Now at Conservative HQ
I saw your column-farewell this morning with resignation and understanding. Michelle Malkin is laying down her clarion pen -- and, yes, I remember well your blog's elegant logo from long ago. The "Left," the "Right" have done everything they could to seize that pen from you, to block it, stop it, tarnish it, break it, box it, sabotage it, silence it ... and they failed. Michelle and her pen have always triumphed. And that is the way the column ends.
In your characteristic style, you summarized what news media have become in the best single sentence I've seen yet.
It’s information-suppression disguised as “misinformation” monitoring.
There is no longer any news-gathering at all, even for show. Everything is pre-harvested, pre-digested in order to be spat out by an army of dead-eyed bots. Naturally, the end product is sickening to every living thing.
In such an noxious system, truth-seeking, open debate, whether in the form of good ol' fashioned shoe-leather reporting or opinion-writing, are not only prohibited, they don't belong there. As someone who used to pick up four newspapers every morning at the doorstep (no, no milk bottles, children), I've learned over the past decade to recognize that if it's "frontpage news," it's agit prop. That is, it's not simply "liberal bias" we all have to detect and filter; it is Party Media Line. Distortion of what matters, and Deflection from what matters. My one disagreement with your piece today, Michelle, is where you say: "Conservative media are not much better." Granted, news or information is still to be gleaned. However, the very same deflections and distortions we more easily recognize on the Left abound in conservative media under false colors of fidelity. To me, that's even worse.
You may not know, but I believe but cannot prove that my own departure from syndication after some 15 years in December 2014 (was it as long ago as that?) was an early iteration of "cancelation" from the Right. Fortunately, they were unable to sway my book publisher, who informed me of a crude attempt at slander and alienation. Narrative-control is a very dirty business.
I'm glad you gave your readers some insight into the terrible price you and too many other truth-tellers have had to pay, including a price above and beyond the boundaries professional life while exercising the God-given right to freedom of expression.
Because of my peacefully expressed reporting, opinions and speeches, my family has been punished and stigmatized, my reputation tarnished and my voice squelched. It’s not “big government” that waged this war on my career. It’s a constellation of vindictive wrongthink police in the private sector, from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League, to foreign newspapers and moneyed interests that have no business influencing American politics, to “conservative” swamp creatures and profiteers such as Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Mona Charen and Ben Shapiro, and even to former colleagues at the Fox News Channel, which blacklisted me several years ago and told a friend of mine who was a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show not to say my name after antifa rioters had attacked me and others on stage at a Back the Blue rally in Denver a few years ago. (My friend ignored the warning. God bless him.)
These injuries, these cuts rankle. Not from a sense of vanity or any such foolishness, but from the deepest wellsprings of moral outrage over lies, slander, censoring, controlling, destroying. Above all, destroying. That's what they do. They uncloak themselves, these usual suspects -- perpetrators -- who see themselves as information-cops "policing the precincts," as another such comrade once wrote.
All of this said, I'm betting we hear from you and even read you in the future. You are irrepressible! No way can your life-force-channeling columns stop! Well, yes way, if that's how you want it. But I know you will pioneer new channels. Since leaving Washington in 2020 during those "two weeks to flatten the curve" a thousand years ago, I've been on a hiatus. Country life. Edenic. I've started a considerable vegetable garden, chickens, riding horses, all of that. I know that you, too, will gain from a time of re-charging.
When I heard your news this morning, I suddenly thought back to a long-ago summery afternoon we spent together in Washington. The occasion was your Hot Air interview with me about my first book, The Death of the Grown-Up, and it was such fun. I remember peeking out the window and seeing you hop out of your van with your producer and your gear and we set up and away we went, saying anything we wanted and uploading it to the whole world!
Could those videos, after all these years of big tech stomping on everything, still be "allowed" to be on Youtube? Yes. Yay! There (Part 1) they are (Part 2)!
Of course, my delight is an indicator of just how rooted censorship in America is today. We expect it.
I haven't watched the videos again. I just looked at our faces. Our eyes. Clearly, you can see it in our eyes. We still believed, as you noted once upon a time, the pen was mightier than the sword. Just that. The pen. And Michelle's Youtube channel was probably mightier than the pen! Free speaking. The facts. Good arguments. Never mind all of the swords out there, the oceans of money, the chains of manipulation, the masking of agendas we neither of us could see yet.
Wiser now, alas, my friend.
Take great care of yourself and the family.
And thank you.