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‘Office’ Alum: Free Speech Scolds Are Coming from the Left

Stephen Merchant diagnoses problem, won't side with 'Right Wing Nutters'

Conservatives are fighting for free speech across western culture, even if many liberals don’t know it.

It’s why left-leaning podcaster Joe Rogan made news by saying Fox News and co. had his back during his Cancel Culture crisis.

He’s right, of course.

The Left and mainstream media outlets salivated for Rogan’s podcasting scalp, while conservatives rallied to his side despite his political leanings. The same has held true for attacks against left-leaning comics like Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle.

Slowly, surely, old school liberals like Rogan are seeing the truth. It’s the modern Right that wants to protect our First Amendment rights. The Left? It now stands for censorship, full stop, using Cancel Culture as its cudgel.

Stephen Merchant apparently got the memo.

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The British “Office” alum, now in charge of the Amazon series “The Outlaws,” opened up about his fellow “Office” mate, free speech and more during a recent interview with The Independent.

Merchant praised Gervais for being “brave” in battling comedy scolds, something he has less interest in doing on or off social media.

“I don’t want to have to defend a tweet from 10 years ago. It’s not interesting to me to spend time defending a point of view or a glib joke that I made at 2am.”

Merchant also observed how those attempting to silence Gervais, and fellow comics, now hail from the Left. That wasn’t always the case.

“This obsession with trying to police what people say, you know? It’s funny [because] when I was growing up, Mary Whitehouse was the version of that. The uber-religious [person] trying to get TV shows banned and newspaper articles retracted, and she was very much seen as a right-wing figure. Now it feels like it’s a lot more coming from the Left, and that suddenly the champions of free speech are Right-wing nutters. How did that come about? I don’t want to side with those people!”

“Those people” may help artists like Merchant surviving the woke revolution. And lumping everyone on the Right together with its extremist wing is a mistake, of course. Much like saying the average liberal, like Merchant, Rogan, Chappelle or Gervais, isn’t ready to defend free speech.

They are. It’s the far Left that applauds Big Tech censorship, sensitivity readers and more.

Still, Merchant’s observations about the Left/Right divide on free speech, combined with Rogan’s comments, are bound to become commonplace moving forward.

Now? It’s still an anomaly.


  1. First, the Western media and leftists intentionally act ignorant of the difference between European ‘right-wing’ (pro-monarchy/pro-despot/pro-dictator) and U.S. ‘right-wing’. (pro-individual/pro-liberty).

    Second, in the U.S. the leftist/progressive/socialist agenda has always included free-speech suppression… Even back to progressive president Wilson, former president of Princeton, who premiered the pro-KKK “Birth of a Nation” in the White House, used the force of the Executive Branch to read mail, suppress news stories, even imprison ‘dissidents’. Many ‘American’ progressives were fans of European socialists, including Hitler (and Nazism), Stalin (and Communism), and Mussolini (and Fascism), with Hitler and Stalin both being Time’s Person of the Year.

    Does no one remember in the ’90’s with Second Lady Tipper Gore (VP Al Gore’s wife) leading hearings into music lyrics and pushing labelling music with parental warnings? I mean, here you have the noted inventor of the internet (/sarc) and climate ‘genius’ of the much discredited “An Inconvenient Truth” along with his wife suppressing speech…. Much like in the Florida recount where he and his lawyers attempted to prevent the counting of tens of thousands of military ballots… Or how about VP Lyin’ Joe Biden (LGB), during the Obama administration, accepting an award from the mainstream media for the administration being the ‘most transparent in history’… where the closed-door ceremony where Joe accepted the award only allowed one reporter and one photographer… They should called this ‘transparency’ award the “Joseph Goebbels’ Award for ‘Transparency’ in Propaganda…

  2. The Right don’t cancel because the Left are the best salesman for the Right. We want them front and center. The Left HAVE TO cancel because they have no valid arguments, so they must end the arguments before anyone can have them. They ban Alex Jones while we create accounts like Libs of TikTok. For those that don’t know, the far Left control the British mainstream media as much or more than in the US, so any British celebrity that you might like, is just as Leftist as those in Hollywood. I really like Jimmy Carr as a comedian and host, but he’s a big Leftist, coincidentally he made big news for not paying his taxes, weird how that happens.

  3. Modern liberals are for free speech only until you say something that they disagree with. It doesn’t matter if your speech is motivated by faith, common sense or an attempt at telling a joke — it’s taboo if they disagree. With just a few exceptions, most conservatives will defend free speech because it is deemed to be a self-evident natural right.

  4. Not really…in general leftists are safe from lefty repression of speech because they spout the accepted line. It is only when you wander away from “acceptable” speech in the eyes of leftists and offend – as you might in comedy – the sensibilities of some interest group or protected class. One must not be allowed to make fun of the left’s idiocy because that is the ultimate danger to their positions. Once the people see the “Emperors” of the left have no clothes and laugh at them, they are done.

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