Big Media and Big Tech, the left-wing parents who adopted us, believe they know what is best for you

Bea Arthur as “Maude.”

By John Ruberry

I was raised by parents who kept a close eye on what my brothers and sisters and I watched on television. As we only had two TV sets, that was a very easy task for them as my folks didn’t socialize outside our home much. Until the early 1970s it was especially easy for them as television fare for the medium’s first 25 years was mostly G-rated fare. Otis Campbell’s drunkeness on the Andy Griffith Show was as bad as it got in the 1960s, although interestingly, the character was rarely shown consuming alcohol. 

So in 1972 when Bea Arthur’s eponymous character in Maude, in a two-episode storyline became pregnant–she pondered an abortion and then went through with it–my parents made sure that our televisions were tuned to a different station those nights.

Abortion was not only very controversial in 1972, it was illegal in most states, although Arthur’s character lived in New York, where it was not. At that time I didn’t even know what abortion was.

Nearly five decades later, Big Tech and Big Media are trying to control what I see on my computer and portable devices. And because broadcast and cable news often takes its lead from what they view as “elite” media, their decisions effect what I see on my TV.

Our “betters” in the media, working for CNN, MSNBC, as well as onetime somewhat fair but left-leaning print outlets such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, are attempting to limit what information we consume. And in control of the metaphoric off switch is Big Tech, led by Twitter and Facebook. 

Stories that are harmful to the reputation to President Donald Trump blare across the media, such as reports on Trump’s tax returns. The New York Times did not publish those returns, but it reported on them. The Old Gray Lady won’t say how it got them, but assuming reports on the returns are accurate, who ever gained access to them and gave them to the Times broke the law. The stories on Trump’s tax returns, where it was reported that he paid as little as $750 in federal taxes, were reported pretty much everywhere by the media, and posted, reposted, Tweeted, and re-Tweeted on Facebook and Twitter.

“Kids, kids, come to the living room! You need to see this news story on TV!” 

Contrast Trump’s taxes to reports from the New York Post about the emails it accessed from a laptop that once belonged to Joe Biden’s troublesome son, Hunter. Because Hunter dropped of the computer at a repair shop and never bothered to pick it up, that computer became property of the shop’s owner. Emails found on that computer confirm accusations that Hunter used that Biden name to for influence peddling. Illegal? Maybe not. Sleazy? For sure. And the shop owner did not break the law.

And the media, with the exception of Fox News and other conservative news sources such as Breitbart, ignored or minimized coverage of Hunter Biden’s emails. Last week a Democratic Party shill masquerading as an ABC journalist, former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos, didn’t ask Biden about the New York Post revelations. Yeah, I get it, the format was a town hall, but ABC chose the participants and it knew what questions they would ask. Contrast Biden’s friendly treatment to the grilling Trump received from Savannah Guthrie at the NBC town hall the same night. Guthrie is married to Michael Feldman, the traveling chief of staff for Al Gore in the 2000 election. Guthrie brought up Trump’s tax returns, among other things. 

That’s bad but what is worse is that Twitter and Facebook for a while blocked the posting and sharing of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email revelations. And it wasn’t yokels like me who suffered the indignity. Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, saw her Twitter account briefly suspended for Tweeting the Post’s Hunter story. The twisted explanation from Big Tech is that the Hunter Biden’s emails were hacked–they weren’t–and that the story was unverified. Remember, the NY Times never actually published Trump’s federal tax returns, which may have been hacked. But the Post did show images of some of Hunter’s emails. Even the New York Post’s Twitter account was suspended for a short time on the day it published the Hunter story.

“Kids…turn off that TV and go to your room!” 

Of course these media and tech big shots are our “betters.” Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN analyst and New Yorker writer, a product of Harvard University, is one of them. But yesterday Toobin was suspended by CNN and the New Yorker after exposing himself and more–click here for the X-rated details–during a Zoom call simulating election night scenarios. Toobin is a scumbag. He had an extramarital affair with Casey Greenfield, the daughter of journalist Jeff Greenfield. Okay, I know, Trump has been unfaithful while married too. But Greenfield bore his child, which Toobin only acknowledged after a DNA test, and only then began paying child support. And while pregnant Toobin offered to pay for her abortion.

American media can do much better than Toobin and his fellow “betters.” I will write another entry on the sad state of the media after the election.  

But right now we’re headed to Chinese government-style control of the media by the left.

A free press and free association are two things that French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville saw as two key safeguards in his landmark 19th-century work, Democracy in America

But Big Tech and Big Media, as well as the increasingly far-left Democratic Party, are trying to minimize both. 

We live in a perilous time.

UPDATE 7:30pm EDT: Correction, the New York Post Twitter account was “not suspended for a short time” as I wrote earlier. There are no new Twitter entries from @nypost since October 14. If the account has been suspended it clearly has been locked out. This is censorship.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

We must refuse to be silenced by the PC mob

The state of free speech has never been as grave as it is now thanks to the left side of the political specteum.  I’m not saying that the political right has a perfect record when it comes to censorship, far from it.  It is just that censorship from progressives has become so widespread and so insidious.  This censorship comes in so many different forms such as all of this politically correct nonsense that has been going on for decades.  College campuses were once bastions of free speech, now they are black holes of censorship, especially when it comes to the ideas of the political right.  Censorship of conservatives on social media has reached epidemic proportions.

Those that are carrying out the censorship are not content with preventing those they disagree with from speaking, they are now attempting to destroy the livelihood of those they disagree with.  This has lead to the cancel culture which is so prevalent right now.

Verbal intimidation and even physical intimidation is now becoming a common component of the censorship.  This has led to an ever increasing number individuals censoring themselves.  This Cato national survey on the subject is very depressing.

A new Cato national survey finds that self‐​censorship is on the rise in the United States. Nearly two-thirds—62%—of Americans say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive. 

The survey is indirect proof that those on the far left are most often guilty of censorship and intimidation.

Strong liberals stand out, however, as the only political group who feel they can express themselves. Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) of staunch liberals feel they can say what they believe. However, centrist liberals feel differently. A slim majority (52%) of liberals feel they have to self‐​censor, as do 64% of moderates, and 77% of conservatives. This demonstrates that political expression is an issue that divides the Democratic coalition between centrist Democrats and their left flank.

The survey is also proof that those of us on the right are also guilty of this sin and that we should strive to do better.

The survey found that many Americans think a person’s private political donations should impact their employment. Nearly a quarter (22%) of Americans would support firing a business executive who personally donates to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign. Even more, 31% support firing a business executive who donates to Donald Trump’s re‐​election campaign.

Support rises among political subgroups. Support increases to 50% of strong liberals who support firing executives who personally donate to Trump. And more than a third (36%) of strong conservatives support firing an executive for donating to Biden’s presidential campaign.

Thanks to the indoctrination that has been taking place on college campuses for decades, and has now spread to high schools and grade schools, young individuals are more likely to not value free speech.

Young Americans are also more likely than older Americans to support punishing people at work for personal donations to Trump. Forty‐​four percent (44%) of Americans under 30 support firing executives if they donate to Trump. This share declines to 22% among those over 55 years old.

This Breitbart article Stephen Miller: ‘Cancel Culture’ Seeks to Silence Majority offers proof that the Trump administration takes this issue seriously.

It is an effort at making people so afraid to speak their minds that a minority of radicals can effectively intimidate a majority of common-sense Americans, and that’s often how totalitarianism functions. If you can scare people at saying things they know to be true, and then you can even deprive them of the language to express themselves — not illegal aliens, but undocumented Americans, right? Not rioters and anarchists peaceful protesters …

When you take away people’s language, and then you punish them severely and excoriate them for saying things that we all know to be true, it’s possible for a minority of people to effectively bully the majority into acquiescence. That must be fought against above virtually any other objective we have right now.

The only way to win back our freedom to speak our minds whenever we want to is if we  refuse to be silenced.  We must speak out forcefully against politically correctness and this cancel culture, even from our side.

Facebook moderators lose all sense of humor

My firewood stand apparently doesn’t meet Facebook guidance

When the builders built my house, they took out a lot of tall trees in the front yard so that wind storms wouldn’t drop really big trees onto my new house. Rather than pay to take the trees away, I had them leave the trees and I chopped them into firewood. Since I had so much firewood, I built a little stand to sell it by the main road. It’s an honor system, and so far only one jerk has stolen a bundle.

To advertise, I’d post a funny ad on Facebook Marketplace. In one case, it was about how politically-neutral the firewood is. In another, it discussed how my firewood was totally vegan and free from animal-testing. Simple, but humorous.

But recently, not good enough for Facebook moderators. COVID-19 has taken many things from people, and apparently it has taken the sense of any humor from Facebook. I posted about COVID-19 free firewood, and the ad ran for a while, getting good laughs from people otherwise stuck at home. Two days ago, Facebook shut it down, saying I wasn’t advertising something for sale. I protested, saying that I indeed did sell firewood, hence the picture. No dice, the moderators have removed my ad. Here’s what I wrote, judge for yourself:

So life is collapsing all around you due to Corona Virus. Your favorite sports team is canceled. Toilet paper is being rationed. Your local Karen is trying to make hand sanitizer from essential oils. Everyone has gone mad with COVID-19 fear. In these trying times, you need some security.
You need…firewood.
Yes, firewood. Think of its magical properties. Instead of huddling in your house worried about what paper remains to wipe yourself with, you can light a fire in the fire stand you bought from Home Depot, but never found time to use. Those flames licking into the sky are mesmerizing to watch and take your mind off of the craziness surrounding a virus with a less than 5% chance to kill you.
Even better, the fire from firewood burns viruses. If you left COVID-19 on a piece of my firewood and set it on fire, the virus would die. Firewood has a better track record than Karen’s essential oils and anti-vax children at cutting down on viruses.
Plus, you are guaranteed that my firewood has never traveled to China, Iran, South Korea, or any other CDC-listed country. It’s also never been to a wet market!
If you navigate to ——, right outside the —— complex, you’ll find the firewood stand. Unlike any large store that gouges you for firewood, my stand only asks for a twenty dollar bill for a full wheelbarrow of anti-viral, morale-improving firewood. Even better, its always available, since you don’t need to knock on my door (please don’t, I’m practicing social distancing). If you wake up in horror at your impending doom at midnight and need the reassurance that only a stack of firewood can give you, you’re in luck, because you can pay for and pickup the firewood at any hour, thanks to the light I installed.
Best part: I’m using the money to build a nice playground for my kids, so that while they aren’t at school they can entertain themselves without driving my wife crazy.
So swing by today, grab a stack of firewood, and face the impending Coronapocalypse with firey gusto!
Please share this post! People need a good laugh with the craziness. And it helps me sell wood. #firewood #COVID19 #coronapocalypse

Facebook’s response:

Request denied peasant!

When we talk about free speech, censorship and violating ill-defined rules, it becomes a big deal to the small people of the world. If I needed that firewood money to live on, Facebook might be crushing my ability to make a living. What about a restaurant that hires people? Can they not use humor, or will that disgust moderators?

And the word “appeal” is misleading. It implies I had some process, when in reality I clicked a button, wrote a few sentences saying that I indeed sold firewood, then off to the ether with my request, which was promptly denied. I never met my moderator, never talked to him or her on the phone, or even chatted. I highly doubt anyone complained, given the popularity of the post. And its not offensive by any stretch of the imagination.

If someone is friends with Mr. Zuckerberg, maybe you can ask him to restore my firewood post? Otherwise, I might have to use Craigslist again.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.