“You want to protect free speech and privacy? Embrace the idea that threatening the press for doing their jobs is damaging. Consider asking yourself who in history is known for trying to silence journalists for saying things that they don’t like. Then look at where you’re standing. Which side of history are you actually on?”




— Mikki Kendall, Neo-Nazis have threatened CNN employees’ families. Many writers already know what that’s like. (Opinion)

During the American Revolution, printer James Rivington’s Gazette was something of a proto-NY Times: Manhattan-based, but with a broad circulation and the most international coverage in the colonies. It was also the biggest newspaper not to tilt to the rebels, first offering a platform to all factions and then increasingly Loyalist.

This was not universally well-received. Isaac Sears, the privateer-trader who organized the merchants of New York into the Sons of Liberty, pushing back against British regulation which cut into their profits and backed by the threat of mob violence, described Rivington thus:

He would appear as a leading man amongst us, without perceiving that he is enlisted under a party as a tool of the lowest order; a political cracker, sent abroad to alarm and terrify, sure to do mischief to the cause he means to support, and generally finishing his career in an explosion that often bespatters his friends.

I have known a Statute of Lunacy taken out, upon a degree of conduct less exceptionable than this I have described: If the relations of our politician, should find his estate wasted by means of his patriotism, and they choose to improve upon this hint, I assure them, it is heartily at their service.

They did not. (A “Statute of Lunacy” was the period version of involuntary psychiatric commitment)

The Sons of Liberty arranged a series of hanging-in-effigies of Rivington, complete with a poem by revolutionary poet Philip Freneau framed as a satisfying confession before the gallows, and he was arrested by the New York Provincial Congress.

This not availing, an angry mob besieged Rivington and his family, driving them to the safety of a British warship, sacked his office and press, and seized his lead type to be melted down and cast into bullets.

They then faced and wheeled to the left, and marched out of town to the tune of Yankee Doodle. A vast concourse of people assembled at the Coffee House, on their leaving the ground, and gave them three very hearty cheers.

– Connecticut Journal, Nov. 20, 1775

and these men went on to found the protofascist united states of america whats your point

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s