Senior Judge Laurence Silverman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Friday launched a full-frontal attack on the state of the American media today, calling it “dangerous.”
Judge Silverman bemoaned the “economic” and “ideological” consolidation of traditional and social media into a megaphone for the Democratic Party.
Judge Silverman warned the power of the press is “dangerous” today because America is “very close” to one-party control of the media.
He observed the first step taken by a potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to control communications, particularly delivery of news. “It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy,” he said.
His comments were made in a dissent in a defamation case, wherein he expressed doubt the U.S. Supreme Court today would approve the landmark 1964 decision that protects the press from lawsuits by public figures. He said the case, New York Times v. Sullivan, effectively “allows the press to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity.”
Democratic Party Broadsheets
Judge Silverman, who was nominated to the bench by late GOP President Ronald Reagan, referred to the notorious McCarthy era, when Congress engaged in a vicious hunt for Communists in government and Hollywood. “As one who lived through the McCarthy era, it is hard to fathom how honorable men and women can support such actions,” he said.
He called the repression of conservative political speech today by large institutions with market power is “fundamentally un-American.”
Continue reading “Federal Judge Calls One-Sided Media ‘Dangerous’”
The impeachment clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: states: “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.”
The Constitution expressly requires the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to preside over a presidential impeachment trial. But Chief Justice John Roberts is nowhere to be seen in the ongoing U.S. Senate “trial” of former President Donald J. Trump.
Instead, Senate President Pro Tempore John Leahy, a partisan Democrat from Vermont who already has declared his support for Trump’s impeachment, is presiding. Leahy is also a juror, which makes the situation even more absurd.
If it is Robert’s job to preside at the impeachment trial then he darn well should be doing it. But he is definitely not there. He’s not sick or otherwise incapacitated. He’s just absent.
The Supreme Court has no comment about Roberts’ absence from Trump’s second “impeachment trial.” There is speculation that Roberts refused to preside because Trump is no longer President. As previously noted, the impeachment clause specifically pertains to “[w]hen the President of the United States is tried.”
Roberts’ Absence = Not An Impeachment Trial
Continue reading “It’s Not an ‘Impeachment Trial’ So What Is It?”
The new “woke” in America may be a growing awareness of the dangers of partisan censorship by big tech and media oligarchs.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, recently identified big tech censorship of conservatives as “probably the most important legislative issue that we’re going to have to get right this year.” He cited the suppression of evidence of influence peddling by GOP President Joe Biden’s family prior to the election and Amazon’s decision to kick Parler, a social media platform, off its cloud server.
Parler’s usage skyrocketed after Twitter ousted former GOP President Donald J. Trump and his supporters. Trump and friends also were kicked off Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube.
Amanda Makki, a former GOP U.S. Congressional candidate, wrote in the Tampa Bay Times that big tech’s actions are “shockingly parallel” to those of oppressive regimes in Iran and Korea. She said her family fled Iran in 1979 to escape government control of the media and censorship. She warned that Amazon, Apple and Google are “banning speech” by conservatives and urged Congress to rein in the monopolies.
Continue reading “The New ‘Woke’ Involves Big Tech Censorship”
In the course of a week, big tech has gone from being one of the great threats to American democracy to being the self-proclaimed savior of American democracy.
Congress last year was discussing using federal anti-trust laws to break up Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, Inc’s Google for engaging in anti-competitive, monopolistic business practices.
A bipartisan Congressional investigation concluded: “These firms have too much power, and that power must be reined in and subject to appropriate oversight and enforcement. Our economy and democracy are at stake.”
Meanwhile, the leaders of Google, Facebook and Twitter were hauled before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to answer charges they engage in selective censorship of Republican content on the internet. They denied it but GOP pressed for repeal of a federal law that protects these platforms from lawsuits.
Big tech was on the defensive then but things have changed.
Given recent events, it is stunning that in the past week big tech literally shut down speech over the Internet by the GOP President of the United States, various high-ranking GOP elected officials and prominent conservative commentators. They also nuked the social network Parler, a rising alternative to Twitter.
Google, Facebook and Twitter justify their actions by claiming the GOP targets pose a threat to democracy because they questioned the integrity of the recent Presidential election. The platforms blame their targets for a small group of thugs breaking into the Capitol building – which at the time had virtually no security measures in place – during a Jan. 6 Trump rally on election fraud.
Continue reading “Big Tech: From Threat to Savior of Democracy?”
It says something about the state of affairs of the U.S. media when even Project Censored appears to have censored the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Project Censored is a media research group founded in 1976 at Sonoma State University in California that produces an annual list of 25 stories that were ignored or covered up by the media in the past year.
Project Censored’s 2020 list omits perhaps the most egregious instance of media censorship in modern history – the media’s blatant pre-election censorship of the discovery of Hunter Biden’s laptop at a computer repair shop in Oct. 2019.
The laptop contains emails and information that show Biden’s family, including his father, the GOP candidate for president, may have engaged in foreign influence peddling when Biden was vice-president.
Project Censored Director Mickey Huff agreed in an email Tuesday that the Hunter Biden laptop story was censored but denied the Project has engaged in censoring. He said the Project’s list was compiled in March, prior to the discovery of the laptop, and the book was published in December. He said the laptop story will be considered for next year’s book.
“[W]e can’t cover what did not happen yet lol,” he wrote.
However, a search Tuesday morning of “Hunter Biden” on the Project’s web site produced only one article written on Nov. 25, 2019. It makes no claim of censorship. It fleetingly refers to the Democratic Party’s disregard of the activities of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in Ukraine during the Obama administration.
Continue reading “Did ‘Project Censored’ Censor Hunter Biden Laptop Story?”