A seemingly impromptu act of civil disobedience by Lauren Southern replacement Laura Loomer at Canadian right wing news outlet The Rebel has sparked controversy and questions from both left and right wing reporters. Laura Loomer rushing the stage during a Manhattan performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar has grown into something of a viral media event, but there seem to be some questions and controversies regarding the rushing of the stage that have commentators on both sides of the aisle scratching their heads.
Laura claims that her free speech was infringed upon when she was forcibly removed by security after rushing the stage. Her claims of censorship ring hollow when you consider she was the one holding up a scheduled performance with her antics. The practicum behind her action was the increasing climate of violence and aggression towards conservatives. There is no doubt the powder keg seems to have been lit. From Berkeley’s Antifa professor Eric Clanton bludgeoning a peaceful protester with a bike lock to the recent shooting of Republican Senator Steve Scalise, partisan violence and extremism are on the rise.
As for this particular instance, Rebel Media, Laura, and Levant may have jumped the gun this time. As far as the use of a Trump-like figure in the Caesar role, this is not uncommon. During Obama’s tenure as president, a rendition of Shakespeare’s classic had the Caesar role played by an African American, purportedly representing Obama. For those who argue this is a call to violence, a simple reminder that the play ends with the Roman Republic falling and all conspirators involved dead should prove that the play has a decidedly anti-assassination moral. Evidently Levant and Loomer didn’t pay attention during English lit.
Corey Stoll, House of Cards actor played the role of the assassin Marcus Brutus, wrote of the event in Vulture: “In this new world where art is willfully misinterpreted to score points and to distract, simply doing the work of an artist has become a political act.”
Even more concerning, however, is the fact that Laura decided to make the news, rather than breaking the news. Adding to the ethical quandary detracting from The Rebel’s journalistic integrity is the curious fact that the domain was registered a full four hours before the play had begun, proving the staged nature of the assault on the stage. More in the way of a moral dilemma is the multiple crowdfunding which has raised over $12,000 to date.
The following is from the WeSearchR crowdfunding platform site.
“Kathy Griffin beheads the President, Snoop Dogg shoots him, and acting on these influences, an assassin attempted to murder multiple Republican congressmen. The left is normalizing violence and one woman had enough of it. She was disgusted by the continuous violent rhetoric that continues to get worse and worse and is finally spiraling out of control, coming to a head with Antifa and the latest shooting. She needs our help.”
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) June 18, 2017
“All funds contributed to this bounty will be used for the legal defense and assistance of The Rebel TV journalist Laura Loomer, who was arrested on 16 June 2017 in New York City for protesting the mock assassination of President Donald J. Trump by Shakespeare in the Park.”
This seems to be a new trend in “crowd-funding protest” from Occupy Wall Street to the Dakota Pipeline. Even before the staged event by The Rebel, Mike Cernovich had offered to pay protesters to disrupt the performance.
“I’ll give up to 10 people $1,000,” Cernovich explains in a Youtube video. “I need you to get up with either a ‘CNN is ISIS’ or ‘Bill Clinton’s a rapist’ or ‘The media is terrorism’ [sign]. And if you’re able to get up and be escorted out by security, then I will give you $1,000.”
On page three of the 1978 Washington Post Style Guide, basic ethics are delineated. In regards to the reporter’s role: “reporters should make every effort to remain in the audience, to stay off the stage.” Fairly plain language and great advice that Levant,
Fairly plain language and great advice that Levant, Loomer, and Posobiec apparently paid as much attention to as their Roman history and Shakespeare.
[Featured Image by Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images]