What happened … Earlier this week, Oliver Darcy, who works on the CNN Money team with CNN’s media critic/cheerleader Brian Stelter, attended a Facebook conference on combatting fake news. While there, he confronted Facebook about InfoWars and its page on Facebook. Oliver didn’t get the answer he wanted.
Here was Facebook’s response to Darcy on Twitter:
We see Pages on both the left and the right pumping out what they consider opinion or analysis – but others call fake news. We believe banning these Pages would be contrary to the basic principles of free speech.
— Facebook (@facebook) July 12, 2018
Instead, we demote individual posts etc. that are reported by FB users and rated as false by fact checkers. This means they lose around 80% of any future views. We also demote Pages and domains that repeatedly share false news.
— Facebook (@facebook) July 12, 2018
That didn’t leave Darcy satisfied. Forget for the moment that this is InfoWars – and yes, the website has had some really bad blunders and does peddle in conspiracy theories. This was a so-called media reporter actively promoting censorship. It’s that simple.
For the past two years, Darcy and Stelter have been shouting that Donald Trump is an existential threat to a free press and free speech. Yet here is Darcy, supported by Stelter in his daily email yesterday, not only supporting but championing and begging for censorship.
Who designated them the gatekeepers of information?
There used to be a time in this country where we prepared citizens to be skeptical consumers of news and information. Now we have media types crying out that their competitors must be censored. Though Darcy, writing in Stelter’s email, denied this. He called a Drudge Report headline, “CNN lobbies Facebook to shut down Alex Jones,” faulty. No, Oliver, it’s factual.
Make no mistake about it. This isn’t about InfoWars and Darcy. Because if Darcy were successful in getting InfoWars banned, his colleagues would move on to the next, more mainstream publications that they found distasteful, including this one.
Harassment … In a rush to Darcy’s defense, Stelter promoted this tweet by Pod Save America co-host Tommy Vietor:
Alex Jones sending his minions to harass Sandy Hook families or promising civil war to sell supplements isn’t analysis what the hell is wrong with you? https://t.co/NHAL26cOmy
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) July 12, 2018
First off, of course Stelter would use the co-host of the left-wing Pod Save America podcast to make a point. He probably doesn’t see what that says about him. But second, let’s look at the point itself. Yes, harassing the families of victims of tragedy is repugnant. But isn’t that what the media itself rushes to defend as “journalism?”
Earlier this week when Jim Jordan questioned that CNN was using its resources to launch an investigatory campaign against him, media types assured us that it was just “journalism.”
When CNN sent a reporter to harass a woman in Florida who shared something on Facebook, it was just “journalism.”
When CNN threatened to doxx the maker of a GIF showing Trump beating up a cartoonish CNN logo, it was just “journalism.”
These folks don’t see that they ARE what they purport to hate.
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Today’s links … Here’s what I’ve been reading the past couple of days.
As you know, WTF MSM!? is on a summer schedule of M-W-F editions. Next week, there will only be two editions, as I’m headed off for vacation to the World Boardgaming Championships – yes, that is a thing. In addition, on Friday of next week, I’m scheduled to be on CRTV Tonight with Gavin McInnes, which you can watch with a 30-day free trial of CRTV. After next Friday, I’ll be off until Monday July 30.
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Robert Eno is the editor of the WTF MSM!? newsletter and director of retention for Blaze Media.