do the hard work of keeping the country’s gears grinding, taking a precious moment every now and then to pop in and read some inspiration or catch up on the news. While we all play important roles, each one is equally vital. Without you, we lose this precious little courtyard of free speech we’ve managed to build. In the “free” world, our advertisers and Big Tech have so much power. We live in a world full of VIPs. Please enter your email addressAre the most powerful and influential. PleaseDecide if you want us to thrive or shrink. I don’t know you, dear reader, but if you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure I’d much rather put the fate of my career and the exercise of my free speech in your sensible hands than in the hands of Big Tech.

Thank you so much for all your help. It’s hard to properly express it. I’m already running out my word count. RedState Editor-at-Large and American: I would like to express my gratitude to all who support RedState with VIP subscriptions. Your support could make you anywhere. Being here is a great thing.

If you’re not one of the cool kids yet, there’s always time. There’s always time for you to support free speech, resist censorship and give the middle finger to the Big Tech overlords who think they own us. I hope you’ll consider joining our growing revolution with a VIP subscription today. If you’re interested, now is a fantastic time to join. You’ll find exclusive podcasts from myself and others, analytical work, and sometimes just plain, old-fashioned Controversial writing…you remember that? The good old days don’t need to be lost to the dustbin of the internet. They’ve just moved behind the velvet rope.

To receive 25% off your subscription, please click here and enter the promo code AMERICAFIRST.

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