Watch a Mary Ham break down the situation surrounding Carlos Maza and Steven Crowder (4:56):
Watch Phillip Defranco covering the situation:
Watch Tim Pool’s report on the situation:
Watch Tim Pool follow up on of the adpocalypse:
Watch Lauren Chen cover the situation:
Watch Joe Rogan’s reaction to the situation:
CNN business interviews Maza over situation:
Watch 1791 profile Carlos Maza:
Watch 1791 follow up with “The Aftermath”:
Watch Glenn Beck’s reaction to the situation:
Watch Glenn Beck interview Steven Crowder:
Watch Jimmy Dore react to the situation:
Watch David Pakman break down the situation:
Watch Secular Talk break down the situation:
Watch Sargon of Akkad react to the situation:
Watch the Quartering react to the situation:
Watch Ben Shapiro cover the situation:
Watch Steven Crowder in his own words, “I’m not sorry”:
It may be Steven’s right to say whatever he wants but let’s not kid ourselves, there is speech that you just can’t defend. Using the word “fag” on a t-shirt you sell as merch, that’s not a hill worth dying on. Nor is it something I would want to support or sympathize with. He’s used the word fag regularly like in events held with Milo. Youtubers are more than just commentators, they’re role models to their audience. But when you look at what crowder actually says about Maza it’s always in the context of rebuttal.
He’s never said anything remotely close to anything like “this is the problem with the gays” or “people like Maza” or “he’s like this because he’s gay”. No. It’s always been an attack on Maza himself as an individual. And I’m sorry but when you create political commentary content where you’re whole shtick is criticising others, it’s just plain fair game that others are going to react to what you say. What is Maza actually asking for here? And by going after youtube Maza is demonstrating the very mob behaviour and targeting that he claims youtube enables in others. Critics have been parodying each other forever. Crowder denounces all forms of doxing and online bullying. This is not just to formally cover his ass, he knows and makes clear that is is exactly what people like Maza want so they can claim that sweet, sweet victimhood and it plays right into their narrative. Online bullying is never ok and never helps anyone. Crowder understands this and always denounces it. The responsibility of creators for their followers is another conversation.
When he exaggerates Maza’s excentricisms, is that homophobia? If you’re someone I don’t like, I might call you a cock sucker. If you were gay but I didn’t know, would I be a homophobe? If I did know you were gay and still called you that, would I be a homophobe? If you subscribe to intersectional doctrine then yes, as a CIS, white male I have no right to criticise anyone above me on the hierarchy. And my insult will be found to be discrimination of some kind. If it’s directed at a gay man, it’s homophobic. If it’s directed at a woman it’s misogynist. If it’s aimed at a “person of colour” then it’s racist. And if it doesn’t comfortably meet the definition of racism then we’ll just call it coded language to dog whistle white supremacy.
In the context of intersectionality, CIS white males will inevitably be found to be guilty and tainted and problematic because that is the status of my identity group. Despite the fact that when I’m using such language, I’m never thinking about the act itself. Nor am I using it to bring about visuals of such acts being performed by the people such comments are targeting. I’m probably just using that language because I think it’ll offend you. And if I’m using that language I probably want to offend you. I’m just intending to piss you off, nothing more, nothing less. But thoughts, actions and the intention around them are irrelevant. If you are not a member of the protected class then you will face the consequences of your actions and cited as an example of things like “genocide”. That all being said… did I have to call the person a cock sucker in the first place? Probably not.
This leads me to an email I sent to Steven Crowder about 2 years ago. I had just created a youtube account to investigate this whole youtube thing after the Trump election and crowder was one of the first channels I discovered. After so long following him closely I felt the need to email him a critique. I wrote to him that I felt he was wrong to use words like Faggot. Even if it is in talking to Milo Yiannopoulos through mutual respect. I don’t recall him ever using the word Nigger but he’s always engaged in real spicy language. I told Crowder that he may have every right to say absolutely whatever he wants but the reality is having an audience makes him a role model as much as he is a comedian or commentator. And his advocacy for conservative values and free speech is noble. But his careless use of spicy language really just makes him look like a bully and that he only wants free speech to be an asshole.
I believe in absolute freedom of expression but free speech doesn’t mean freedom against consequence. However this regulation should always be socially enforced and not legislated into law. The government regulation of speech will always be a gross conflict of interest. If you’re not scared of a liberal telling you what’s acceptable to say or do, try having a conservative telling you what you can say or do. This is not the role of government. Public discourse is best left up to the public. And the amendments we currently have on free speech is already borderline too much but fair enough. Defamation, incitement of violence, etc. Fair enough. People will get in line with their tribes based on what’s socially acceptable to say. This plays out every day as we all self censor over controversial issues.
So I warned Crowder that if he insisted on using, what I have been calling, “indefensible speech” then one day he would be targeted and his arguments would be reduced to holding him to account for this spicy language. Using words like Faggot isn’t a hill worth dying on. And freedom of individual expression is far too important to be taken down by such shallow defenses. These are words that are so morally powerful they bind and blind people and recruit free speech opposition quicker than any advocacy argument could ever back them off that cliff. And here we are today, Crowder being accused of hate speech. Not because of his “change my mind” segments or his one-on-one interviews or his comedic sketches or his collaborations. It’s over the word fag.
He can be as ‘not sorry’ as he wants, the damage is already done. Not from his base but to his credibility to those sitting on the fence. The more he frames things as “us versus them” and the more he appeals to tribalism the more he contributes to polarization. And that’s why Crowder is in the wrong with this issue. I can play devils advocate for Crowder in this situation and I believe Maza is also wrong and also disingenuous but that doesn’t mean Crowder is right. They’re both wrong for their own reasons. These issues need to be contended with responsibly and with the seriousness they deserve. Crowder is not doing this and no amount of “some of my best friends are fags” style defense will ever make him right.
He’s making money and gaining subs despite his demonetization so if money is the only measure of success then sure, he’s winning. I only see an empty victory. Is Crowder a comedian? Not in the traditional sense of a comedian but if Stephen Colbert, Fallon and Kimmel pass as comedians then Crowder does as well. But their partisanship doesn’t grant them the kind of pass I would grant people like Kevin Hart or Bill Burr, etc. Crowders show is clearly intended to be a political commentary dressed up with entertaining sketches and bits to make it more palatable. That does not exempt him of scrutiny nor has he ever shied away from challenges. Provocation is part of his style and that is aimed at shock value and intended to challenge you. This is also not a defense for indefensible speech.
When I engage in road rage on the highway I don’t stop and think rationally of what the most appropriate wording of outrage would be to use so that I don’t offend my perpetrator. Instead of “dumb bitch” I use “silly goose” and instead of “mother fucker” I say “non-gender-conforming parental guardian consentual fornicator”. Look, I’m not equating delivering a speech to the world to the same standard as road rage but sometimes an emotional reaction can result in impulsive inappropriateness. And as Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
My point is Crowder doesn’t like Maza. Why would he give a shit about Maza’s feelings? Sure, you’re a content creator and you shouldn’t appeal to outrage. And in an ideal world we would all be polite to one another. But Maza does the exact same thing by demonizing those he criticizes. Maza’s advocating for one identity group being a protected class over another identity group. Again, it always comes down to socialism with these guys. Political correctness is just fascism with manners. If social media wants to start promoting some content while censoring other content then how does this not make them a publisher? News media relies on all social media for their reporting now, it’s cited as a publisher source constantly. But everytime they favour one voice over another they are actively in conflict with constitutional rights. You guys want to end discrimination? Then there can be NO protected category of ppl over other ppl. period. Every time any protected class is favoured, all those outside the protected class are discriminated against.
Now as for Maza. All I can say is the guy isn’t real journalism, it’s the exact activist based narrative propaganda that he himself is so critical of. Crowder isn’t fooling anyone by using the word “Figs” instead of “Fags” on his shirt. Maza isn’t fooling anyone by advocating for acosting people with milkshakes isn’t an incitement for violence. I’ll tell you right now if you ever threw a milkshake at me I’d beat the ever living fuck out of you. I have my own hateful conduct policy. Kill me or regret it. So he violates actual laws but you’ll never see it enforced because society is adhering to this social justice rhetoric around protected classes.
I can appreciate that he may call himself a gay wonk and that doesn’t automatically exempt others from scrutiny for engaging him with the same language. I believe the word Nigger is reprehensible and should never be used. However I don’t care when I hear it in a song or in the context of news and the like. But the main point here is that Maza has entered the public domain to target and criticize others. This is his career. He gets paid to do this. This puts him squarely smack dab in the middle of the marketplace of ideas. His ideas and opinions are just as up for scrutiny as those he targets. He, himself, engages in the same demonizing language he’s critical over Crowder using.
He thinks he’s right based on his race and sexual orientation and Crowder is inherently wrong as a measure of his race and sexual orientation. Maza is wrong. He claims Youtube doesn’t care about it’s LGBTQ creators. This is a lie and his calls for protest are all simply aimed at damaging youtube and the creators on their platform. He even admits himself this isn’t really about Crowder. And he chose to do all of this at the same time of a vox walkout and during pride month. It’s calculated, manipulative and disingenuous. His proclamation of victimhood is, in my opinion, purely aimed at harming others. The mainstream hit pieces that have followed reinforce my feeling that this is just another attempt to reclaim lost ground against alternative media.
He’s doing it for the clicks
He’s doing it for the clicks
He’s doing it for the clicks
Watch Philly D cover new main stream media hit pieces:
Watch Tim Pool’s coverage of Media hit piece:
Watch The Quartering react to the media hit piece:
Watch 1791 cover the media hit piece:
Watch Secular Talk cover the media hit piece:
Watch Ben Shapiro’s coverage of the media hit piece:
So in closing, I need to ask. What exactly are we talking about here? Is this just a fight between Crowder and Maza? Well neither knows each other personally and it’s pretty clear that both parties have their own personal agendas behind their faux feud. So this really isn’t a conflict between these two. Is this a conversation about censorship? Maza makes clear that it’s not enough to demonetize creators channels, citing websites like patreon. Youtube has nothing to do with Patreon. Is it not enough to censor a creator? Must there be a collaborative effort to destroy the lives of those we deem ‘problematic’? Youtube can change it’s policies every hour if they want, I don’t think that’s what the issue is really about.
I think this all comes down to the big question of what is social media? Is it a private company that is allowed to ‘hire’ and ‘fire’ anyone they deem harmful to their brand? Is it a publication that produces us with news? Well all mainstream media has no problem citing social media for anecdotes in their work. All media utilize social media for their content to reach far beyond the municipal boundaries of their broadcast. Is social media really just a company that aims at only making money?
Well if social media wants to continue to regulate content then it increasingly fulfills the role of publisher as it guides our attention and calculates it’s recommendations. Maybe a better question is what is social media to us? Internet in general is now considered a basic human right as more people do their banking, communications and coordination through their smart devices or computers. Trying to live without a phone or access to internet truly does present very real barriers to thriving in a society that demands instantaneous communication.
Here are a few other good questions. If you cannot network, plan, promote, advertize or advocate on social media, how does that impact your professional and/or social life? Would you suffer damages by being barred from utilizing social media? What advantages would others have over you if you were not allowed access to social media while running for political office? While others have access to it but you don’t. How would that impact the election of your riding? Better yet, could you ever become president/prime minister without a presence on social media? I don’t think you could run a competitive campaign without some degree of social media activity.
How significant is our online avatar? Is our online presence as significant as our physical self in real life? If you disappeared from social media, would it have a measurable impact on your real life friendships? Could that lead to falling out with certain friends? Your profile, your avatar, your page, your library. Are these personalized home pages shares? Does holding a personal account/home page equate to holding a share within the company if it’s profitability is derived from your account/content? Is there an argument there that your account is a form of equity? Canadian government ruled that points accumulated on reward cards like air miles is a form of equity that is owned by the card holder, not air miles. This after Air Miles attempted to retroactively apply an adjustment to terms and conditions around accumulated points. Government ruled that unconstitutional. They ruled that digital equity could be property. Does my participation on social media produce equity that I should be entitled to?
Are these companies monopolies? What relationship do we have with social media? Is it addictive? Could it be so intrinsic to our functionality that social media can become a symbiotic relationship with us? It may be true that social media are private companies. This also means they are unelected officials regulating the centre of public discourse. So what responsibilities do these companies have in the symbiotic relationship their products have with our lives? Are these platforms an open forum? I don’t have the answers but I think after seeing just how far you can flesh out the significance of social media it tends to feel more like a public utility than merely a private platform. Perhaps how it functions goes beyond it’s intended design. But if it meets the definition of a public utility then we cannot ignore the conversation around civil rights. And if access to these platforms is a civil right then it’s pretty clear the conversation around regulation is far from over and far more complex than it seems.
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth”
– Vladimir Ilyich Lenin