Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of watching Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren battle over whether the government ought to break up big tech. With little appetite for Warren’s big government intrusion or Zuckerberg’s pathetic efforts to protect user privacy and free speech, Jim and Greg plan to enjoy watching these two liberals devour each other. They also slam President Trump for cheerfully congratulating China on it’s 70th anniversary since the communists took hold in 1949, making no reference to China’s brutal repression of people and freedom that continues to this very day. And they hammer the Washington Post for running an op-ed fantasizing about impeaching both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence so Nancy Pelosi can become president.
Jim is back! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer for his powerful ad slamming Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for supporting sanctuary cities and for doing so with the right tone. They also hammer Facebook for censoring numerous Prager U videos and labeling them “hate speech” when there’s nothing hateful about them, and wonder whether Facebook’s monitors have no idea what conservatism is or whether they just give in to the liberal mob. And they shake their heads in disgust after London Mayor Sadiq Khan responds to a vehicular terrorist attack by wanting to ban vehicles in that part of the city.
The free speech debate is reaching new heights after multiple online platforms refused to carry certain content in recent days, but former American Civil Liberties Union President Nadine Strossen says those sites are taking society down a very slippery slope and that combating controversial speech with more free speech is a much better policy.
The latest controversy centers around Apple, Facebook, YouTube and others refusing to carry content from Alex Jones and Infowars any longer. Jones is a very controversial figure and is behind notions such as the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was staged and has even disseminated the contact information for certain parents impacted by that horrific attack.
But some liberals are quick to suggest Jones is just the start of banning certain viewpoints from social media, including Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
“Infowars is the tip of a giant iceberg of hate and lies that uses sites like Facebook and YouTube to tear our nation apart. These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it,” tweeted Murphy.
Regardless of one’s view on Jones, Strossen says starting down the path of censorship is a very bad idea, no matter how odious the content.
“It’s never a one-off because we’re just down the slippery slope. Once you’ve breached that absolute principle – that dislike for an idea is never justification for censorship – then you’re opening the floodgates for all those mobs, for whatever ideas they happen to dislike, to put the pressure on. How can you possibly resist that?” said Strossen.
Strossen served 17 as ACLU president. She now teaches law at NYU and is the author of “Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship.” She says once it becomes acceptable to target “hate speech,” few ideas will be left that don’t offend someone.
“Everybody uses the epithet ‘hate speech’ for any idea that they hate. If that becomes the standard for what we’re going to hear and what we’re not going to hear, we’re not going to hear anything at all. Given the wonderful diversity of ideas in this society , one person’s hate speech is another person’s beloved speech,” said Strossen.
“If we don’t hold the line on the principle of neutrality, then literally there’s no idea that’s going to be safe,” she added.
While Strossen strongly disagrees with the decisions of Facebook, Apple, and YouTube, she points out they are non-government entities and have the right to allow or reject any content they wish.
“The first amendment poses absolutely no limit on any private sector company, no matter how powerful and including these very important communications controllers, namely social media.
“In fact, they have their own free speech rights. They’re analogous to publishers or your radio station. You can pick and choose whom you want to have on and whom you do not want to have on,” said Strossen.
But while they have that right, Strossen implores social media companies not to go down this path.
“That does not mean that we should not try to find other ways to pressure or encourage these companies to allow a free flow of ideas and information. After all, that’s what they initially pledged to do. Earlier this year, (Facebook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg, when he was testifying before Congress, said that his goal for Facebook was not to discriminate on the basis of ideas or ideology,” said Strossen.
She says the U.S. Supreme Court has given Americans the blueprint for dealing with offensive content.
“The Supreme Court has said that the answer to speech that we hate is not to suppress it but (to engage in) more speech. Answer it back, refute it, debate it, or even ignore it.
“All of those are actually more effective than forceful silencing because when you do that, you turn the speaker into a martyr and the speaker and the idea get a lot more attention and sympathy than they otherwise have. So if you don’t like an idea, censoring it is actually a very ineffective response as well as one that is violative of individual liberty and our democratic form of government,” said Strossen.
Listen to “Broward County Accountability, Libs Target Internet, Maduro Assassination Attempt” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleased to see a key figure from the Florida high school shooting replaced in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office but are irritated the media has stopped covering Sheriff Scott Israel, who still has his job despite failing to perform his duties before and during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They also reject Democrats’ call to regulate the internet as a public utility in the wake of Facebook, Apple, and YouTube’s ban of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. And they mourn for Venezuelans as dictator Nicolas Maduro survived a botched drone assassination attempt, and they discuss regulations on drones and the potential to use them for terrorism.
Listen to “Facebook Fights Fake Accounts, Trump Defends Manafort, Howard Schultz 2020?” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Chad Benson of Radio America are glad Facebook has uncovered and eliminated coordinated activity involving fake accounts that promote fringe political movements on both the far right and far left, thus debunking the idea that Russia wants to elect Republicans. They also fail to see why President Donald Trump keeps sticking his neck out for Paul Manafort, since the charges are separate from the Russia collusion investigation. And they discuss former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’ potential partnership with former John McCain presidential campaign adviser Steve Schmidt to mount a 2020 presidential run.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see FBI Director Christopher Wray conclude there was no political agenda at work in the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. They also react to Facebook’s weak explanation for how user data ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica and Jim details how the right and left are furious with social media outlets for very different reasons. And they shake their heads as HUD Sec. Ben Carson tells lawmakers his wife helped pick out the $31,000 dining set after he had rejected expensive furniture.
Over two dozen Catholic Facebook pages abruptly disappeared Tuesday, and then reappeared early Wednesday without explanation. According to Hot Air.com, the sites were mainly based in Brazil, and they all had large followings. Some wonder if the blackout was a form of censorship, but the pages didn’t seem to be politically related. In a statement, Facebook claimed it was a technical glitch that is now resolved. However, many are unsatisfied with this answer, stating that such a glitch would have affected more than just Catholic sites. ~ Sarah Schutte
Four young adults in Chicago are facing a wide array of criminal charges after they live-streamed their torturing of a mentally disabled man, but the episode is also triggering a backlash against the media for allegedly treating the case differently because the perpetrators are black and the victim is white.
The video shows the victim blindfolded and gagged . The alleged perpetrators cut the victim’s sweatshirt and a piece of his scalp. Screamed insults also pepper the 30-minute video, including rants of “F–k Donald Trump” and “F–ck white people.” While the video lasted half an hour, the entire ordeal played out over 1-2 days.
On Thursday, Chicago police announced charges against Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper and Brittany Covington, all 18 years old, as well as 24-year-old Tanishia Covington. All have been charged with a hate crime, felony aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery.
While members of the media are expressing outrage across the board, critics point out the anger seems much more subdued than if the races were reversed.
The firestorm over media reaction began Wednesday, when CNN’s Don Lemon rejected the opinion of a guest that the torture was the result of evil
“I don’t think it’s evil,” he said. “I don’t think it’s evil. I think these are young people and I think they have bad home training,” said Lemon.
“I have no idea who is raising these young people, because no one I know on earth who is 17-years-old or 70-years-old would ever think of treating another person like that,” he continued. “You wonder, at 18-years-old, where is your parent, where is your guardian?” added Lemon.
Another panelist in the CNN discussion, Democratic strategist Symone Sanders, wasn’t sure hate crime charges were appropriate.
At least one prominent black conservative is shaking his head that Lemon could not see evil in the video.
“The mainstream media appears to have this thesis: When a minority does something so wicked, so depraved they come up with an excuse. When a non-minority does the same thing, they can never see an excuse,” said Horace Cooper, an attorney and co-chairman of the Project 21 National Advisory Board. Project 21 is a national leadership network of black conservatives.
Cooper is quick to point out that poor or non-existent parenting may well play a role in the depravity of the four people charged, but that doesn’t change the fact the video depicted evil.
“If he had said, ‘This is evil and it probably stems from bad parenting,’ he probably could have gotten my acquiescence and support for his observations. The destruction of the family in America, and in particularly in the black family, has wrought victimhood in so many ways,” said Cooper.
“I can’t [explain] a person who looks at this video and listens to what happens and then learns that this took place over several days and not think ‘evil’ as the first mindset that comes,” said Cooper.
The frustration with the media boiled over again Thursday afternoon, when Washington Post columnist Callum Borchers wrote that the video serves as a validation of Trump voters’ concerns over media bias, Chicago violence and targeting of Trump supporters.
But he also claims there is a valid reason why this story is getting far less coverage than if the perpetrators were white and the victim black.
“If the attackers had been white and the victim had been black, the incident would have, of course, conjured America’s ugly history of white mobs committing violence against black people. There is no parallel history of the reverse happening on anything remotely approaching the same scale,” Borchers wrote.
Cooper is stunned by that rationale.
“I’m appalled. Martin Luther King said that he longed for an America where people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” said Cooper.
Cooper says the media, and the rest of us, need to call out evil without regard to the demographic issues involved.
“We ought to be able to come together as a society – and I mean by society the mainstream media. We will give no space, no quarter to this kind of behavior,” said Cooper, who also says the Obama administration’s silence on the issue until late afternoon Thursday is also telling.
“I’m also disappointed that the President of the United States hasn’t issued a statement – and not just this particular case, hasn’t found an example like it to issue a statement. no one from the Department of Justice has issued a statement,” said Cooper.
Given Obama administration action in other racially charged cases, Cooper says the silence here is deafening.
“It sends the signal that somehow the depravity that we witnessed is different because this individual isn’t a minority. I think that is completely wrong. That is completely obnoxious. And it runs afoul of the whole idea that all Americans are equal before the law,” said Cooper.
The four suspects will face the legal system, as announced by the Chicago police on Thursday. However, Cooper points out that the same Justice Department that parachuted into Ferguson looking at hate crime charges in the Michael Brown case was nowhere to be found this time.
“Why hasn’t the media called out the Department of Justice for its silence on this matter, for it’s lack of regard for the depravity that is witnessed here. If this isn’t a civil rights violation, I guess I don’t understand what one looks like,” said Cooper.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the RNC for beefing up cyber security so the Russians could not hack it successfully. They also groan as Facebook picks several liberal outlets to decide if users are posting “fake news.” And we discuss Democratic donors demanding answers for Hillary Clinton’s defeat and some of them thinking about not donating in the future.