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Kirsten Powers: ‘If George Bush Had Done This, He Would Have Been Hitler’
Kirsten Powers doesn’t mince words when discussing what she calls the “illiberal silencing tactics” of the left, including those employed by the Obama administration.
“It goes without saying that if George Bush had done this, he would have been Hitler,” she said of the Obama administration’s attempt to “delegitimize” Fox News.
The concept of “delegitimizing” individuals or organizations like Fox News is a main theme in her new book, “The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech.”
>>> Read More: How the Illiberal Left Uses Silencing Tactics
The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. Get us in your inbox.
“They go around to ABC and CNN and say, ‘We’re not going to listen to them, and neither should you.’ To me, it’s so unprecedented,” she said.
They can’t handle any dissent. It’s got to be completely 100 percent behind what they want—they don’t want to debate, they won’t send anybody on Fox News. … It goes without saying that if George Bush had done this, he would have been Hitler. If George Bush had come out and named a news organization … I can’t even imagine what would have happened.In 2009, Anita Dunn, a White House communications director, called Fox News a “wing of the Republican Party” during an appearance on CNN.
“They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine,” she said. “But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
In 2014 during a campaign speech at Northwestern University, President Obama himself called out the cable news network.
“There’s a reason fewer are running against Obamacare,” Obama said, “because while good, affordable health care might still be a fanged threat to freedom on Fox News, it’s working pretty well in the real world.”
Fox News isn’t alone. For years, the White House has resorted to bullying tactics and withholding information. It has prompted complaints from prominent journalists and the White House Correspondents Association.
Powers is a Fox News contributor, USA Today columnist and a “proud liberal.” What she’s not proud of, however, is the tactics the left uses to quell public debate.
“It’s been really sad, actually, to watch,” she said.
After meeting with reporters, Powers spoke to The Daily Signal’s senior contributor Genevieve Wood (video above), where she called the saga, “the war on Fox News.”
The Daily Signal will release the full interview later this week.
In writing her book, Powers said she came to see conservatives as the most ardent defenders of free speech—welcoming debate rather than attempting to stifle it like many liberals in media and academia.
While she agrees with the left’s stance on many of the hot-button cultural issues that divide society today—like gay marriage—she doesn’t agree with the measures used to further those ideas.
“I don’t understand this idea that people need to be pushed out of jobs and the public square for disagreeing with you on one issue,” she said.
In writing her book, Powers says she hopes to “get through these gatekeepers” to reinstate the idea of free speech.
“You have to have free speech for the people who offend you,” she said. “We don’t need it for the things that we agree on.”
She hopes to take that message to college campuses, where she believes restrictions on free speech are most problematic. Powers said she also welcomed the opportunity to debate fellow liberals on the subject.
Liberals Hang Kirsten Powers Out to Dry for Calling them Free Speech Killers
The Left’s scathing condemnation of political pundit Kirsten Powers’ new book “The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech” has proven to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and a publicity boon. Powers, whose professional background included a stint as a Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs with the Clinton Administration, is now a Fox News Contributor and a columnist with publications including USA Today, Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Instead of giving Powers, who still describes herself as a liberal, a platform for a civil discussion on her book, the Left quickly challenged her credibility as a Democratic insider and accused her of homophobia. Oliver Willis of the liberal organization Media Matters took potshots at Powers by saying that her contributions to Fox News and to Heritage Foundation, coupled with her “anti-choice” position, disqualify her as a liberal Democrat. Zack Ford of the liberal website Think Progress LGBT took to Twitter to accuse Powers of “demonizing LGBT people and sugar coating actions against LGBT equality as forgivable or not harmful.”
The Left’s swift attempt to denigrate Powers shows that they are not familiar with her past history of supporting gay equality and standing up for gay marriage during her days as a Clinton staffer in 1990’s, a time when few Democrats openly accepted gay marriage. More importantly, the Left’s efforts to demonize Powers shows that they are completely unwilling to have a conversation about ideas which do not dovetail completely with their beliefs. The Left has also proven to be completely unwilling to accept criticism. It is very interesting that the Left, which claims to be such a strong supporter of free speech, appears to only be a supporter of free speech they agree with.
Hence, they are quick to dismiss Powers’ book, which details how conservatives and Christians often are silenced or accused of bigotry or stupidity for their viewpoints. Powers’ book also explores the way conservative women are mistreated by liberals. In some instances, liberal women are among the worst perpetrators of inappropriate characterizations of conservative women. For instance, landmark feminist Gloria Steinem once told New York Magazine that conservative women leaders such as Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin exist to “oppose the women’s movement. That is their job.” And of course, given that Powers is a Fox News contributor, her book also gets into President Obama’s seemingly personal vendetta against Fox News. Interestingly enough, Powers, in part, attributes her recent conversion to Christianity from atheism and her experience as a Fox News contributor with making her aware of the Left’s war on “free speech.” The Left’s reaction to Powers’ book will ultimately have the end result of boosting the book’s sales. They have proven themselves to be the perfect case study for the hypocrisy which she described in “The Silencing”. According to Powers, “It is easier for the illiberal to demonize their opponents and sanctify themselves as moral beings that treat differences of opinion respectfully”. Apparently, if the Left’s treatment of Kirsten Powers is an example of their willingness to treat differences of opinions respectfully, it would be scary to see what their disrespect looks like. No, the Left has proven themselves to be just as “intolerant” as Powers portrayed them to be. For if they were truly open-minded, they would have been willing to listen to her point of view instead of trying to discredit her. In many ways, they were probably harder on her than they would have been on a conservative. After all, to a liberal, the only thing worse than a conservative is a liberal who is willing to be critical of other liberals.
Kirsten Powers on the War Against Free Speech and Why Most on the Left Don’t Get It
I spoke with Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers this week about her new book, “The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech.”
Powers gives example after example of how those who oppose a particular political or cultural view will pull out all the stops to silence and shame their opposition. I begin by asking if this is just a problem of those on the left wanting to silence conservatives and whether those waging such campaigns are willing to do so no matter the costs.
- 1:55: Did she ever question whether it was a good idea to write this book—and if she would suffer backlash for it?
- 2:48: How does she rate the state of free speech and debate on America’s college campuses?
- 4:10: Why does she believe “The Silencing” is a must-read for moderates and those left of center?
- 5:00: She explains why there is so much animus from the left, including President Obama, against Fox News.
- Conservatives want to know: How is it that someone who seems so smart and principled remains a liberal?
Kirsten Powers has “come out of the closet.”That’s how the pretty, articulate 46 year old Fox News political pundit described her transition from liberal atheist to a true believer in Jesus Christ nine years ago.
Growing up in a liberal, intellectual Episcopal family, Ms. Powers attended services primarily because her father, a professor, believed. But God’s presence was never something she actually felt, and when her father’s faith began to waiver, she drifted completely away from religion.
After college, she began working for the Clinton administration, and she describes that as being the “religion” in which she and her friends believed. Afterwards, she moved to New York City and her inner circle consisted of secular Democrats, most of whom were avowed atheists.
When Ms. Powers began dating a smart, young Evangelical Christian man, she considered his religion “an oddity to be overlooked.” Nevertheless, he pressed her to consider the possibility of becoming a believer, and while she told him she would keep an open mind, she had no intention of doing so. To her, it was all so ridiculous.
She did attend services with her boyfriend, and grew to enjoy the sermons of pastor Tim Keller, who wove history, art, and philosophy into his teachings. He made the case for Christianity, and against atheism. Gradually, she began to realize that while she did not necessarily believe in Christianity, she no longer felt atheism reflected her beliefs.
Everything changed on a trip to Taiwan, when she woke up in the middle of the night to see Jesus standing in front of her. “Here I am,” she says he told her. She describes the event in an article she wrote for Christianity Today.
It felt so real. I didn’t know what to make of it. I called my boyfriend, but before I had time to tell him about it, he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. Honestly, while I was upset, I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me.Kirsten began attending Bible Study, which the thought was something only for “weirdos.” But about that first session, she wrote:
I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn’t shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.
I don’t remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I’ll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, “It’s true. It’s completely true.” The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.Her belief grew stronger, despite the fact that her family and friends did not readily embrace her newfound evangelism. But many others were thrilled with her transition.
Kirsten admits that she has since lost some friends due to her change of heart. But she found God. I’d say that’s a pretty good trade-off.
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