Why Doesn't the Right Defend Kai Cenat's Actions as Free Speech?

This guy, Kai Cenat, has 6.5 million followers on Twitch, including 80,000 paid subscribers, and millions more following him on YouTube. He streams himself gaming, does pranks, and basically fucks around and makes a shit-ton of money doing it. No judgment. Anyone who makes a living doing what they love, as long as it's legit and/or doesn't hurt anyone, good on them. 

So Cenat and another online content creator, Fanum, said last Friday afternoon that they were giving away Playstation 5s and gift cards in Union Square in the middle of Lower-ish Manhattan. It's a busy area even when it's not peak tourist season, which it totally, fucking annoyingly is. The announcement caused thousands of mostly young people to swarm Union Square. After being delayed, Cenat arrived and live-streamed for a little while from the event until it got too intense to keep going. It doesn’t look like Playstations were given away, but the crowd started to lose its shit and jumped on cars and tore up a subway entrance construction site and other parts of Union Square, getting into fights with the cops who arrived, all while Cenat drove away as people held onto his SUV like it was the last helicopter leaving the Fyre Festival or something. 

Cenat was arrested for first-degree rioting and inciting a riot, along with unlawful assembly for doing all this without a permit. 

Now, Cenat didn’t riot himself. He never encouraged people to riot, even if he did watch it and film it. All he did was tell people to show up. I mean, crowds have shown up at other events he’s held spontaneously and nothing remotely like this fuckery happened, but, at the end of the day, like at those previous giveaways and get-togethers, didn’t he only speak? Yet would anyone deny that he bears responsibility for what occurred? 

I mean, right-wing dirthumper media sure has no problem pinning the blame on Kai Cenat. Conservative columnist Cal Thomas, who I didn't even realize was still living, decried the riot, blaming a lack of fathers and seeming to imply they should be shot or threatened with being shot before being beaten with sticks. Over on Trump’s Truth Toilet, they’re saying things like, “Throw away the key.” Or as another stated flatly, “Social media star Kai Cenat INCITES dangerous  NY riot over promise of huge gaming giveaway.” You'd think they'd be defending his right to free speech.

But Cenat even cautioned people, “We're making sure to have good like protection and shit. You already know, we're trying to chill and shit…” And in hyping it, he seemed to anticipate that things could go awry and wanted to prevent it: “That shit might end really quick depending on how rowdy you get and shit like that. Make sure you pull up with somebody. Just make sure you pull up with a friend to make sure ya'll are good and shit like that.” Another way to put that? “Be there, will be wild.” 

Right now, Trump and his legal team of cockmites and asslickers are trying to make a case that everything Trump did to try to overthrow the results of the 2020 election and install Trump as a de facto dictator, up to and including the insurrection at the Capitol, were just free speech in action. Trying to get the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” enough votes to give the state to Trump? Free speech. It was "aspirational." Writing out a fucking plan to steal the election? Free speech. Telling the mob at his January 6 bullshit protest to march to the Capitol “you'll never take back our country with weakness.We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore”? Free speech. Sure, he also said to march “peacefully and patriotically,” but Kai Cenat told people to chill and make sure they’re good. That didn’t stop him from being charged. 

There are lots of reasons why Trump’s actions don’t fall under free speech. And the example is right there in the Kai Cenat arrest. You can’t do something that convinces people to commit crimes. You talk people into starting a riot, even unintentionally. And you can’t fucking well ask an official to create fake electors to substitute for the real ones and overturn an election. If you call it all "free speech," then I suppose it's free speech if Joe Biden talked to Hunter about business deals, right, MAGA freaks? Or when someone hires a hit man to murder their spouse? It's just aspirational speech until there's a corpse. The murder is the only crime, no? It gets absurd pretty fucking quickly.

Yeah, I'm comparing January 6 to the Union Square riot. The big fucking difference is that, unlike the January 6 motherfucking insurrectionists, virtually no one is defending the Union Square rioters. Large swaths of politicians aren't declaring them innocent or just tourists or that they were in a public place or anything of the sort. I know there are some concerns about violence in the police response and those should be dealt with, as should the assaults on the cops. Again, though, with very limited exceptions, no one is trying to minimize that shit, certainly no elected officials.

By the way, unlike Trump, Cenat has apologized and condemned the riot. First there was a statement from his publicity group that said, “We apologize to all of those impacted. We are fully cooperating with local authorities.” Then, yesterday, he unequivocally told the people who did the rioting that they fucked up: "I am beyond disappointed in anybody who became destructive that day. That shit is not cool... I had good intentions for this whole thing, and none of that was my intention. I don’t condone any of the things that went on that day. None of that is cool." He added, "As a whole, we all have to do better." He did not thank the rioters. He did not express love for them. He included himself in those who had fucked up.

So a fuckin’ Twitch streamer has more honor and decency than a former president.