“In their zeal for control over online speech, House Democrats are getting closer and closer to the constitutional line, if they have not already crossed it,” writes Glenn Greenwald at substack. But the point is, they want to cross it, and have been signalling that they want to cross it for a long time. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is real.
On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.” “Misinformation and disinformation” is defined by Democrats as any opinions, theories or analysis that they find inconvenient. Such statements as “President Trump colluded with the Russians,” “President Trump incited a deadly insurrection” or “Hunter Biden has done nothing wrong” are not “misinformation and disinformation.” Clear?
“House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing: to exert control over the content on these online platforms. “Industry self-regulation has failed,” they said, and therefore “we must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation.” In other words, they intend to use state power to influence and coerce these companies to change which content they do and do not allow to be published.”
This is a direct attack on democracy, and the certainly that the Democratic Party was poised to use this strategy once they were in power was the reason, as I stated in November, that I concluded that the only responsible choice was to vote to re-elect Donald Trump, who is as attractive to an ethicist as head cheese is to a vegan. Those who allowed emotion, bias and propaganda to convince them otherwise were irresponsible and incompetent, and have enabled an existential crisis.
The Democratic House ‘s next step is to take down news sources that refuse to march in lockstep with the party’s captive news media. The same Democratic House Committee that is pushing online censorship by social media companies—as if they were not doing enough of it on their own— has signaled that it seeks the removal of conservative cable outlets. The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a February 24 hearing yesterday, called “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.” “The spread of disinformation and extremism by traditional news media presents a tangible and destabilizing threat,” the Committee says: “Some broadcasters’ and cable networks’ increasing reliance on conspiracy theories and misleading or patently false information raises questions about their devotion to journalistic integrity.”
For “devotion to journalistic” integrity, read ” commitment to the progressive agenda.” There is no journalistic integrity, except in small pockets like substack.
Two senior members of that Committee, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Silicon-Valley) and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) sent their own letters to seven of the nation’s largest cable providers — Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Dish, Verizon, Cox and Altice — as well as to digital distributors of cable news (Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google and Hulu). The letters could be described as “Nice little business you have here—too bad if anything were to happen to it” threats. The Representatives demanded to know, among other things, what those cable distributors did to prevent conservative “disinformation” prior to the election and after, and what was described as disinformation just happened to be the doing of conservative cable outlets: Fox, Newsmax and OANN. Does this section of the letter leave any doubt about the plan underway?
Greenwald, who will deserve a Medal of Freedom for his work if the U.S. survives, writes in part in a long second post that should be read in its entirety,
[W]hat did the Trump administration do in the way of attacking press freedoms that remotely compares to Democrats abusing their majoritarian power to force the removal of conservative cable outlets from the airwaves, just days after doing the same with dissident voices online?
There is not a peep of protest from any liberal journalists. Do any of the people who spent four years pretending to care so deeply about the vital role of press freedom have anything to say about this full frontal attack by the majority party in Washington on news outlets opposed to their political agenda and ideology?
Evidently not. While many conservative outlets are covering this story, it is difficult to find any liberal outlets writing about it at all….
[T]he justifying script Democrats are using here is the one most commonly employed by autocrats around the world to silence their critics. Those they seek to silence are not merely expressing a different view, but are dangerous. They are not merely advocating alternative ideologies but are destabilizing society with lies, fake news, and speech that deliberately incites violence, subversion and domestic terrorism.
Just imagine if, during the Trump years, the GOP Senate had abused its power to bully cable outlets into removing MSNBC from their platforms, or banning liberal journalists and activists from using social media platforms, on the grounds that they were spreading conspiracy theories and fake news. It is hard to overstate how extreme the rhetoric would have been that Trump and the Republicans were engaged in authoritarian measures to destroy free speech and a free press.
But we are far past the point where complaining about double standards and hypocrisy is productive or even relevant. The threat to free speech, thought and personal liberty is now open and looming.