The biased liberal media and President Donald Trump have been engaged in a verbal war since day one, with Trump accusing the media of being “fake news” for their dishonesty and overt bias against him, while the media claim Trump is suppressing their First Amendment free press and free speech rights via his criticisms.
Meanwhile, actual censorship has been occurring over at the big social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube — as conservative users have increasingly seen their accounts deleted, demonetized, shadowbanned, suspended or simply seen their online reach throttled to a bare minimum through algorithms, effectively silencing certain voices on the right.
According to Breitbart, Trump seemingly addressed both of those issues at the same time during a rally Tuesday night in West Virginia, where he stated that he’d rather continue to deal with “fake news” than see voices silenced through censorship.
Trump’s remarks cut right to the heart of the fraudulent outcry from aggrieved media figures as he made it clear that despite his criticisms of “fake news” in general, those “fake news” voices still had a right to speak out.
“You can’t have censorship.”
Pres. Trump at West Virginia rally: "I would rather have fake news than have anybody – including liberals, socialists, anything – than have anybody stopped or censored.” https://t.co/toeBQCE1Zg pic.twitter.com/aMKCfTFRtW
— ABC News (@ABC) August 22, 2018
“We’re also standing up to social media censorship, that’s the new thing,” Trump told the boisterous crowd, to great cheers.
“You know, I’d rather have ‘fake news,’ like CNN, I would rather have ‘fake news’ — it’s true — than have anybody, including liberals, socialists, anything, than have anybody stopped and censored,” he continued.
“We gotta live with it. We gotta get used to it, we gotta live with ‘fake news,’ there’s too many sources,” he stated. “Every one of us is sort of like a newspaper. You have Twitter, you have whatever you have, Facebook. But everyone, you can’t have censorship.”
“You can’t pick one person and say, ‘well, we don’t like what he’s been saying so he’s out,'” Trump said. “So we’ll live with ‘fake news,’ I mean, I hate to say it.”
“But we have no choice because that’s, by far, the better alternative,” he added. “We can’t have people saying censorship, because you know what, it could turn around and could be them next … it could be them next.”
According to The Hill, the censorship of conservative voices on social media has caught the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with Congress even going so far as to hold hearings on the issue and subtly threaten the potential of government intervention in the platforms to prevent ideological censorship.
A recent example of such was the blatantly coordinated manner in which all of the social media platforms — save Twitter, who nevertheless followed suit days later — suspended or deleted accounts belonging to radio and internet TV talk host Alex Jones, who is known for perpetuating wild conspiracy theories intermingled with unpopular truths.
Most of the liberal media openly cheered the censorship of Jones from social media platforms — he can still be found elsewhere online, so he hasn’t been wholly silenced — and while Trump has not specifically mentioned Jones, he nevertheless has expressed concern over the implications of what happened and how that could happen to others in the future.
It will be interesting to see how the liberal media reacts to Trump’s remarks at the rally — specifically his preference to live with “fake news” rather than censorship — as that totally undermines their narrative that he is seeking to censor and silence the liberal voices critical of him and his administration.
Considering just how much Trump loathes CNN, it is a pretty big deal for him to admit that their typically dishonest voices should be heard and countered with other voices rather than simply censored and silenced.
Now we wait to see if CNN will reluctantly agree with Trump — something they seem particularly averse to doing — or will continue to press for censoring voices that dissent from their own, knowing such censorship could ultimately come back to bite them too.
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