Our national degradation proceeds apace. Jonathan Turley weighs in on the suspension by Twitter of Alex Berenson but the non-suspension of the NYT and the WaPo. It makes for a good read, and here's a fair excerpt:
Twitter Suspends Science Writer After He Posts Results Of Pfizer Clinical Test
Just yesterday, we discussed the censoring of a commentator by Twitter for merely expressing an opinion over the need for a “pause” on any federal mandates on Covid-19 as new research is studied.
Now, a former New York Times science reporter, Alex Berenson, has been suspended for simply quoting the results from a clinical trial by Pfizer and raising questions over any vaccine mandate. In the meantime, the White House accused both the Washington Post and New York Times of irresponsible reporting on Covid, but surprisingly Twitter has not suspended those accounts. It is the license of the censor. Twitter is unwilling to let people read or discuss viewpoints that it disagrees with as a corporation. Many on the left, however, have embraced the concept of corporate speech and censorship. It turns out that the problem with censorship for many was the failure to censor views that they opposed. With the “right” censors at work, the free speech concerns have been set aside.
Berenson has been effectively confined to Substack by Big Tech due to his discussing dissenting views on the science surrounding Covid-19. His latest offense against Big Tech came when he posted the results published by Pfizer of its own clinical data. He claimed that the research showed little difference in morality [sic! :-)] between those in the trial with a vaccine and those given a placebo.
In the meantime, the White House sent out an all caps [i.e., ALL CAPS] condemnation for “completely irresponsible” reporting on the infliction of vaccinated people according to another study.
Ben Wakana, deputy director of strategic communications and engagement for the White House, blasted the Washington Post over its headline about a study of a COVID-19 outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 4th. ...
Now all three posters (Berenson, The Post, and The Times) were citing studies and accused on not putting them into context. However, only Berenson was suspended.
Obviously, none of these posters should be suspended and Twitter should not be enforcing one of the largest censorship programs in history. However, the silence of free speech supports, academics, and journalists to this hypocrisy is deafening.
The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion. That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.
I missed an earlier Turley article that eloquently addressed what's going on in plain view--Big Brother conducting its censorship through the intermediary of a pack of corporate Little Brothers.
It's a threadbare and hypocritical excuse for censorship that fools no one, and it's part of the shame of the Roberts Court that it has declined to address this pressing issue in a timely fashion--and continues to do so, even after the addition of Justices Amy and Brett.
Here is another pretty fair sized excerpt from Turley's earlier article, which dates back to May 10--the title doesn't do justice to the substance:
What Turley is addressing here is the argument that the First Amendment applies only to government action, and so cannot be applied to private corporations like Facebook and Twitter. It is this threadbare logic that he proceeds to attack:
In fact, it's well established that government cannot hide behind such subterfuges--if government coerces censorship by private companies, that amounts for legal purposes to illegal abridgement of free speech.