Rantz: WA Superintendent spreads shocking misinformation, suggests civil unrest imminent
Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction is spreading misinformation on Twitter in a post suggesting civil unrest is imminent.
Chris Reykdal posted his three “ingredients” for civil unrest. They include removing content moderation from social media, allowing a former President to tweet, and proclaiming “hate speech” as unprotected under the First Amendment.
The superintendent may be rooting for civil unrest to claim a moral high ground against MAGA Republicans, but literally, everything in his tweet is false.
His comments are beneath what one should expect from a school superintendent who should, at minimum, perform a basic Google search before making verifiably false tweets. It’s probably why he locked his Twitter replies, preventing anyone he doesn’t follow from responding.
This is WA’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.@waOSPI thinks “hate speech” is not protected speech because… he is, well, ignorant. That’s me being nice.
Literally everything in his tweet is false. pic.twitter.com/v2iq50JTYO
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) November 6, 2022
Content moderation hasn’t been removed
Reykdal thinks content moderation has been removed from Twitter. That’s incorrect. Twitter maintains the same content moderation rules it had before Elon Musk purchased the social media platform.
Twitter’s Head of Safety & Integrity, Yoel Roth, noted that “our core moderation capabilities remain in place,” and only 15% of his staff were laid off last week. He notes that front-line moderation staff was the least impacted by the cuts.
Musk even reported that Twitter saw less hateful speech than in previous weeks.
Reykdal goes on to deride Musk as an “oligarch” though he earns the label merely because the business owner isn’t a far-left partisan.
Jeff Bezos owns the left-wing Washington Post. Mark Zuckerberg owns and operates Facebook, which is known for censoring conservative speech to the benefit of Democrats. Liberal Bill Gates funnels millions into left-wing academic causes. George Soros spends his fortune trying to influence elections.
Yet Reykdal doesn’t seem to mind.
Instead, he turns his ire to the man who wants to allow more speech rather than less on the digital town square.
Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.
In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline *below* our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
Reykdal suffers Trump Derangement Syndrome
Though it’s unclear if former President Donald Trump will see his account restored, it is likely. But Trump has already said he plans to stay on Truth Social, his Twitter alternative.
Trump is not a “propagandist” by any definition of the word. Reykdal merely dislikes the former president. But he stays silent when Democrats, like his favored Senate candidate Patty Murray, pretend crime is down and not a significant issue.
With left-wing media outlets like CNN and MSNBC parroting the politically-motivated lie, which is actual propaganda, you’d think Reykdal would have plenty to complain about. But he keeps quiet because he’s a partisan.
If Reykdal wants to focus exclusively on election issues, he’d call out Democrats who tried to stop the certification of Trump’s election. Several Democrats, including Seattle progressive congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, pretended Trump was elected via fraud. Reykdal is silent.
Activists like Reykdal suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. The thought of Trump being allowed to speak his mind the way folks like Reykdal speak theirs, would send chills down their spines if they had any.
Reykdal should learn the basics of the First Amendment
Watching any season of Ally McBeal or The Practice would make you more qualified than Reykdal to discuss the First Amendment. These general concepts are taught in high school, so it’s astonishing that Reykdal is this ignorant.
Contrary to Reykdal’s claim, hate speech is indeed protected speech. In fact, “hate speech” doesn’t mean anything in the law.
What someone might consider hate speech could be subjective. Activists have repeatedly claimed to acknowledge biological facts — like men and women are different — as hate speech. In Reykdal’s world, if hate speech were illegal, deriding someone as an oligarch helping to create civil unrest would be illegal.
Even objectively “hateful” speech is protected under the First Amendment. There is no exception for repugnant speech, as decades of Supreme Court decisions have unambiguously and repeatedly outlined.
The most recent case rejecting the idea of a hate speech exception was Matal v. Tam in 2017.
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled that any federal law prohibiting trademark names that disparage or offend others was unconstitutional. The Court argued that “speech may not be banned on the grounds that it expresses ideas that offend.”
The limits on the First Amendment are exceptionally narrow. Reykdal is lucky that’s the case. If there were First Amendment exemptions for bad faith and partisan analysis, he’d have been jailed within the first few months of taking office.
Reykdal has a history of lying
Reykdal has a long history of lying, often using his personal Twitter account to spread misinformation.
The superintendent previously claimed that the Trump administration was banning words from being used by the CDC. He used it to compare the administration to the rise of Nazi Germany, cheapening atrocities against Jews to score pathetic political points. But the story on which he based his exploitative insult was false.
Reykdal used the left-wing semantics strategy of claiming the graduate-level course wasn’t being taught in middle, elementary, and high schools. No one made that claim, so he argued a point no one offered.
It’s unclear if Reykdal is ignorant or just lying to stir up hate. It’s likely a bit of both. He did not respond to a request for comment.
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