Censorship by Surrogate: Why Musk’s Document Dump Could be a Game Changer

Twitter LogoBelow is my column in the Hill on the recent disclosures in the “Twitter Files” on the coordination of censorship between the company and both Biden and Democratic party operatives. Beyond personally attacking Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi, many have resorted to the same old saw of censorship apologists: it is not censorship if the government did not do it or direct it. That is clearly untrue.  Many groups like the ACLU define censorship as denial of free speech by either government or private entities.  It is also worth noting that this censorship (and these back channels) continued after the Biden campaign became the Biden Administration. Moreover, some of the pressure was coming from Democratic senators and House members to silence critics and to bury the Hunter Biden influence peddling scandal.

Here is the column:

“Handled.” That one word, responding to a 2020 demand to censor a list of Twitter users, speaks volumes about the thousands of documents released by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, on Friday night. As many of us have long suspected, there were back channels between Twitter and the Biden 2020 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to ban critics or remove negative stories. Those seeking to discuss the scandal were simply “handled,” and nothing else had to be said.

Ultimately, the New York Post was suspended from Twitter for reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Twitter even blocked users from sharing the Post’s story by using a tool designed for child pornography. Even Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was suspended for linking to the scandal.

Twitter’s ex-safety chief, Yoel Roth, later said the decision was a “mistake” but the story “set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 hack and leak campaign alarm bells.” The reference to the APT28 Russian disinformation operation dovetailed with false claims of former U.S. intelligence officers that the laptop was “classic disinformation.”

The Russian disinformation claim was never particularly credible. The Biden campaign never denied the laptop was Hunter Biden’s; it left that to its media allies. Moreover, recipients of key emails could confirm those communications, and U.S. intelligence quickly rejected the Russian disinformation claim.

The point is, there was no direct evidence of a hack or a Russian conspiracy. Even Roth subsequently admitted he and others did not believe a clear basis existed to block the story, but they did so anyway.

Musk’s dumped Twitter documents not only confirm the worst expectations of some of us but feature many of the usual suspects for Twitter critics. The documents do not show a clear role or knowledge by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Instead, the censor in chief appears to be Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former chief legal officer who has been criticized as a leading anti-free speech figure in social media.

There also is James Baker, the controversial former FBI general counsel involved in the bureau’s Russia collusion investigation. He left the FBI and became Twitter’s deputy general counsel.

Some Twitter executives expressed unease with censoring the story, including former global communications VP Brandon Borrman, who asked, “Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?” Baker jumped in to support censorship and said, “It’s reasonable for us to assume that they may have been [hacked] and that caution is warranted.” Baker thus comes across as someone who sees a Russian in every Rorschach inkblot. There was no evidence the Post’s Hunter Biden material was hacked — none. Yet Baker found a basis for a “reasonable” assumption that Russians or hackers were behind it.

Many people recognized the decision for what it was. A former Twitter employee reportedly told journalist Matt Taibbi, “Hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold.”

Obviously, bias in the media is nothing new to Washington; newspapers and networks have long run interference for favored politicians or parties. However, this was not a case of a media company spiking its own story to protect a pal. It was a social media company that supplies a platform for people to communicate with each other on political, social and personal views. Social media is now more popular as a form of communications than the telephone.

Censoring communications on Twitter is more akin to the telephone company agreeing to cut the connection of any caller using disfavored terms. And at the apparent request of the 2020 Biden campaign and the DNC, Twitter seems to have routinely stopped others from discussing or hearing opposing views.

The internal company documents released by Musk reinforce what we have seen previously in other instances of Twitter censorship. A recent federal filing revealed an email between Twitter executives and Carol Crawford, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s digital media chief. Crawford’s back-channel communication sought to censor other “unapproved opinions” on social media; Twitter replied that “with our CEO testifying before Congress this week [it] is tricky.”

At the time, Twitter’s Dorsey and other tech CEOs were about to appear at a House hearing to discuss “misinformation” on social media and their “content moderation” policies. I had just testified on private censorship in circumventing the First Amendment as a type of censorship by surrogate. Dorsey and the other CEOs were asked about my warning of a “‘little brother’ problem, a problem which private entities do for the government that which it cannot legally do for itself.” In response, Dorsey insisted that “we don’t have a censoring department.”

The implications of these documents becomes more serious once the Biden campaign became the Biden administration. These documents show a back channel existed with President Biden’s campaign officials, but those same back channels appear to have continued to be used by Biden administration officials. If so, that would be when Twitter may have gone from a campaign ally to a surrogate for state censorship. As I have previously written, the administration cannot censor critics and cannot use agents for that purpose under the First Amendment.

That is precisely what Musk is now alleging. As the documents were being released, he tweeted, “Twitter acting by itself to suppress free speech is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under orders from the government to suppress free speech, with no judicial review, is.”

The incoming Republican House majority has pledged to investigate — and Musk has made that process far easier by making good on his pledge of full transparency.

Washington has fully mobilized in its all-out war against Musk. Yet, with a record number of users signing up with Twitter, it seems clear the public is not buying censorship. They want more, not less, free speech.

That may be why political figures such as Hillary Clinton have enlisted foreign governments to compel the censoring of fellow citizens: If Twitter can’t be counted on to censor, perhaps the European Union will be the ideal surrogate to rid social media of these meddlesome posters.

The release of these documents has produced a level of exposure rarely seen in Washington, where such matters usually are simply “handled.” The political and media establishments generally are unstoppable forces — but they may have met their first immovable object in Musk.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

229 thoughts on “Censorship by Surrogate: Why Musk’s Document Dump Could be a Game Changer”

  1. “Censorship by Surrogate: Why Musk’s Document Dump Could be a Game Changer”

    – Professor Turley
    _______________

    An election was deliberately corrupted and stolen by the U.S. government.

    The U.S. Constitution was suspended by the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs, AINOs).

    Crimes were committed against fundamental law.

    American freedom was suspended; illicit dictatorship was imposed.

    America was not fooled; America knows it.

    The 2020 presidential election must be suspended.

    A new election must be held.

    The Constitutional and innate election requirements of identifying/certifying voters, an election on a “DAY” (one 24-hour period), and an election “PLACE” (the mail system is not a place), as in a polling place, must be met.

    The American Founders never intended for one man, one vote democracy. They established a restricted-vote republic. That people cannot deliver themselves to a polling place does not bear. Turnout was 11.6 % in 1788, by design. The illicit and illegitimate “Reconstruction Amendments” must be suspended and States must be provided the power to “entitle” or deny voters.

    1. No the cheaters do not get a do over.
      They should be kicked from their usurper thievery position.
      No second chances for cheaters.
      Trump gets the rest of the term and the modest addition of legally running in 2024 for the stolen time. I’m not sure what other compensation is viable, but I am open to reasonable suggestions.

  2. Turley’s at it again, knowing that the disciples don’t understand that the First Amendment only applies to the government banning speech, not private companies, and using his credentials to prop up this particular Fox propaganda talking point: “many have resorted to the same old saw of censorship apologists: it is not censorship if the government did not do it or direct it. That is clearly untrue. Many groups like the ACLU define censorship as denial of free speech by either government or private entities.” First of all, the ACLU doesn’t decide what is or isn’t “censorship” as a matter of law; and, we all know the disciples hate the ACLU, anyway. Tuirley cited them solely to imply: “see, even the ACLU knows that those evil Democrats are engaging in censorship”. Secondly, private companies that provide a platform for expression have every right to make and enforce rules for how their platform is used and to prevent it from being abuse. Thirdly, Turley has nothing to say about Florida and DeSantis passing ‘don’t say ‘gay’ laws, public libraries banning certain books, like those written by black women such as Toni Morrison and Michelle Obama, or dictating how school children should be taught about things like slavery and the Civil War. Then, there’s the fact that Trump used Twitter to rile up the disciples and invite them to Washington on Jan 6th to try to prevent Biden’s victory from being certified. How or why should that be OK?

    1. NUTCHACHACHA, can we get rid of affirmative action, quotas, welfare, forced busing, Obamacare, etc., now or do ya’all still need ’em as a crutch while “competing,” or to function generally in society?

    2. It’s hilarious to see the swamp, er gigi, use black women as an excuse censor people.

      Face it, toots, if toni morrison wasn’t black, no one would have ever heard of her and if michelle obama wasn’t black, obamma may have married her for reasons other than professional ones.

      The media you forgive for censorship is an arm of the swamp. It keeps the disciples of global american empire unwittingly limitedly-informed about the BS day-to-day lies of identitarianism in order to continue its wars and proxy wars.

      “If you don’t vote for more wars and maintaining the carried interest tax credit and reinsurance businesses in Bermuda, the blacks and gays will be hanged.”

      Which is why you bother at all to post here – to maintain your stupid meaningless lifestyle based on the false premise that the swamp you protect is nothing more than well-dressed crime organization.

    3. GiGi”
      “Turley’s at it again, knowing that the disciples don’t understand that the First Amendment only applies to the government banning speech, not private companies, and using his credentials to prop up this particular Fox propaganda talking point: “many have resorted to the same old saw of censorship apologists: it is not censorship if the government did not do it or direct it.”
      ****************************
      Your facile understanding of free speech (as opposed to the First Amendment) is just precious. To stay child-like this long into adulthood takes some doing. Pathetic but still precious.

      1. I’m sorry–is there some actual LAW preventing private entities, like Facebook and Twitter, from disallowing posts to a contract-based social media site because they violate their standards? In other words, is there some right to lie about losing an election, and to use a private, contract-based social media site to encourage people to go to Washington DC to “protest”, and promising “it will be wild” because the losing candidate is a malignant narcissist that can’t handle rejection? Setting aside for the sake of argument the FCC rules, is there a right to for television and/or radio networks to put out profane, obscene or offensive content, or do they have the right and obligation not to do so? You think you are cutesy by talking down to people and accusing them of being childish, but your post has NO substance. Cite me the law that requires private means of communication to allow anything and everything to be broadast by their platform, regardless of their rules.

        1. This appears to be a transcendental problem for you without resolution. Given that you told us you are an attorney in Indiana, earned an MSN Degree and are a Nurse Practitioner, and an others have alleged you are a stealer of other peoples online identity, things will become clearer to you once you calculate the value of Pi to the last digit. Ask Natacha for help as needed

          1. SOME critiques of left posters here have merit.

            There is nothing exposed that is proof of a crime.

            But that is a small point.
            What has been exposed is a massive conspiracy to suppress the truth, and to completely silence those trying to speak the truth.

            It is hard to think of anything that would be more immoral without also being illegal.

            What has been exposed obliterates the trustworthiness of those involved and those still defending any of this.

            Our president MIGHT not be a criminal – that is not yet known. But he is massively unethical.
            He is not a person that anyone should ever trust

        2. You’re not sorry. You are a coward that thinks the ends justify the means.

          There is no law against being a narcissist, or else obamma would be in the electric chair, no law against encouraging people to protest, or else the entire dnc apparatus and their pussy hats/antifa/blm blackshirt mobs would all be locked up, and there is no law against saying “it’s going to be wild.”

          No one cares what you think of trump’s personality – you morons repeat that dogma in order to obfuscate your own memories from the lack of wars, $3 gas, 3% interest rates, growing middle classes of your pet identity-folk, etc. Your failed ideas are not better than a narcissist that does what is best for the middle class. Your briandead elected officials are who pretend to care about (only) certain people, while never actually helping them and hurting the society at large, are so far worse than any truth or lie you can try to tie to the previous administration.

          You support and enable WAR. You support and enable DIVISION. You support and enable the ruin of society in the name of trying to help it. You are a non-critical thinking mouthpiece of the worst western civilization has produced since WWII. Stop acting like you have any idea as to what is good for anyone or for society – your idiot party has destroyed every single large city it has lorded over for more than 10 years and is now onto ruining entire states in its quest to do what it did to detroit/philly/baltimore/StL/LA/etc to the entire country.

          Stupid, middle class, poorly educated, twats with big mouths ruin under the name of helping, all the time. Name one place they have made better, ONE. You cannot. The left creates crap, every time.

          Now go take your scripted talking points and rot, before you do more damage.

        3. 303 CREATIVE LLC V. ELENIS

          I like it. You grasp the nature of private property.

          303 Creative LLC v. Elenis is a case of the 5th Amendment right to private property, not the 1st Amendment freedom of speech.

          The Colorado Anti Discrimination Act (CADA) is unconstitutional as it nullifies and denies to citizens the 5th Amendment right to “claim and exercise” dominion over private property.

          The right to private property may only be eliminated or modified by constitutional amendment, not by State Act.

          The right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute.

          If the right to private property is not absolute, it cannot and does not exist (e.g. a woman cannot be half pregnant).

          One of the Framers who wrote the 5th Amendment, James Madison, definitively and immutably defined 5th Amendment private property for posterity.
          _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

          “[Private property is] that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

          – James Madison
          ______________

          No person but the owner has any power to “claim and exercise” dominion over, or possess and dispose of, private property.

          Occupation of private property may be deemed trespass by the owner and the right to pass withdrawn.

          The property owner, and only the property owner, may open and close his commercial enterprise to the public.

          That the property owner temporarily conducts voluntary commerce with a member of the public, does not cause the owner to forfeit his property or his power to “claim and exercise” dominion, does not provide the public any degree of ownership or any power to “claim and exercise” dominion over the related private property, and conducting voluntary commerce with the public does not impose a penalty on the owner for any violation or breech.

        4. GiGi:
          “I’m sorry–is there some actual LAW preventing private entities, like Facebook and Twitter, from disallowing posts to a contract-based social media site because they violate their standards?”
          *******************************
          “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” ~JS Mill

          There’s no law on the books but there are centuries of historical precedent from the ancient Greeks to today that Western values include free speech for everyone and as against any oppressor. Mill doesn’t mention the government as the silencer but rather the word “mankind,” a term that encompases all. Societies don’t exist and function purely by law but also with cultural norms and traditions passed down for ages. Its why only thinking of the First Amendment independent from the culture that spawned it is just dumb. Freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, academic freddom and freedom of thought are pillars of the West very few of which are enshrined in law. Ignore them at your peril.

        5. Gigi,
          one of the revaltaions is that the NY Post article did NOT violate twitters standards – and they knew that.

          That means Twitter violated its contract with its users.

        6. When you conspire with the media, social media, the FBI, to supress the truth, to lie about those trying o speak the truth to ban the truth, to ban those trying to tell the truth to gag them – not just about one truth, but to silence them entirely, that is immoral. That is fraud.

          And when you do so to win an election – that is election fraud. that is stealing an election.

          And absolutely people have the right to go to Washington, to the capitol, to the chambers of the house and senate to protest election fraud, to protest stealing the election, and to petition the government for redress.

          And those thwarting them from doing so – from twitter, through to Pelosi and the capital police are violating their rights. are violating the constitution are violating the law.

        7. ” In other words, is there some right to lie about losing an election”

          Gigi, that narative is DEAD.

          You not only lied to win an election, you supressed the truth, and you suppressed those trying to speak the truth.
          You do not seem to understand – one of the consequences of these revelations is that they prove the only lies about the election are yours.

        8. Are you claiming that we can have democracy when one party can control what voters see and hear ?

          1984 was a warning, not a howto guide.

          You and a great many others LIED and supressed the truth in order to win an election.
          That is immoral, that is unethical, that is fraud.

          Indesputably YOU and those involved are guilty of stealing the election, of election fraud.

          The unresolved question is whether you ALSO engaged in criminal election fraud.

          People who self evidently will do anything for power. Who will lie, and cheat and commit fraud, who will supress the truth and those who speak it
          will also commit crimes.

    4. The first amendment only applies to government. Correct.

      Those in government were and remain active participants in the use of Social Media to suppress free speech.
      And were participants in the suppression of the truth of the NY Post story.

      Are you arguing that it is acceptable – moral for presidential candidates to use power and influence to get the media to supress a true story about their own corruption ?

      Is it moral for a presidential candidate, the DNC, Democrats more broadly, the FBI, as well as nearly all of media and social media to crush the TRUTH for political benefit ? Nor did they stop there, but continued permanently suppressing the voices of anyone who tried to reveal the truth.

      All the following are true.

      The Laptop was Hinter Biden’s.
      The Biden’s knew that.
      They lied
      The NY Post story was true.
      The claims that it was hacked are false, and all involved in supressing the story knew that.
      A true story was supressed to prevent it from effecting an election.
      Voters were intentionally denied the truth – those involved from the biden campaign through the DNC and the media, and SM were all engaged in a group effort to deprive voters of the truth.
      Biden lied during the debates about this.

      And finally, Those who tried to spread the Truth were banned, blocked, silenced, villified, canceled, lied about and maligned.
      By the Biden campaign, democrats. the DNC, Social media, the media, the left.

      AND YOU.

      You seem to forget that YOU were a part of this,
      From the start, through today.

      YOU are one of many who condoned, amplified, spread the suppression of the Truth, to spread lies.

      1. A candidate who is not an incumbent, the DNC, or even the RNC can ask SM to suppress certain information. As long as they are private entities they have a right to ask and SM has a right to choose whether to honor that request.

        1. A private person can also ask others to rape a toddler.

          Everything that is legal is not moral.

          You seem to think that because Biden was free to ask SM to do something immoral,
          and SM was free to do something immoral,
          that somehow the results are moral.

          Aside from the FBI requests, and the fact that it is well known that the Biden WH continues to seek supression of unfavorable content,
          there is little here that is criminal.

          But the scale of the immorality is gargantuan.

          Biden asked SM for help rigging an election.
          Hiding the truth from voters.
          and permanently silencing anyone who tried to speak the truth.

          And SM and the MSM went along with this.

          The helped rig an election. They perpetrated a fraud on voters.

          And not only are you OK with that.
          But you continue to be part of it.

    5. Gigi: Can you give us all a look into your mindset? Are you a college graduate, and if so from where? Are you religious or an atheist? Who are your political heroes? Were your parents political, and if so, of what persuasion? Are you a happy person, appreciating life and your blessings here in America? I am stunned, not just by your apparent ideology, but the whole of the Left. It is counter to everything I believe, and I just have to shake my head wondering how it can be like this.

    6. “. . . private companies that provide a platform for expression have every right to make and enforce rules . . .”

      That is true.

      And they have a moral obligation to be honest with their customers: “We are *not* a social media company. We are the propaganda arm of the DNC. Any opinion you express that disturbs our masters may be deleted and you may be banned. Ditto for any opinion that disturbs our health care masters, or that our masters at the FBI, CISA, and DHS deem to be ‘disinformation.'”

    7. The Jan 6thers were there to encourage the duty of the elected be carried out.
      But of course we had cowardly skum who folded. Same as the no doubt coerced judiciary when it came to Obama’s dad never being a US citizen thus his ineligibility for POTUS, and the constant fraud the courts use to ignore gigantic government crimes, “no standing”.
      I do wish Jan 6th was an insurrection, as Biden and gang should have been tossed out on their rumps. That would be justice. It still would be some justice, it should happen immediately.
      Instead the slow corrupt burning criminality increase will continue forward, lead by the demoncrat party, increased by the democrat party, lied about by the demoncrat party, and the 3rd world you know what hole is emerging…

    1. Your stomach turns as you discover that you are in the presence of the DIRECT AND MORTAL ENEMIES of freedom, the American thesis, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, patriotic Americans and America itself, and that the enemy can, may and shall be given no quarter.
      ______________________________________________________________________________

      “With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.”

      – William Lloyd Garrison

  3. I frankly don’t care about the EU’s opinion on our Constitutional right to free speech. The EU is rather infamous for squashing the speech of its citizens. Its strategic partner, Canada, destroyed the protest of truckers who objected to the vaccine mandate, which neither stopped the spread nor prevented illness with the most recent strains of Covid, yet exposed the recipients to the risk of myocarditis and other side effects.

    It would be like the US being concerned about China’s criticism of human rights in our country. An utterly spurious argument.

  4. OT

    “NATO MUST BE DISSOLVED”

    America is now preposterously supporting and defending hysterical and incoherent communists and communism in Europe.

    The communist EU government and the communist government of Netherlands are denying freedom, denying the right to private property, and confiscating farms in the name of environmental wackoism.

    Not only do communists in the Netherlands and Europe believe they have the right to conduct a general dictatorship in Europe, they believe they have the right and the physical power to control the climates and atmospheres of Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy and the Universe. The communist EU and the communist Netherlands have gone totally crazy, totally insane.

    The communist EU has rejected the rights, freedoms and standards of the U.S. Constitution and the American thesis of freedom and self-reliance, and has begun the forceful imposition of communism throughout Europe.

    If anything, America should fight against NATO which has become a defense organization of communist European dictatorships.

    NATO was created to fight communism and communist dictatorship.

    America can no longer support the totally corrupt and communist, enviro-wacko EU and NATO.

    America must vigorously support Revolutionary War in The Communist Netherlands and The Communist EU.

    1. Just yesterday I heard Germany is doing it now too. So get ready to add a few more notches beyond that as well.
      The communist starving is coming fast. History is repeating itself – under a cover, with a differing excuse, but repeating itself anyway.

  5. What a waste of time and effort defining this grievance as “censorship”. There is no implicit right in the First Amendment to free publicity. There is no right to force others to publish your claims and opinions against their better judgment. Americans are free to curate the information they are receiving, and to exercise editorial judgment in what they choose to pass along to others. Private platforms, too.

    What we should be striving for in digital, TV and print media is neutrality and circumspection during election campaigns. What benefits the nation is an honest competition over policy choices, leadership integrity and competence. To make the competition about anything else than that through gaming and deceitful infowarfare should invite investigatory journalism, exposure and mockery…all the better rapidly, so that gamers derive no lead-time advantage during their game’s covert phase.

    It’s not a complicated message to tell media to “stay in your lane” during election season — viewers simply pull the cord on those channels and activist-journalists. Audience abandonment is a tough master.

    For this to work, every citizen must resolve that voting be a private, independent decision NEVER divulged in advance to a pollster or campaign worker. The opposite — signalling tribal loyalty — greenlights campaign zealots toward corrupt, self-serving gaming, knowing that they can rely on a double-standard among supporters to overlook excesses — even lawbreaking — so long as it’s aligned with the “cause”.

    So, the citizenry must take the lead to keep campaigns from dirty-trickery, and the media from taking sides. The citizens set the standard of what is acceptable competition, both from candidates, campaigns and PACs, and from the journalists covering the competition.

    We have the Hatch Act to prosecute federal employees (e.g. FBI) from giving help to campaigns. It needs to be used judiciously, but firmly. What would help is to create an Election Integrity Rapid Response Office within DOJ, all staff vetted for neutrality, and safely insulated from control by political appointees. Each Presidential campaign would have to offer its Chief Counsel as an official liaison to EIRRO to cooperate in rapid investigations of alleged wrongdoing. Just having investigators who are vetted neutral to the election outcome is a big step forward — any contact with any campaign or surrogate would fall on this group of professionals sworn to neutrality. Until we do something like EIRRO, you’ll continue to have Hatch Act violators like James Baker using their official position to benefit one campaign over the other.

    Stop ranting about censorship, and start focussing on quality electoral competitions. What is it that signifies a quality competition? Hint: If you think it’s only about your side winning, Houston, we have a problem.

  6. The government infringed on Americans’ free speech when it coordinated with Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Google to censor conservative political viewpoints. The Democrat hegemony in government agencies meddled with elections when it coordinated with social media to bury information injurious to Democrats, and promoted stories that helped Democrats and harmed Republicans.

    Democrats in power in social media, Hollywood, academia, the news, and the K-12 public education system view themselves as king makers and propagandists. They can affect elections because they control what political information is accessible to Americans, from their earliest age as a captive audience in the public education system. Almost every magazine, online news source, and TV channel available promotes the Democrat Party and their agenda. Every single kids’ show, bar none, that my child used to watch has now become far Left propaganda. All the kids shows now center around being gay or transgender. Blues Clues, geared towards kids preschool age and younger, featured an animated gay pride parade, with songs by a real drag queen, which featured transgender beavers with mastectomy scars. Mastectomy scars on cartoon beavers!!! Owl House, marketed for kids 7 and older, changed from a fun adventure series about a girl who falls through a portal into a world of witchcraft and wizardry, trying to find her way back home to her mother, into a show where the main character is a lesbian, kisses her girlfriend or blushes about her in every single episode, a side character has two dads, another side character is non binary with they/them pronouns, and now the opening credits have rainbows everywhere and books on being non binary. Every biological male in the story line is utterly useless. FOR 7 YEAR OLDS! Kids are getting the message that you can biologically change their gender, which puts them on the castration track. This is ugly propaganda, which ultimately leads to increased suicide risk for the kids they brainwash.

    This isn’t naturally flowing storytelling. It’s like state propaganda shoe horned into a cartoon. Propaganda isn’t enjoyable to watch.

    Kids are directly being targeted, and at a very tender young age.

    If moviemakers and TV show creators want to make LGBTQ+ content, that is absolutely their right. They need to be upfront about their programing so that parents can decide if their children are mature enough for $exual content. Create what you want to. By the same token, if people like Candace Cameron Bure want to make straight, family friendly, non sexualized content, then they have every right to, as well. That gives viewers a choice to see what they want. Instead of applauding Bure’s right to create content that she likes, the Left only wants that right for themselves. EVERYTHING has to be gay, and all casting has to be based on skin color. There are no options to just choose the best actor regardless of skin color. If you think the mythical character Kokopeli should be played by a Native American, you are brave and fighting colonialism. If you think deliberately casting Welsh-based myths with minorities and inserting gay story lines is not being true to the ethnic origins of the folklore, then you’re a racist bigot. But Kokopeli had BETTER NOT be played by a blonde Swedish woman or it’s cultural appropriation. The double standard is breathtaking.

    1. Karen S.
      Absolutely!
      Well said!
      Just recently, several groups to include Mom’s of Liberty, Fathers for Freedom, and Gays Against Groomers had a rally against the sexualization of children on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
      Of course ANTIFA was there to counter protest.
      Groomers gotta groom.

    2. Karen S. got to use one of her big words again: “hegemony”, plus “breathtaking” that she borrowed from Turley. Nobody “buried” any information adverse to Democrats, either, because if they did, you wouldn’t have Fox, NewsMax, OAN, Breitbart or InforWars. Karen S.–you like to watch Fox, which makes things up in order to attack Democrats. If Democrats really controlled media and schools and really engaged in censorship, we wouldn’t have Alex Jones, Mark Levin, OAN, NewsMax, Info Wars or Fox spewing out lies and conspiracy theories every single day. We also wouldn’t have Florida banning library books by Michelle Obama and Toni Morrison. Your obsession with LGBTQ is stunning. Your focus on chldren’s programming is scary. If one took a good, hard look at it, Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz” is a serial killer who lives in a fantasy world inhabited by talking scarecrows, a tin man and a lion, which could only be the result of drugs and/or psychosis. Also, what’s going on with Dorothy and Hunk, Hickory and the other farm hand, who morph into these characters? “Alice in Wonderland” is about a bad LSD trip. “Spongebob Square Pants” is a talking sponge that wears pants, pretends his nose is a flute and who is the gay lover of a starfish who also wears clothes. How about “H.R. Pufinstuff”, which is clearly about smoking marijuana and using drugs (e.g.: “puff and stuff”) if you believe in conspiracy theories? Then, there’s the demonic theory about Disney—about “666” appearing in Walt Disney’s signature. This is all nonsense and conspiracy theories.

      1. “books by Michelle Obama”

        LOLOLOL….Keep up the clown show, your masters will surely continue to reward you.

  7. Now we know.

    Per a declaration filed with the FCC, Yoel Roth stated during weekly (learn to read) meetings with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, “state actors” may attempt to leak hacked materials shortly before the 2020 election in an effort to influence the results.
    Matt Taibbi’s reporting shows “unbalanced” favor towards the Democrats.
    Suddenly Twitter goes to extreme lengths to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
    Did the US government give an order to Twitter to suppress the story?
    Unless forth coming emails shows differently, I would say no.
    But knowing the political make up of Twitter employees, it is not a far reach to think they would gladly suppress any and all negative coverage of the then Biden campaign.
    Just like MSM is the mouthpiece of the DNC.

    1. Oh cut it out, of course they gave the order, and they monitored every move as well, in real time.
      Do you think the NSA doesn’t have computers?
      A lot more than “handled” was about it as well, and no doubt paid operatives were right in the dead center of the meetings while doing so. No doubt about it.

  8. It will be interesting to see the extent to which anti-Trump Republicans participated in or turned a blind eye to this censorship.

  9. Dear Prof Turley,

    Not to beat a dead horse, but I’m convinced 100% beyond a shadow of doubt the Russians hacked president Biden son’s Laptop, installed false, malicious, compromising and incriminated information about the Bidens on it, then cleverly left it at Mac’s shop for Rudy Tooty to pick up and give to the slanderous New York Post to print without any authentication or verification whatsoever.

    Clearly, “The Russians are engaged!” ~ Joe Biden

    *the FBI continues to probe these questions .. . but will not comment about ongoing criminal investigations.

    1. I think you will find that the FBI picked it up from the repair shop months before all this happened. What Rudy was supposedly given was a mirror of the hard drive. If the what the FBI has differed from the mirror, don’t you think it would have said something already

      1. As I understand it, the FBI confiscated the Laptop in Oct. 2019. They’ve had it almost 3 years to probe these questions about Russian disinformation. Don’t you think that would be at the top of the list?

        And, yes, one would think if the FBI’s copy differed from Rudy’s copy or, more importantly, the Russian disinformation story promulgated by over 50 top national security officials + ‘team Biden’ (& candidate Biden), Twitter and basically every media report on it over the past 3 years .. . then the FBI would have said something already. Something?

        Unfortunately, according to some ‘officials familiar with this matter, the FBI is still probing these questions.’ Along with the JFK assassination, aliens and Vietnam.

        *humorous aside. Computer Shop owner Mac Issac has generously offered to provide the FBI with a new copy if the FBI has lost the first one.

        *we must be talking cross-purposes, Dennis. .. or you just don’t have a sense of humour? \../

  10. “The Russians, the Russians” — as a pretext for censoring the laptop story and bannind the NYP (among others) from Twitter:

    Some are ignorant (or worse) about the history of censorship, and about the tactics used by censors.

    The dictators in China and the then-Soviet Union, for example, routinely cite nefarious “foreigh influences” as a rationalization to ban books, censor speeches, criminalize dissent, and to make dissidents “disappear.”

    Somewhere in hell, Stalin and Mao are smiling that their tactics have reached our shores.

  11. Some say that Taibbi and Musk are only doing what they are doing because they are just big bad business men trying to make buck. The thought of altruism by Taibbi and Musk never enters their mind. Do you really think that Musk thinks he needs more money? If Taibbi is just doing it for the money why would he completely destroy any chance of ever having any of his work posted on the Mainstream Media? Believe it or not there are some people who are not just doing it for the money. They knew that there would be those who would be calling for their heads on a pike but they are doing it anyway. Their fortunes be damned. The great men who founded this nation also put their fortunes on the line. Thankfully heroes still exist.

  12. Jonathan: To illustrate how far right Musk has gone with Twitter he is now suggesting that certain Twitter personnel “gave preference to left wing candidates” in the recent Brazilian presidential election–which Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva narrowly won. Jair Bolsanaro, the right-wing incumbent, initially conceded, but after his son met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Bolsanaro falsely claimed the election machines were “rigged” and had his supporters fill the streets with protests and road blocks. Bolsanaro even filed a complaint with Brazil’s highest court but it shot down the false claims and even imposed a million dollar fine on the Bolsanaro campaign.

    So what is Musk’s interest in the Brazilian election? Earlier in the year before the election Bolsanaro hosted Musk at a meeting in Sao Paulo where Bolsanaro praised Musk’s takeover of Twitter as a “breath of hope” and called Musk a “legend of liberty”. As to Musk’s claim that Twitter personnel interfered in the election there is no evidence. Both campaigns used Twitter extensively and the accounts of some of Bolsanaro’s allies in the congress were suspended by court orders–not by any action taken by Twitter personnel.

    Musk’s alliance with Bolsanaro, who Trump often praised for adopting many of his policies in Brazil, is a warning sign of the direction of Twitter under Musk. Musk’s reinstatement of Nick Fuentes, an avowed neo-Nazi, indicates why some are saying the faster Musk gets to Mars the better off all of us will be.

    1. Dennis McIntyre:

      Musk has the receipts that Twitter selectively censored conservatives, here and abroad, in order to give political advantage to the Left.

      Under Musk, all political persuasions would be free to post. If you don’t like it, don’t go to that page. Just like if someone in the park says something you dislike, you walk away, you don’t muzzle him.

      Democrats are on record in support of censoring their political opponents, while conservatives support free speech. The Left is a Fascist movement.

      1. Karen S: No. You are once again just parroting what you heard on Fox. Florida and DeSantis passed “don’t say gay” laws, they banned books from libraries, such as Toni Morrison’s and Michelle Obama’s books, and they dictate what school children are allowed to be taught on a variety of subjects. Those are government actions, they are fascist, and they are unconstitutional. And, Karen S., you aren’t a “conservative” because you are a Trump disciple.

      2. Karen S.: Where are the “receipts” that show “Twitter selectively censored conservatives, here and abroad”. Specifically where is your evidence that Twitter personnel did this in the Brazilian election. Since you are apparently privy to what Musk has in his possession let’s see the beef. Otherwise, don’t make claims you can’t back up with facts!

        Speaking of censorship name one elected Democratic official who is banning certain books from public school libraries and censoring curriculum in the class rooms. That’s going on under Gov. DeSantis in Florida and other states controlled by conservative Republicans who don’t want children to read books on race or LBGT+ themes. Again, give us evidence to back up your claim that Democrats are censoring what kids are allowed to read in school.

        And to label the “Left” as a “Fascist movement” is an oxymoron. Look up the definition of “Fascism”. By definition it is a far-right ideology that arose in Italy and Germany in the early 20th century in response to the collapse of capitalism in those countries after WW1. Millions were out of work and Socialist and Communist parties were gaining appeal. To counter this growing movement on the left the capitalist classes in Italy and Germany supported Mussolini and Hitler–who imposed one party, one person dictatorships. The Socialist and Communist parties were outlawed and censorship was imposed on the press and violence was used to suppress democratic rights. The so-called “Left” is opposed to fascist and neo-Nazi ideology. For once, I would like you to get your facts straight!

        1. “By definition . . .”

          You do not understand what a definition is. It is not an account of the idea’s historical development. It is a statement of the essence of the concept.

          Try this: “Fascism” is a form of statism, in which the individual holds title to property, while the government controls the use and disposition of that property.

          *That* is the definition of “fascism,” as contrasted with, say, “communism.” And by that definition, Karen S is right. The Left in America is a fascist movement.

          1. Sam: Gee, I didn’t realize you don’t really know what you are talking about when it comes to a definition of “Fascism”. So I looked at the primary sources for a definition. Some thing you could have done but apparently you thought you had a better definition. Maybe you should submit your definition to Wikepedia and see what they say. I doubt they would include your definition. So I took the time to go to a primary source–Benito Mussolini who wrote an article in 1932 entitled “Doctrine of Fascism”. in which he lays out the “Fundamental Ideas” of fascism. In the article Mussolini says ” outside the State there can be neither individuals nor groups…Therefor Fascism is opposed to Socialism, which confines the movement to history within the class struggle…” Mussolini goes on: “Fascism is opposed to Democracy, which equates the nation to the majority,…”. Nothing in there that encompasses your definition.

            There are other primary sources for a definition of Fascism. In essence, Fascists are opposed to Liberalism and, in particular, Marxism. Fascists are opposed to parliamentary democracy. Hitler said that “democracy” undermined the natural selection of ruling elites and was “nothing other than the systematic cultivation of human failure”. In the Italian and German versions fascists supported the status quo. They favored the wealthy. Worker unions and parties were brutally suppressed. As historian John Weiss has pointed out: “Property and income distribution and the traditional class structure remained roughly the same under fascist rule. What changes there were favored the old elites and a certain segments of the party”.

            Now there are other definitions of “Fascism”. Encyclopedia Britannica defines “fascism” as “including extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy–and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in national social hierarchy and the role of elites…”. It goes on and further defines Fascism as a “far-right political philosophy” that “combines elements of nationalism, militarism, economic self-sufficiency and totalitarianism. It opposes communism, socialism, pluralism, individual rights and equality, and democratic government”.

            Can you find anyone on the “Left” in this country that espouses such fascist principles or beliefs? You won’t. Donald Trump wants to overturn the Constitution and impose one man rule. That is the essence of fascism. If you are a MAGA supporter then you also support the principles of fascism. Sorry to break it to you. But those of us on the “Left” are opposed to one man fascist rule. and are fighting every day to prevent it. And what are you doing to preserve our Democracy?

            1. Fascism:

              Everything inside the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.
              Benito Mussolini

              You can not get more authoritative than that.

              Any definition of fascism that is not consistent with actual fascism and what actual openly admitted fascists defined as fascism – is wrong.

              Mussolini was not a crypto fascist – lying about fascism. He was one of the creators of fascism and its first successful implementation.

            2. “It goes on and further defines Fascism as a “far-right political philosophy” that “combines elements of nationalism, militarism, economic self-sufficiency and totalitarianism. It opposes communism, socialism, pluralism, individual rights and equality, and democratic government”.”
              Democrats
              House just passed a military budget that provides 60B more than Biden asked for
              Militarism – check.
              Democrats do not support free speech – check.
              Democrats do not support individual rights – check

              Republicans
              Militaristic
              Oppose communism, socialism.

              Looks like democrats are more fascist by YOUR definition.

              I would note that if Fascists opposed socialism – that would be a good then. They did not, because they WERE Socialist

              The FACT that you keep making claims about fascists that every prominent fascist that ever was would deny
              and reject attributes of fascism that every single fascist takes pride in
              Is proof that you and your sources are deliberately trying to warp history and fact to protect yourself and falsely slime opponents.

            3. Please read Thomas Jefferson – he said things very similar to what you are attacking Trump for.
              Or Madison

              That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,

              Apparently you think the guy who wrote the declaration of independence, and the guy who wrote the constitution are fascists ?

            4. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

            5. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

            6. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

            7. “Three-fourths of the Italian economy, industrial and agricultural, is in the hands of the state.”
              Mussolini

            8. Fascism establishes the real equality of individuals before the nation… the object of the regime in the economic field is to ensure higher social justice for the whole of the Italian people… What does social justice mean? It means work guaranteed, fair wages, decent homes, it means the possibility of continuous evolution and improvement. Nor is this enough. It means that the workers must enter more and more intimately into the productive process and share its necessary discipline… As the past century was the century of capitalist power, the twentieth century is the century of power and glory of labour.

              Musollini

            9. When the war is over, in the world’s social revolution that will be followed by a more equitable distribution of the earth’s riches
              Musollini

            10. Some still ask of us: what do you want? We answer with three words that summon up our entire program. Here they are…Italy, Republic, Socialization. . .Socialization is no other than the implantation of Italian Socialism
              Musollini

            11. For this I have been and am a socialist. The accusation of inconsistency has no foundation.
              Musollini

            12. NATIONAL’ AND ‘SOCIAL’ ARE TWO IDENTICAL CONCEPTIONS. It was only the Jew who succeeded, through falsifying the social idea and turning it into Marxism, not only in divorcing the social idea from the national, but in actually representing them as utterly contradictory.
              Hitler

            13. To put it quite clearly: we have an economic programme. Point No. 13 in that programme demands the nationalisation of all public companies, in other words socialisation, or what is known here as socialism. … the basic principle of my Party’s economic programme should be made perfectly clear and that is the principle of authority… the good of the community takes priority over that of the individual. But the State should retain control; every owner should feel himself to be an agent of the State; it is his duty not to misuse his possessions to the detriment of the State or the interests of his fellow countrymen. That is the overriding point. The Third Reich will always retain the right to control property owners. If you say that the bourgeoisie is tearing its hair over the question of private property, that does not affect me in the least. Does the bourgeoisie expect some consideration from me?… Today’s bourgeoisie is rotten to the core; it has no ideals any more; all it wants to do is earn money and so it does me what damage it can. The bourgeois press does me damage too and would like to consign me and my movement to the devil.
              Hitler

            14. National Socialism derives from each of the two camps the pure idea that characterizes it, national resolution from bourgeois tradition; vital, creative socialism from the teaching of Marxism
              Hitler

            15. Is there a nobler or more excellent kind of Socialism and is there a truer form of Democracy than this National Socialism
              Hitler

            16. We shall banish want. We shall banish fear. The essence of National Socialism is human welfare. There must be cheap Volkswagen for workers to ride in, broad Reich Autobahns for the Volkswagen. National Socialism is the Revolution of the Common Man. Rooted in a fuller life for every German from childhood to old age, National Socialism means a new day of abundance at home and a Better World Order abroad.
              Hitler 1944

            17. I was also finding it interesting that a very common phrase used constabtly by those on the left is repeated constantly by Hitler, Musollini and other fascists

              Social Justice
              That is a phrase of the left then and now.
              It is not a phrase of the right ever.

        2. Florida doesn’t want your type of grooming. Neither does it want an education system that leaves people so ignorant on public policy and the different ideologies that exist.

          You are unable to defend most of what you say.

  13. This is cut and dry, the Government contacted Twitter about content. Regardless of explicitness, what right does the government have to interfere?

    Virginia Woolf in ‘A Room of One’s Own’ wrote

    “Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others” (substituting ‘History’ for Literature may be more appropriate)

    1. Raggedy Ann declared it many months ago as she stood in the press room babbling for biden.
      I saw the reports on the interface for government censoring at twitter well over a year ago.
      What is interesting and disconcerting is the absolute stupidity of the powers that be – it takes them a year or two to catch up to known reality and they appear to be triggered only by some written “official document” of some type.
      It’s really lame. It’s really late. It’s really lackadaisical. Every time.

  14. But go ahead, keep voting for this liberal voters that haven’t paid attention or learned anything since the 90s. Eventually, it’s going to be impossible to ignore, and at that point there may very well be nothing we can do about it. That Biden was elected at all pretty much makes the case. Some people will not open their eyes until they literally have no choices remaining. Inflation wasn’t enough, killing our energy supply wasn’t enough, the covid debacle wasn’t enough, the snowflake evolution wasn’t enough – so many things just aren’t enough, and I’m referring to the elders in our society. I pray that it does not require a total and complete collapse of American society, even if that is just happening in non-wealthy places. Democrats: the party of compassion, my a**. The older folks in the DNC may not be full-on Stalins or Maos, but the up and comers will be more than happy to take that mantle, due to their abject ignorance, and that is what is coming down the pike. It is far beyond time to start caring and to start paying attention, Elon Musk is only one person.

    That said, there is no way for the people in question to weasel out of any of this, so naturally, let the Pravda commence their spin. And the aforementioned will believe every word until they are cold and hungry, too. Where is that ‘compassion’ they always crow on about?

  15. “Many groups like the ACLU define censorship as denial of free speech by either government or private entities.”

    I think this is unwise on the part of the ACLU. I see why they are looking in that direction since private entities could deny free speech at the behest of government, or that corporations are [foolishly] treated as people by the Supreme Court and corporations try to have their cake and eat it, too, by saying they are a private entity but they are not quite a publisher and not quite a means for speaking your mind in public. That ACLU consideration is running roughshod on individuals, though, by broadening free speech violations to private entities.

    1. I think there are only two theories for saying Twitter or other private social media platforms cannot censor:

      1. They are acting for the government, either through collusion, inducement or threat. On this theory, the primary violation is by the government; it is the basis for the case being brought by several states that has led to depositions by senior government officials regarding their interactions with social media companies.

      2. They are common carriers who may not discriminate among users. This has been discussed by Clarence Thomas in one of his opinions and likely requires legislation. Texas passed a law saying this and it has been upheld against a facial challenge by an association of social media platforms. The platforms argued that outlawing censorship was the same as compelling speech and the court strongly disagreed.

      In the case of Twitter and the censorship of stories about the Hunter Biden laptop, in order to prove a 1st Amendment violation you would need to show that Twitter was acting for the government. That is why it is critical to understand fully the involvement of the FBI and other government or elected officials. So far the Twitter files have said very little about this.

      1. There won’t be much more to add to what we already know. I’m willing to bet that Elon is just overhyping what the contents of the file really say. Let’s not forget that Elon has a penchant for being “humorous’’ with his claims.

        1. “There won’t be much more to add to what we already know.”

          Interesting thesis. I bet you “believe in science.”

    2. @Prairie Rose

      In my state at least, the ACLU defines *panhandling* as ‘speech’. Draw your own conclusions. That organization is and has been a farce for some time. I struggle to think of a formerly equitable liberal organization that has not become a parody, if not an outright menace. and I say that as someone that used to fully support and donate to UNICEF, the World Wildlife fund, Amnesty international, and PETA. Modern American liberals are fascists, period (take your pick: USSR, China, Germany, Venezuela. It all ends up the same). There is no way to twist that fact. They no longer feel the need to conceal it. That is where we are in American society in 2022 (and likely across the West).

      And incidentally, I no longer acknowledge the legitimacy of the aforementioned groups, let alone give them money. And I did, for many years. That is over, forever.

      1. “Modern American liberals are fascists, period”
        Then George W. Bush is a liberal? –what with NCLB and TARP, among others. I think that sort of nastiness isn’t confined to just the liberal side of the spectrum. The power-hungry will to make deals can be found in both “camps”. I think that’s how they’ve decided the game of keep-away is most effectively played–play tribes against each other and erode the opposing resistance by advancing nasty things when “their guy” is in power.

  16. At the core of this is the premise that journalism no longer pretends to be objective. Subjective advocacy is now taught and mentored in major journalism schools and within print and electronic media entities. In adopting this perspective they are conduits for favored opinion posing as news and surrogates for those who hold those views within government. Obstructing the flow of information on behalf of government does not end well. I guess we can eliminate ‘the fourth estate’ as a quaint notion.

    1. “I guess we can eliminate ‘the fourth estate’ as a quaint notion.”

      Tragically, with rare exceptions, you are correct.

      “At the core of this is the premise that . . .”

      Good comment.

  17. When a terribly convenient pandemic came along our most precious document went straight into the circular file but our elections are less important?
    I don’t advocate our Constitution be set aside at anytime while at the same time wrongs must be righted.

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