Michael Goodwin, an excellent writer for the New York Post, brings to light the dangerous game being played by the White House and Big Tech. If they persist in this manner of limiting and controlling American free speech there will be a backlash. It will be a very serious backlash of proportions not currently envisioned by the Biden administration. But others, across the United States, can see it quite clearly.
Here’s a mashup of VACCINE MISINFORMATION from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Does Jen Psaki want Big Tech to CENSOR this?pic.twitter.com/vqnucmZjnj
— Kyle Martinsen (@KyleMartinsen_) July 16, 2021
Goodwin: Any assessment of Joe Biden’s performance last week runs into an obstacle. While it was awful from start to finish, the hard part is deciding which was the absolute worst moment. Was it the president’s latest attack on state voting law reforms, which he bizarrely called “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War”?
Was it the administration’s outrageous invitation for the pampered popinjays at the United Nations to sit in judgment of America’s racial strife? Or perhaps it was Biden’s decision to push a one-party spending spree of trillions of dollars even as inflation levels reached their highest mark in 13 years?
Under almost any president, each of those events would qualify as a low point. But Biden is proving to be spectacularly awful at his job, and he did something else that captures the award for the week’s Worst of the Worst. Friday, the president accused Facebook of “killing people” and demanded it silence those opposed to or questioning the coronavirus vaccines. Coming from the president, this is a breathtaking accusation and demand.
It far exceeds anything Donald Trump ever said or did. Trump wrongly called some media “the enemy of the people,” but never accused them of actually “killing people.” But Biden has – recklessly – and no doubt assumes the lapdog news media will echo his charge.
Notably, Facebook’s defense is that it is silencing as many people as it can find who question or criticize the vaccines. That’s hardly a defense of free speech, but rather shows Big Tech fundamentally agrees with Biden’s goal. They just differ on the success rate. The alarming approach first emerged with a Wednesday report in Politico about White House plans to fight what it sees as “misinformation” on COVID vaccinations.
That sounds potentially benign – until you get to this part of the story: “Biden allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee, are also planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages.” Whoa, Nellie. The White House and the DNC are going to monitor and “dispel misinformation” on social media and private text messages? And work with congenitally-corrupt “fact checkers”?
My first reaction was this can’t be true. Sadly, it is true. Jen Psaki, whose job as press secretary is devoted to making the outlandish sound routine, elaborated on the plan Thursday and confirmed it’s already in operation. “Within the Surgeon General’s Office, we’re flagging posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” Psaki said. “We’re working with doctors and medical professionals to connect medical experts with people, who are popular with their audiences, with accurate information and boost trusted content. So, we’re helping get trusted content out there.”
…The First Amendment protects the right to disagree with the government. But two developments are converging that make this moment so ominous. First, the Big Tech platforms are so huge that they really operate as monopolies. When they work together as one, as they did in squelching the Hunter Biden stories, they have almost absolute power to shape events. They even silenced Trump when he was president, a blackout that continues. Second, some Democrats and others on the left embrace the cancel culture habit of silencing dissent. What started on college campuses has metastasized into a national phenomenon, with even large companies insisting that some routine disagreements are intolerable and must be banned.
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And now we have the government endorsing these developments and trying to unite them. The effort is not a mere suggestion, as Biden’s demand to the social media platforms carries an implicit threat of government compulsion. As such, the administration is moving toward gutting the First Amendment and controlling private companies. That’s a new low, even for Biden.