NBC News contributor Hugh Hewitt: “The lockdown ... is other than slavery the most numerous imposition on people's individual liberty”

Hewitt says Attorney General Bill Barr forgot to mention Japanese-American internment as greater “qualitative deprivation,” but “in pure numbers” lockdowns are worst violation “other than slavery”

Hugh Hewitt defends Attorney General Bill Barr’s comparison of coronavirus lockdowns to slavery

Audio file

Citation From the September 18, 2020, edition of Salem Radio Network’s The Hugh Hewitt Show

HUGH HEWITT (HOST): Now, what the media seized on was this next comment. And the attorney general slipped up by not mentioning the Japanese internment camps. But it was so misapplied, misinterpreted, and intentionally so by the media yesterday. Cut number 27.


BILL BARR (U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL): But the, you know, putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. It's, other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.

And so, you know, I do disagree with the Supreme — we supported this case, you know, we did get a lot of the churches, the states to ease up on the churches.


HEWITT: Now, Media Matters emo, little intern who works over at Media Matters — the hard-left organization of radicals that chops up my radio show and puts out little bits of it and distorts it — will no doubt seize on what I'm about to say. So just be forewarned is forearmed, Media Matters lies about everything.

The attorney general is right that slavery is the worst imposition on liberty, it is a complete imposition on liberty that is unjust, unlike the imprisonment of a convicted criminal. And then he said, but these lockdowns are the second-greatest intrusion on liberty.

And in terms of numbers, he's correct. But in terms of the qualitative deprivation of liberty, he was not. Because he forgot, in the course of talking, about the Japanese internment camps that Franklin Delano Roosevelt imposed on good American citizens for nothing other than their racial descent, during World War II.

So, putting Japanese Americans in internment camps was the second-greatest imposition. Some might argue that the Red Scares under Democrat Woodrow Wilson, or under Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Joe McCarthy, were worse.

But the lockdown, in terms of pure numbers, given how much bigger our country is, is other than slavery the most numerous imposition on people's individual liberty. It's very easy to take Bill Barr in good faith and report what he said, just as I did, but it's the Media Matters of the world and the left-wing media that attacked him rather than deal with his point, which is that the lockdowns are house arrest, and they are unprecedented in history.