Harvard Law professor emeritus said that cancel culture needs to be fought by all Americans, after a House subcommittee last week held a hearing to discuss disinformation and extremism in the media.
Dershowitz, who notably defended former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial last year, said that Americans who subscribe to all political viewpoints—including liberals—should be pushing back. The House subcommittee specifically aimed at cable and satellite carriers that give a voice to conservative-leaning networks.
“I hope all Americans wake up to this,” Dershowitz told Newsmax on Thursday. “I hope it’s not just the ‘shoe is on the other foot’ test. Now, the conservatives are the victims of cancel culture so they’re big supporters of the Constitution and constitutional rights. During McCarthyism, it was the left that were the victims, and the right were the oppressors.”
Going further, he stated that “we need both the right, the left, and also the center to stand united against censorship, against cancel culture, and in favor of the marketplace of ideas.”
“We have the right to flip the channel if we don’t like what’s on Newsmax. Change the channel, but don’t tell the carriers, the satellite carriers, and the cable carriers, to deny us the right to watch Newsmax. That is wrong,” he remarked.
Last month, Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Jerry McEnerney (D-Calif.) sent letters in which they asked whether cable providers should carry Newsmax, Fox News, or One America News Network. The letter was panned by Republicans, who argued that the question suggested that some Democratic lawmakers are seeking to impose authoritarian means on what can and cannot be published. This comes on the heels of a rash of censorship and deplatforming of prominent conservatives by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Amazon.
A recent poll from Harvard CAPS-Harris found that about 64 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of cancel culture, which is a form of ostracism in which someone is removed from social circles or their job. The concept has also increasingly been applied to books and movies.
This week, the organization that oversees children’s book author Dr. Seuss’s legacy moved to stop publishing six of his books due to allegedly racist or offensive imagery and depictions. The move drew widespread backlash online.
“Americans are showing increased and substantial concern about the growth of cancel culture,” said Mark Penn, the director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, reported The Hill. “Tech companies beware that the public sees them of acting out of bias tilted towards the Democrats and voters are calling for new regulations to ensure fairness and openness. Amazon, in particular, still has a strong image compared to Facebook and Twitter, but that image may start to erode if they expand the banning of books on their platform.”