While Joe and Hunter Biden are running to their PR consultants trying to come up with a credible and reasonable response to getting caught with their panties down around their ankles, there is actually a bigger question floating around regarding the arrogance of Twitter in trying to kill the controversy.
Think Lily Tomlin as Ernestine, the telephone company operator. (For those of you who are too young, look up Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In from the late ’60s and the early ’70s.)
You see, what Twitter did in refusing to allow one of its subscribers to post a link to that story in the New York Post is exactly the same as if Ernestine were listening in on a conversation, didn’t like what she heard and threatened to pull the telephone out of the wall if it didn’t stop.
To be sure, it’s not a First Amendment issue.
It’s both a violation of the user’s privacy and the various laws against restraint of trade. And if it’s not, then it is time to classify Twitter as a publisher so that it is liable in the same way we are for everything it publishes.
This has less to do with the media trying to rig an election (though it is) than basic fairness.
Many years ago, Congress exempted professional baseball from the antitrust laws so it could operate at the whims of its well-connected owners. Curt Flood sued then-Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court. He challenged the reserve clause in his contract and lost. Congress formally watered down that exemption in 1998.
In the same way the government exempted baseball, it exempted Big Tech firms from being classified as publishers so they could, ostensibly, remove porn from their sites without liability.
The problem is Big Tech hasn’t stopped with porn.
They also removed the Joe and Hunter Biden sleaze factor last week after the New York Post published a trove of emails which Biden and his father Joe have not said are false or denied, showing that the Biden family business when Joe was vice president was shaking down foreign entities to enrich themselves.
Forget that Hunter is or was a cocaine addict and that he was tossed out of the military.
Forget all his other peccadilloes. (And there are plenty.)
Just remember how sleazy it is for the son of the vice president of the United States to be shaking down foreign entities for money — and apparently passing some of it on to dad.
And even his senile father — who is running for president — knows it.
The Democrats colluding with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC are either ignoring the story or telling us that it’s a Russian plot.
You know, just like they investigated the president for two years and found, oh yeah, nothing! Nothing that would indicate that anything they said was even close to true.
Now there’s nothing we can do about the aforementioned alleged media outlets refusing to mention the story — save refusing to patronize them or their owners, such as AT&T (CNN) or Comcast (NBC).
But we can use governmental power to keep what is now called “social” media from interfering in social intercourse. We can make it incredibly expensive to do so by opening them up to class action civil suits.
The Department of Justice just filed an antitrust suit against Google this week and the folks at Big Tech companies should read the writing on the wall. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue.
It may well be one of the few things the Rs and the Ds can get together on.
Keep it up, boys. Watch what happens.
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