Bloomberg, Kirsten Powers Raise Concerns Over the Muzzling of Conservative Voices

Silencing and marginalization of conservative voices have become commonplace in the United States, as recently highlighted by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Democrat strategist Kirsten Powers, who herself supports same-sex marriage.

Last week, Bloomberg spoke about universities becoming bastions of intolerance.

"This spring, it has been disturbing to see a number of college commencement speakers withdraw - or have their invitations rescinded -- after protests from students and - to me, shockingly - from senior faculty and administrators who should know better," Bloomberg said Thursday at a commencement speech at Harvard University, according to CNN.

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Bloomberg referred to an October speech by former police commissioner, Ray Kelly, at Brown University, which canceled the speech after a protest by those who were opposed to the police department's stop-and-frisk policy.

The former mayor had several other incidents to cite, including at Rutgers.

"In each case, liberals silenced a voice - and denied an honorary degree - to individuals they deemed politically objectionable. This is an outrage," added Bloomberg, a business magnet.

"We cannot deny others the rights and privileges that we demand for ourselves. And that is true in cities and it is no less true in universities where the forces of repression appear to be stronger now, I think, than at any time since the 1950s," he told graduates. "There is an idea floating around college campuses, including here at Harvard, I think, that scholar should be funded only if they're work conforms to a particular view of justice. There's a word for that idea; censorship and it is just a modern form of McCarthyism."

Bloomberg called conservative academicians "endangered species."

"Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas, even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species," he said.

Bloomberg also criticized Republicans and Democrats in Washington, where, he said, decisions are reached "not by engaging with one another but by trying to shout each other down."

In an op-ed for USA Today, Powers, who served in the Clinton administration as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs, blasted what she called the "virtual manhunt" of Mozilla chief Brendan Eich.

"His heresy was a private donation in support of an anti-gay marriage initiative six years ago. Mob rule enforcing groupthink is as illiberal as it gets, and yet it was liberals demanding uniformity of thought - or else," she wrote in April.

She also cited crowd-funding site Kickstarter's refusal to accept a film about convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell unless descriptions of his crimes were removed.

"Kickstarter, like too much of the news media, wants only one version of the late-term abortion story told. If Gosnell hadn't killed the babies outside the mothers' body and instead kept them inside as is standard procedure for the 'After Tiller' docs, he would not have been charged with murder. He'd be the hero in a film Kickstarter would happily fund," she concluded.

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