Instapundit Triumphant: Glenn Reynolds Censored From Twitter, Responds, Gets Reinstated
On Wednesday, yet another conservative voice was silenced on Twitter — PJ Media's own Glenn Reynolds, also a University of Tennessee law professor, known as Instapundit. His account was suspended for a tweet suggesting that drivers endangered by the riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, should force their way to safety. Perhaps regrettably, he used the words "run them down." Even so, liberal voices don't seem to get suspended when they advocate violence.
"Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars and surrounding them is a threat," Reynolds wrote on his blog Wednesday morning. "Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we've had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people. But if Twitter doesn't like me, I'm happy to stop providing them with free content." Burn!
If you doubt Reynolds' argument that these "protesters" are dangerous, just watch this brief video from the Associated Press, showing the rioters looting trucks and burning their contents.
This happened on Tuesday night, but the riots continued Wednesday night as well. During that second night, at least four police officers were injured, and one civilian was shot and put on life support.
Reynolds is the kind of conservative who would support Black Lives Matter if the cases they championed were actual situations of police abuse (like that of Terence Crutcher seems to be). "I've always been a supporter of free speech and peaceful protest. I fully support people protesting police actions, and I've been writing in support of greater accountability for police for years," Instapundit wrote.
But riots aren't peaceful protest. And blocking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest — it's threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn't actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn't stop because I'd fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would.
Reynolds admitted that "Run them down" didn't capture the nuances of his argument, "but it's Twitter, where character limits stand in the way of nuance."
Responding to criticism from Erik Wemple of the Washington Post, Instapundit admitted that "Keep driving" would have captured his idea, and would have been a better formulation of what he meant. "It would have been, and in only two words instead of three. But I've had over 580,000 tweets, and they can't all be perfect."
Next Page: The Twitter response — #FreeInstapundit!