Glenn Greenwald
Politics • Writing • Culture
The Insidious & Unreported Legal Assault on Landmark Free Speech Rulings, From BLM Leaders to Donald Trump. Plus: Darren Beattie on Jan. 6, Tucker, & DeSantis
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June 28, 2023
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Good evening. It's Monday, June 26. Welcome to a new episode of System Update, our Live Daily Show that airs every Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern, exclusively here on Rumble, the free speech alternative to YouTube.

Tonight: if forced to identify the single greatest danger the West faces, I would almost certainly choose the ongoing institutionalization of censorship. Or, put another way, the incremental yet aggressive erosion of free speech, both as a legal right and as a social value. There are multiple ways a censorship regime is being implemented. We know from the Twitter Files and from other reporting both before and since that U.S. and Western security state agencies apply enormous pressure on Big Tech corporations to heavily censor online political discourse, largely by banning dissent from establishment orthodoxies on virtually every consequential debate. From reporting on Joe Biden to the integrity of elections, from COVID to the war in Ukraine, all of those issues have ushered in extreme levels of censorship, invariably aimed at those who question or dissent from establishment narratives. We have reported on such efforts many times. Then there is the truly pernicious attempt to stigmatize or even criminalize political dissent by depicting it as “too dangerous” to allow, based on the theory that this dissent is the primary culprit that inspires violent attacks. After a white supremacist shooter murdered people at a grocery store in Buffalo, in May 2022, for instance, established media outlets instantly created the narrative that the real criminal with blood on his hands was not the shooter but instead, Fox News host Tucker Carlson, whose speech was blamed for inspiring the killer even though there was no evidence the shooter had even heard of Tucker Carlson, let alone watched this show, let alone was inspired by him to murder. This theory, of course, is never applied the same way to establishment voices. When a rabid fan of Rachel Maddow and Bernie Sanders tried to murder GOP Congressman Steve Scalise and other members of the Republican House caucus, in 2017, based on his view that Republicans are racist, traitors and Russian agents, nobody seriously tried to claim that Maddow or Sanders had blood on their hands, nor did anyone claim that about an environmental activist, when a climate activist murdered the Dutch politician, Pim Fortuyn, in 2002, just nine days before a general election, which could have made Fortuyn the new Dutch prime minister. This media narrative is, again, yet another weapon designed to suppress and ultimately lead to the outlawing of dissent against establishment parties on the grounds that such dissent is too dangerous to permit. Then there are these social pressures designed to marginalize or silence establishment critiques in many countries. 

In the democratic world, major societal sectors barely pretend any longer to value or defend free speech. At most, they may pay lip service to free speech, but then immediately offer a mountain of other values that they insist are more important, and that justified the restrictions on free speech. Increasingly, the phrase ‘free speech’ is depicted as a far-right or even a fascist cause. Even though every fascist in history has embraced censorship and not free speech. And the demands are now intense for establishment critics to be silenced or censored. We saw just last week that liberal media figures demanded that nobody, neither Joe Biden nor Professor Peter Hotez M.d., Ph.D. debate RFK, Jr. on the grounds that RFK, Jr.'s ideas are simply too harmful to allow to be heard. Google has repeatedly censored RFK or even mentions of him from YouTube, and that should not be surprising. Seemingly every day new theories are invented as to why one should regard dissent not only as wrong but also as too dangerous to allow. That is the pernicious theory that is leading in many democratic countries throughout the world, from Brazil and Canada to Ireland and Germany. A spate of new censorship laws, regulations and judicial rulings is based on the view that dissent either constitutes “hate speech” or “disinformation,” terms that intrinsically cannot apply to establishment defenders, but only to their critics. 

There is a topic we want to focus on tonight, which is the direct legal attacks on free speech. In the U.S. The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights imposes serious obstacles in the way of the ability to censor to criminalize dissent but a recent series of judicial rulings, including the attempt to indict former President Donald Trump for the political speech he gave on January 6, along with a case now making its way through the federal judicial system that it tends to hold Black Lives Matter leaders, including DeRay Mckesson, liable for the violent acts of others whom they are accused of inspiring, are making significant inroads and undermining and even erasing some of the most important landmark Supreme Court rulings from the 20th century, which have safeguarded our free speech rights when it comes to political debate. Because these kinds of legal attacks are often carried out under the darkness of technical-sounding debates about obscure legal dogma, they rarely receive media coverage but that is something we want to fix tonight because of all the ongoing attacks on free thought and free debate, this legalistic one now being carried out through the American court system is among the most threatening, and it's vital that it be reported on and explained in a way that is easily understood. We'll review those developments tonight. 

Then for our interview segment, we will speak to the former Trump speechwriter and current investigative journalist at Revolver News, Darren Beattie, who, among other things, has done some of the most important journalism surrounding January 6. We'll speak to him about these free speech attacks, about the latest developments in that January 6 investigation, about the recent revelations of the two IRS whistleblowers, about the investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden, which we covered on Friday night here, about the posture of the Republican establishment and the Republican presidential primary and more. Darren has become a somewhat regular guest on our program and always has important and unique insights that one cannot obtain anywhere else. 

As a reminder, System Update is available in podcast form. You can follow us on Spotify, Apple and all major podcasting platforms. If you follow the show, you will have it available 12 hours after our first broadcast here, live, on Rumble. You can rate and review each episode, which helps spread the visibility of the show.

For now, welcome to a new episode of System Update, starting right now. 

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Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted

For years, U.S. officials and their media allies accused Russia, China and Iran of tyranny for demanding censorship as a condition for Big Tech access. Now, the U.S. is doing the same to TikTok. Listen below.

Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted
46 minutes ago

What is going on here:
Iowa has the first-in-the-nation caucus, where Iowans will gather to pick who they want to see as their party's Presidential candidate. But things are a bit different this year. Learn more about what will happen on caucus night - Monday, January 15, 2024 (at 7 pm).

Only Republicans will pick and announce their Presidential choice that night. Iowa Democrats will still hold a caucus to conduct party business (like setting the party's issue priorities), but they will pick their preferred Presidential candidate using a mail-in preference card that can be requested now through February 19, 2024. Mail-in ballots will begin hitting your mailboxes on January 12, 2024.

I think Dave Rubin tried to associate himself with Eric Weinstein’s analysis, as a way of providing a response to being called out for his hypocrisy… his use of the word “we” and “people like us” is pretty funny and pathetic… as well as staged/pre planned

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This post will be pinned to our profile for the next week, so comment below anytime with your questions, insights, future topic ideas/guest recommendations, etc. Let’s get a conversation going!

Glenn may even address some particularly interesting exchanges on our next supporters-only After Show.



Sleepy Sylvester works hard on some thoughtful responses with co-host Glenn on our Locals after show.

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We are pleased to send you a summary of the key stories we covered last week. These are written versions of the reporting and analysis we did on last week's episodes of SYSTEM UPDATE.

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Weekly Recap

Good Morning SYSTEM UPDATE Community,

Welcome to the SYSTEM UPDATE recap, your weekend digest featuring everything we’ve covered throughout the previous week. 



Prefer to listen to your daily news analysis? Reminder that FULL episodes of SYSTEM UPDATE are available anywhere you listen to podcasts🎙️



Elon Meets Netanyahu in Israel—Why? Vivek Ramaswamy on Free Speech Debates, Ukraine, & More. Plus: CNN & Senate Dems Demand More Censorship Over Israel

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (6:48)

Censorship Demands Continue (13:37)

Elon Visits Israel (32:09)

Interview with Vivek Ramaswamy (1:11:06)

Ending (1:34:58)



Americans Fired Since Oct. 7—What They Really Said. Is TikTok Censoring for China or the US? 

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (9:38)

Canceling Israel’s Critics (14:58)

Who Does TikTok Really Serve? (55:29)

Ending (1:29:18)


Supporters-Only After Show for Tuesday, November 28

We moved to Locals for our supporters-only, interactive after show, where Glenn shared his thoughts on some burning audience questions:



Almost none of the Arab countries will back up the Palestinian cause with any impactful political actions. And if a certain Arab country does decide to, they get destroyed literally or metaphorically. How can the Palestinians have any chance of statehood if these geopolitical conditions and order remains?  



Irish viewer here. Do you have any thoughts on the ongoing Irish hate speech legislation? Have you ever considered having MEP Clare Daly on the show? 


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Leading Palestine Expert Rashid Khalidi on Israel-Gaza, College Campuses, & More. Plus: Elon Musk’s Defiant Message to Disney

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (4:18)

Elon’s Defiant Message to Disney (9:35)

Interview with Rashid Khalidi (24:53)

Ending (1:15:21)



The Murderous Life & Legacy of Henry Kissinger: Perfect Symbol of the Rotted US Security State

Full transcript will be available for paid supporters here.




Intro (10:40)

Henry Kissinger: A Murderous Legacy (16:30)

Ending (1:38:24)


Supporters-Only After Show for Thursday, November 30

We moved to Locals for our supporters-only, interactive after show, where Glenn shared his thoughts on some burning audience questions:  



Your shows on free speech have been very informative. You distinguished between state action and private company decisions in the context of firings for example. I’ve been wondering how to think about free speech at universities and in particular whether the rules are different for private vs. public/state universities. And even for private universities whether it matters if they receive government funding. Thanks.



Glenn, can we get a deep look at some of these 3rd party corporations involved in "Trust and Safety" i.e. censorship? Seems like platforms are outsourcing more and more censorship to 3rd parties and it is a massively booming business model.


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Taibbi/Shellenberger Clash with Censorship Regime in Congress (Again). DEBATE: Glenn & Israel Supporter, Max Abrahms Discuss War in Gaza

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Intro (7:34)

Facing the Censorship Regime (12:04)

Interview with Max Abrahms (37:21)

Ending (1:48:26)


*Today’s show was brought to you by the Wellness Company. Go to and grab your prescription kits now–code GLENN saves you 10% at checkout!  


Thank you so much for your continued support—have a great week!

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