“Fool Me Once . . . ” Why the Public is Not Buying the Latest Media Campaign Against Twitter

Twitter LogoBelow is my column on the media response to the “Twitter Files,” including misleading narratives being repeated across various media platforms. The effort is to assure the public that there is “nothing to see here” but it may backfire. After Twitter employed one of the most extensive censorship systems in history to prevent people from reading opposing views on subjects from Covid to climate change, media figures are now insisting that the public should really not be interested.

The public, however, is not buying it. They are buying Twitter. With users signing up to Twitter in record numbers, a majority supports Musk’s efforts to restore free speech protections and to force greater transparency despite an unrelenting counter campaign in the media. Some of the media claims would meet the very definition of disinformation used by Twitter and its allies previously to censor information and discussions.  Indeed, the Wall Street Journal has noted that the greatest purveyors of disinformation turned out to be former intelligence officials who worked to kill the story before the election as “Russian disinformation.” The public seems to be following the old adage “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Here is the column:

In the aftermath of the release of the “Twitter Files,” the media and political establishment appear to be taking a lesson from Karl Marx who said, “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

The censoring of the Hunter Biden scandal before the 2020 election by Twitter and others was a tragedy for our democratic system. That tragedy was not in its potential impact on a close election, but the massive (and largely successful) effort to bury a story to protect the Biden campaign. It has now ended in farce as the same censorship apologists struggle to excuse the implications of this major story.

The Twitter Files confirmed that Twitter never had any evidence of a Russian disinformation campaign or hacking as the basis for its decision to censor the New York Post story. Indeed, some at Twitter expressed concern over preventing the sharing of the story. Former Twitter Vice President for Global Communications Brandon Borrman asked if the company could “truthfully claim that this is part of the policy” for barring posts and suspending users.

Those voices were few and quickly shouted down as the company barred the sharing of the story, including evidence of a multimillion-dollar influence peddling scheme by the Biden family. The back channel communications between Biden campaign and Democratic operatives show a willing use of the company to suppress political discussion of the scandal before the election. It was an all-hands-on-deck moment for the media and Twitter was eager to lend a hand.

Over a year ago, I discussed how the brilliance of the Biden campaign was to get the media to become invested in the suppression of the story. After two years, major media finally but reluctantly admitted that the laptop was authentic as well as the emails detailing massive transfers of money from foreign interests (including some with foreign intelligence links).

Many have responded by shrugging that influence peddling is not necessarily a crime, ignoring that it is still a massive corruption scandal with serious national security concerns. After all, as Heather Digby Parton argued in Salon on December 5, “There is nothing there other than a man making money by trading on his family name.”

After the release of the “Twitter Files,” many of these same figures have shifted to excuse the censorship done at the request of Biden campaign or Democratic operatives.

For some of us who come from long-standing liberal Democratic families, it has been chilling to see the Democratic Party embrace censorship and denounce free speech, including organizing foreign and corporate interests to prevent Musk from restoring free speech protections.

Beyond personally attacking Elon Musk and Matt Taibbi, many have resorted to two claims that are being widely repeated in the media to avoid discussing the coordinated censorship efforts between this company and Democratic operatives.

What Censorship?

One of the old saws of censorship apologists is that without a government directing the suppression of free speech, it is not censorship.

That is clearly untrue.  Many groups like the ACLU stress that “censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups.”

The same figures insist that if, there is not a violation of the First Amendment (which only applies to the government), there is no free speech violation. The First Amendment was never the exclusive definition of free speech. Free speech is viewed by many of us as a human right; the First Amendment only deals with one source for limiting it. Free speech can be undermined by private corporations as well as government agencies.

Corporations clearly have free speech rights. Ironically, Democrats have long opposed such rights for companies, but they embrace such rights when it comes to censorship. It is also worth noting that this censorship (and these back channels) continued after the Biden campaign became the Biden administration — a classic example of censorship by a surrogate. Moreover, some of the pressure was coming from Democratic senators and House members to silence critics and bury the Hunter Biden influence peddling scandal.

To his credit, Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California reached out to Twitter’s leading censor, Vijaya Gadde, and tried to get the company to reconsider this action even though he identified himself as a “total Biden partisan.” He noted that “[t]his seems a violation of the First Amendment principles.”

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., expressed concerns over Twitter’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story.  (Reuters)

It is a violation of free speech principles and Khanna was one of the few on the left unwilling to discard those principles for politics in this controversy.

“It is all about the Dirty Pictures”

Another claim is that this was not an effort to censor the story but merely to block the vulgar images that Hunter took of himself having sex with prostitutes or exposing himself.

This claim adds the specter of propaganda to that of censorship. As the Twitter files reveal, Twitter officials discussed whether the whole story might be Russian disinformation or hacking. For former Deputy FBI General Counsel Jim Baker (who was hired by Twitter after the Russian collusion scandal) it is all about supporting others from sharing the story because “caution is warranted.”

Even at the time of the suppression, it was clear to many on the left that the move was being justified by the false claim of a hack.

Rep. Khanna noted in his letter to Gadde that “a journalist should not be held accountable for the illegal actions of the source unless they actively aided the hack. So, to restrict the distribution of that material, especially regarding a presidential candidate, seems not in the keeping of [the Supreme Court case] New York Times vs. Sullivan.”

More importantly, it was not lost on Twitter employees including one who said that “They just freelanced [the censorship]. . .  hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold. But no one had the guts to reverse it.”

Moreover, Twitter later admitted that it was a mistake to suppress the story and allowed such sharing, including articles with the pictures. While the “Biden team” did want the company to censor any tweets containing references like “Hunter Biden porn,” it was not the explicit pictures that caused the company to suppress the story before the election.

However, there is a brilliant, if counterintuitive, spin of this argument. As stated in Salon, “mostly what the Hunter Biden laptop ‘scandal’ is about is the dirty pictures.” If the scandal is all about dirty pictures, it is not about dirty politics or influence peddling. It is also not about censorship. End of discussion.

The effort to dismiss these disclosures will not work — any more than earlier efforts to suppress the story itself.

We are still expecting more files to be released. Moreover, the House is expected to investigate the use of these companies to carry out censorship for Democratic allies.

That investigation is important because there is always the risk that Twitter officials (who were long aware of the threat of such inquiries) may have avoided or even destroyed written communications.

Indeed, the increasingly shrill chorus that “there is nothing to see here” may only prompt a closer look from many skeptical citizens.

After all, nothing draws a crowd as much as a farce.

313 thoughts on ““Fool Me Once . . . ” Why the Public is Not Buying the Latest Media Campaign Against Twitter”

  1. Instead of being concerned that Hunter Biden received millions from foreign governments and that Joe Biden knew about it The New York Slimes tries to tell us that the laptop was stolen. Instead of being concerned that Hunter used the money to pay Joe’s bills The New York Slimes does its slimy best to minimize the importance of what the laptop reveals with a blatant and slimy lie. We all know how it feels to get something slimy on our hands. Disgusting.

    1. “ Instead of being concerned that Hunter Biden received millions from foreign governments and that Joe Biden knew about it The New York Slimes tries to tell us that the laptop was stolen. ”

      How is making millions from foreign governments or companies illegal or a crime? If Joe Biden knew about it know is that still a crime or illegal?

      It seems you keep running into that problem not being able to articulate the crime or illegality.

      1. Ask yourself this: if Trump’s son had been on the board of a major foreign corporation while Trump was VP (which of course didn’t happen, so substitute president if you like), if that corporation had had a major influence on a foreign government, if the foreign corporation had expressed to Trump’s son the benefits of getting rid of a troublesome government official who was investigating that corporation and its relationship with that government, if that official had been fired, and if Trump had boasted about it – and if, then, evidence had arisen that the firing was an explicit quid pro quo between Trump’s son, Trump, and the foreign government, with strong suggestions of a payout to Trump – would it concern you?

        I know it’s more than one step to follow, but try.

        You’re hiding behind the same thing you (I feel certain) accuse Trump’s supporters of using: “if it couldn’t be proven, or wasn’t expressly against the law, who cares?” The difference is, Joe’s Biden has been at least nominally IN PUBLIC SERVICE for decades. His actions, from senator to VP to president, have affected the FOREIGN POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES’.

        And by the way – how’d he get so rich?

  2. All I can say is that i hope this piece is accurate. Those of us paying attention hold the ball – I pray we don’t drop it. At this point, with those he has dared to challenge – Elon has likely put his life on the line. Let’s hope we can turn it all around before they are lining up all of us with a dissenting view. i am not so confident, with all of their wealth and global connections, that the leftist cabal will go so gently into the night, but there is a glimmer of hope.

  3. It’s just a tiny portion of obviously guilty people who are outraged.
    Elon Musk is a very popular public figure, and his respect and admiration is growing by the day.
    And it’s not surprising, he’s pretty much common sense, in the middle.

  4. At 10:49 Anonymous says that the Hunter Laptop was a hack job. When evaluating Anonymous’s post please recall that she said that the Steele Dossier was the gospel truth. She still believes it. CBS did a report on the Hunter laptop being authentic. This is simply CBS saying “my bad”. Unlike Anonymous CBS at least tried to express some attrition in an attempt to get their squandered reputation back. We should consider the quality of the reputation of Anonymous when she continues to say that the laptop was hacked and that RussiaGate was true. Reader beware.

    1. TiT,
      Seems to be the latest in their attempts to spread disinformation.
      We all know the Hunter laptop is authentic.
      Now the NYT is claiming the laptop was “stolen.”
      Only the most delusional would still think the Steel dossier was true.

    2. At 10:49 Anonymous says that the Hunter Laptop was a hack job.

      TiT, I no longer read and of course respond to any Anonymous posting. But if this one claims the laptop was hacked, then she is confirming its authenticity.

  5. Even with Musk single-handedly steering Twitter away from censorship, there is still the rest of the machine.

    Facebook, Youtube, the Google search algorithm, most of the media, Hollywood, most newspapers, and the K-grad school education system all control the information we receive on a daily basis, starting from our tender early years. All of these coordinate as active, and deliberate propaganda arms of the Democrat Party.

    The nation should have demanded political neutrality in the taxpayer funded public education system. Democrats have total control over the DOE and public education system, abusing their position of authority and access to their captive audience of children to spread propaganda and train the next generation of Democrats. Schools now go so far as to deliberately hide from parents when a student expresses the mental health symptoms of gender dysphoria or gender confusion. Professors in some colleges urge students not to go home for Christmas to see their parents, but to stay with them, as well. Destroying the bonds of a nuclear family is actually a goal in some instances. Your parents don’t know what they’re talking about. WE know better, the ultimate elitist entitlement.

    How are Chinese protestors supposed to push back against Communist control over the military, media, and even access to travel and technology? They can complain, but how are they supposed to effect any change? They’ll be given low social credit scores and unable to take a train or bus, and they can’t say anything on social media. The CCP got Apple to turn off Air Drop, in order to prevent protestors from sharing information. Apple, a far Left activists company, is part of the Leftist machine, grinding over free speech and individual rights, both here and abroad.

    This Democrat hegemony took a big step toward a coordinated interface with the Democrat hegemony in the government bureaucracy when it successfully buried information injurious to Democrats prior to the 2020 election. This machine can actively prevent conservatives and libertarians from getting elected to high office. What can people do about it if they aren’t permitted to speak in the digital square? How much can one person do if the only means of communication is to directly call people?

    Democrats rioted all across the nation, and that Democrat machine called it “mostly peaceful protests.” They seized entire city blocks at gunpoint in total anarchy, preventing emergency services from helping gunshot and rape victims. The Democrat machine labeled them mostly peaceful. This went on over a year. Billions of dollars in damage. Jobs lost forever. Black owned businesses looted and burned to the ground. Prominent Democrats bailed looters out of jail. Most were not charged, and of those who were, most were diverted to a restorative justice program. They were just mad, we were told. People who are mad riot in order to get attention to their valid issues, we were told. Republicans engaged in one protest that trespassed on the Capitol building, while police waved many of them inside. Most took selfies and milled around like tourists. A small group of those shockingly tried to barge onto the Senate floor. None of them had firearms, but they were disorderly, and disrespected the Capitol. One of them was shot. Because of that small group of rioters, Democrats labeled the entire Republican Party seditionists. Democrats who called every single election they lost “stolen” or “illegitimate” called anyone who questioned election integrity in 2020 as “election deniers” who should go to “camps.”

    That’s the power of the extensive Democrat Machine. Democrats can loot, riot, commit arson, assault thousands of cops, kill cops, and destroy businesses, for over a year, even seizing city blocks at gunpoint, and the Machine protected them. Republicans engaged in one, small, localized riot, and the Machine consumed them, and used that one instance as fuel to attack its political opponent.

    If we as voters do not become more savvy, then our country will fall. Greece was once the global seat of philosophy, math, science, and debate. Modern Greece became insolvent and has slowly been digging itself out. Venezuela used to be a wealthy nation, with prosperous people. Today, the entire nation starves. No nation is immune from internal rot.

    1. A destroyer doesn’t turn on a dime, either, but it must start turning somewhere, sometime, else it sails off the edge of the ocean taking all hands with it.

    2. “The machine” is the antithetical, unconstitutional communist party in America.

      “The machine” is the direct and mortal enemy of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Americans and America.
      ______________________________________________________________________________________

      “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

      – Sun Tzu, The Art of War, 474 – 221 BC

  6. “ The same figures insist that if, there is not a violation of the First Amendment (which only applies to the government), there is no free speech violation. The First Amendment was never the exclusive definition of free speech. Free speech is viewed by many of us as a human right; the First Amendment only deals with one source for limiting it. Free speech can be undermined by private corporations as well as government agencies.

    Corporations clearly have free speech rights.”

    Turley glosses over an important point in this little quip. There is no law compelling private entities to adhere to free speech principles. He wants corporations to adhere to free speech principles because he thinks they should. Ironically that is essentially infringement of THEIR free speech rights. Corporations, companies and private individuals all have the right to conduct themselves according to their ideals and policies they believe are beneficial in meeting their goals. If a corporation, company, or private individual chooses to censor certain points of view or ideas it can legally do so because there’s nothing compelling them t adhere to free speech principles.

    Turley has this fantasy that he’s being somehow benevolent when he’s criticizing those who choose not to adhere to free speech principles for wherever reason. He doesn’t like the idea that it is even a choice to others. Turley censors speech on his own blog, speech that is protected under the first amendment is too much to bear on this blog. He uses the convenient excuse that is up to a third party app not because it’s his choice. That’s nifty cop-out.

    He may see free speech as a human right, but our own laws and constitution enforces that right in the most limited way possible. To only one entity, government. All others are not obligated to observe or adhere to it if they choose to.

    1. Svelaz, you conveniently leave out the part where the FBI was meeting with Twitter on a weekly basis. Your case for Twitter operating as a private entity might hold water if the federal government was not involved in Twitter’s decision making. This was censorship being imposed by the federal government through Twitter. As presented by the evidence, your private entity opposed to government censoring of free speech is deemed laughable now that we know that the government and Twitter were working hand and hand to block stories detrimental to the Biden Administration. When your argument is twisting in the wind you still continue to raise your torn and battered flag. Without shame.

      1. Svelaz, you conveniently leave out the part where the FBI was meeting with Twitter on a weekly basis,

        Meeting about what? Why in person? 6 agents flew to Silicone Valley, to meet in person…

        It is clear the meetings had to take place in person, else ways, recordings and emails, document exactly what was talked about.
        If this is all on the up and up, 100% legal and constitutional, there is no reason these meetings had to take place in person, every single week.
        All the employees at the tech companies were all tele comuting, but for some reason, they had to physically come into the office to meet with DC FBI agents. Even the agents in San Francisco could not meet in person…But that would add people in on the conspiracy.

        1. Iowan2, So you are assuming the very worst you can because you can’t fathom a reason why 6 FBI agents met in person with twitter staff. So absent any evidence you automatically claim they were colluding with twitter in what to censor.

          If this was 100% legal and nothing was wrong why would it be wrong that they meet in person? Is it only legal and 100% legit if they didn’t? Your argument makes on sense.

          You’re obviously jumping to conclusions based on the limited information you have.

          I wouldn’t go around trying to make that scenario fit your preconceptions about what was going on. It seems you WANT it to be true without evidence that it actually is.

          1. Svelaz, why the need for personal meetings3300 miles one way to share information? Information and communication that can easily take place across secure portals. Once maybe…but even that exhibits a reckless use of time and manpower.
            I have told you why. To do it online risks a documentary trail of exactly what the message and evidence actual used amounted to.

              1. What’s a reasonable alternative explanation?

                This isn’t a criminal court where all you have to do is poke enough holes for reasonable doubt. That travel is highly suspicious and hard to explain, except as a means to keep from producing documentation.

          2. We already know what the FBI told Facebook.

            All too soon we will have the receipts on what the FBI told Twitter.

            I would note that it does not matter what reason the FBI met with Twitter – there is no a constitutionally valid reason to do so.

            YOU have noted that Twitter is free to censor as they please.
            But government is NOT. Government is not even free to ask Twitter to censor others.

            There is almost nothing that happens on Social Media that is the actual legtimate business of the government.
            Certainly not for government to go beyond listening.
            There is very little speech that government can ask Twitter to censor.

            There really is no good reason for the FBI to meet with Twitter or other Social Media or media.

            Yes, people are jumping to conclusions. They ar jumping to the correct conclusions – that there is almost nothing the FBI could legitimate communicate to Twitter.

            If the FBI wishes to warn the public about potential Russian hackers – it can issue a public service announcement.

            There is nothing that FBIcan discuss with Twitter privately that they are not obligated to do publicly.

            Twitter is not part of the government – that is the entire point. The moment FBI treats twitter differently from the rest of the public,.
            The moment the FBI engages twitter secretly, it makes Twitter an agent of the government and subjects twitter and itself to the govenrments rules for free speech – not twitters TOS.

            The govenrment may not abridge or participate in abridging the rights of others indirectly – through third parties, even through suggestion, if it can not do the same directly.

      2. “ Svelaz, you conveniently leave out the part where the FBI was meeting with Twitter on a weekly basis.” So? That does not mean they were telling twitter why to do or ordering them to censor. It can also mean that they were discussing possible influencing by foreign governments which is a legitimate reason. The FBI can’t tell twitter what to do in regards to censoring certain content, but it can point out suspicious content that twitter still has to decide for itself whether to accept or reject the veracity of the information the FBI provides. All of that is not illegal. Unless you or anyone else has direct proof that the FBI was telling twitter what to censor and what not to censor there really is nothing to illegal about meeting on a daily basis. You are relying on suspicion as the basis to claim something illegal was going on without a scintilla of evidence.

        The government was not working hand in hand to censor free speech. You are assuming too much just from that one bit of information that the FBI was meeting with twitter on a daily basis. How come Elon did not publish exactly what was the FBI and twitter doing. Surely he has more files to make public on that topic. Don’t you think it’s odd that those files aren’t public?

    2. our own laws and constitution enforces that right in the most limited way possible. To only one entity, government. All others are not obligated to observe or adhere to it if they choose to.

      How sad, and what an admission. It used to be that liberals prided themselves on being defenders of free speech in every instance, even the ugly and unfortunate ones – the “inconvenient truths,” so to speak. But look here – a bald admission that to this person of the left (whom I will not call a liberal), free speech is only a “right” of citizens that is worthy of protection if the government violates it – and because we now know that the government in the person of the FBI was making its free speech suppression wishes known to a sympathetic corporation in the person of Twitter, not in a direct line from government to citizen, this person of the left is not even willing to admit that the violation had its roots in government.

      No, the important thing to this person of the left is… that a corporation that claims free press rights and privileges can be a publisher when it wants to be, suppressing free expression at the request of government (because it happens to agree with the request) without penalty, but without a publisher’s liability for what’s published.

      What this person of the left is comfortable with is government’s working with corporations to delude and benight citizens.

      But this person of the left would call the other side “fascist.”

  7. That there was at least some dissension in the ranks at the old Twitter over the censorship of the New York Post reporting about Biden Family influence peddling is encouraging to know, but I’m afraid not enough to stem the tide of the radical post-modern leftism that has long been eroding the shores of classical liberalism. Liberal democrats like Professor Turley may yet continue to argue for principles that were once universally shared by all democrats, but it becomes ever more evident they well may not succeed against what has become of the Democratic Party. Whether it is a majority of democrats who abide the radicalism or merely just those who shout the loudest, the same conclusion pertains: There soon may be no place left in the party for liberal democrats.

  8. Speaker in Waiting Hakim Jeffries just loves it that the Republicans are running down this rabbit hole instead of working on things that we real Americans care about such as
    — the infrastructure bill and the IRA (not saying there is anything wrong with either but spending on them needs to be watched the way Truman watched WWII spending) and
    — the Democratic Party freeze on U.S. fossil fuel mining/downstream operations and
    — the Covid lockdown/vaccine/etc. fiasco by both parties (and overall pandemic preparedness and public health policy) and
    — all the waste in Original Democratic Party Medicare (as documented yearly in the HHS AFS) and
    — all the taxpayer money being wasted on the Russian Civil War and
    — anything that has any relation to the Chicoms and
    — other things that affect real people outside the swamp

    Remember that 50% of we voters are neither right nor left and the more the crazy Republicans talk about old stuff like this and Afghanistan and Hillary’s server and Obama’s birth certificate and Mar A Lago, the better the Dems do. Did the GOP not see the results of the 2018, 2020 and 2022 elections?

    1. DB:

      “Speaker in Waiting Hakim Jeffries just loves it that the Republicans are running down this rabbit hole instead of working on things that we real Americans care about such as ….”
      *********************************
      Yeah, when the house in on fire most every fireman I know is grabbing the plunger to unclog the kitchen drain first because he wants to work on things “real Americans care about ….”

      1. It’s also as when someone on the town clowncil gets bent out of shape because their officer drove two blocks outside the city to rescue a person who was in great danger…bent out of shape because “he abandoned the city!”.

        Like I’ve said for years, “a victim does not care who her rescuer is.” Somehow politicians do.

    2. Lets see Dennis Byron, the right of the American people to see whether or not a politician is corrupt prior to an election is about a five or six on your list. The right of the people to hear what they need to hear to make an informed decision is about ten on your list of importance. You pose as a centralist while repeating all of the talking points of the left. We recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing when we see one. Fake post.

      1. I don’t even give it a two relative to the 2024 presidential or congressional elections and anyone that thinks that it matters is totally out of touch with America. Everyone in America had known about Hunter Biden and his influence peddling for years before the 2020 election (hint: there was a very well publicized and televised impeachment and trial about it) and anyone that cared even knew about his laptop — as irrelevant as it was/is — even if Twitter “supressed” a link to the story in the New York Post.

        The New York Post is like the fourth highest read newspaper in the United States; Twitter is a way people find out if the beach parking lot is full. What possibly makes you think that Twitter link made any freaking difference. Talk about NOT thinking it through

    3. Dennis Byron,
      While I do agree those points are important, the Dems assault on the 1stA, and a bunch of wokeism is a real concern for this voter.
      Unfortunately, I think next year there are going to be more pressing concerns at the kitchen table for the average American . . . like how much food is NOT on the table.

    4. You do realize Congress works on a multitude of things at once, right? I suspect if this behavior cut the other way, you’d feel the “need to know”.

      1. tootsie

        what do you mean by “cut the other way?” Please read my comment more carefully. I have no “way.”

    5. Very interesting.

      In fact, infrastructure, aka “…general Welfare…,” ALL (NOT SOME) WELL PROCEED, is the ONLY category that Congress has the power to tax for, aside from debt and common defense. Congress cannot tax for Medicare/Social Security which is not general, not ALL, but specific, individual and particular welfare, favor and charity – Congress has no legal basis to tax for that. Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional. Additionally, Congress has the power to regulate ONLY the value of money, commerce among the States (to preclude bias and favor by one over another) and land and naval Forces. “Freezes” on “fossil fuel mining/downstream operations etc.,” are unconstitutional regulation. Covid lock-downs constitute the unconstitutional and nonexistent “emergency powers, and unconstitutional denial of the freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise, etc. Congress may tax for common defense, as was stated earlier, and, without effective diplomatic and kinetic opposition, Russia, China, North Korea and Iran would drive over to your house and eat you.

      The Constitution provides maximal freedom to individuals while it severely limits and restricts government. You are free to negotiate and resolve “things that affect real people” on your own, on your own time, of your own volition, and in all the vastness and glory of your sweeping personal freedom as a free American.

      The American thesis is Freedom and Self-Reliance.

      The Communist thesis is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” or unconstitutional redistribution of wealth.

      See the difference, comrade?

      Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

      1. George, your comment seems to be addressed to me but does not seem to relate to my comment. However you are incorrect about what Congress can do relative to Social Security and Medicare… sorry, forget that… are you the guy that wants to impeach Lincoln post mortem?

        As for the Communist Manifesto…. huh????

    6. Remember that 50% of we voters are neither right nor left …..

      cite?

      IIRC, the usual metric has traditionally been 33%, 33%, 33%

      e.g.

      WASHINGTON, D.C. — The way Americans identify themselves ideologically was unchanged in 2021, continuing the close division that has persisted in recent years between those describing themselves as either conservative or moderate, while a smaller share identifies as liberal. On average last year, 37% of Americans described their political views as moderate, 36% as conservative and 25% as liberal.

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/388988/political-ideology-steady-conservatives-moderates-tie.aspx

      Im none of the above which really miffs my liberal / conservative friends, yet somehow we manage to be close friends.

      OTOH, Republicans are already having a food fight, with Andy Biggs of AZ and Max Gaetz of FL leading the slinging, as I recently predicted on here. The Republicans are a group of beta males. Nancy Pelosi either drugged her members, beat them or had political savviness in being able to get all Dems to vote in lock step. During the first two years when Trump was president, Republicans controlled both chambers and yet they could not come together to eliminate and replace ACA / Obama Care, curb federal spending, defund Planned Barrenhood, NPR, Dept of Education, Dept of Energy, and fix immigration. No wonder John Boehner and Paul Ryan gave up on their GOP caucus

      OTOH2, Americans could stop acting within political tribalism, focus on their nuclear family, distant family members, neighbors, coworkers and parishioners and act as if they wanted a healthy, functional society. One can dream

      1. Teh 2nd best thing that could happen to the country would be for the federal government to be unable to accomplish anything.

        The best would be to get rid of lost of the current nonsense.

  9. Speaking of “Fool Me Once …”: Michael Avenatti for President, 2044.

    After being sentenced to 168 months yesterday, tacked on to the 60 months he’d already received, 2044 will be the first presidential election for Avenatte to participate in after he gets out of PRISON. By the time he’s eligible for release, he’ll be one of the oldest baboons in the zoo, but still a spring chicken and an honest man compared with the fossilized racketeer currently festering in the White House.

    Fortunately (for me), I wasn’t one of the millions who were fooled by that fool, but here’s to the gullible, the stupid, and the dishonest people who were. God bless you all, and don’t go changin’. Earth wouldn’t be the same moronic circus without you.

    1. Stormy weather ahead. Doubt Mr. Avenatti will be fooling anybody for a while. Tough crowd.

      I suspect the top 50 national security officials + team Biden have gotten clean away with it. Buried on page 10. The GOP will concentrate on MAGA issues with the DNC + team Biden.

      *scope, scale and timing are all important in any election.. .

    2. John Meecham assured us all that Avenatti was the “savior of the republic.”

      And people still take Democrats seriously.

      1. You don’t have to go as far as Meecham to find someone who was promoting Avenatti as the second coming of Clarence Darrow:

        https://jonathanturley.org/2018/04/18/turley-and-avenatti-to-appear-at-gw-event/

        That’s actually what I was thinking of while posting my comment after reading the news yesterday about the additional 168 months that Avenatti got as an early Christmas present. There are some interesting comments in the comment section of that old Turley piece, and I was hoping the good professor might want to update Avenatti’s resume provided in that article.

  10. “They just freelanced” the hacking story.

    Notice how the dishonest ones hide their actual motives behind a smokescreen of woozy language.

    “Freelanced” = Lied.

    And why the lie? To rationalize influencing the election for Biden.

    Why is it so difficult for some to accept that which is painfully obvious?

    1. Why is it so difficult for some to accept that which is painfully obvious?

      Sam, I believe this author nails the answer to your question. Because that which is obvious, is not painful to them. What we conservatives accurately point out as the hypocrisy of the Left is measured by a standard the Left is absolutely oblivious to. To them, it’s all about the “ends.” And what ever “means” are necessary to get there is their standard.

      These moments are always difficult for conservatives, because with these major revelations of corruption, they always expect a price to be paid. The rules have been broken, the sacred trust of journalists revealing the truth has been infringed, the legitimacy of elections has been impacted; surely justice will follow. But that moment will not come, because the very class of people whom Americans rely on to hold the powerful accountable do not just agree with this decision, they fully endorse it. The left will drone on and on about the importance of democracy, write endless articles about the sacred duty of the press, but they only see these institutions as tools for the retention of power. Democracy is only valuable when it assures the advance of a left-wing agenda. Journalism is only valuable when it is destroying the enemies of the progressive movement. Any journalist revealing the corruption inside Twitter that led to the censorship of the Hunter Biden story is a traitor to the party who deserves to be discredited and discarded.
      https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/macintyre-twitter-files-reveal-left-will-win-any-cost

      1. “Because that which is obvious, is not painful to them.”

        That is very astute.

        On the issue of free speech: Since they do not value it, any threats to it do not cause them pain. While those of us who highly value free speech are outraged by these fascist machinations, those who not value free speech respond: “Ho, hum.”

        Thanks for the insights, Olly.

    2. Or this: 😉

      Insiders with both the DNC and the media announced they will continue to collude with each other as long as they get away with it, or until everyone stops listening to them — whichever comes first. “We will not stop doing this as long as it benefits us, and also we’re not doing it,” said the DNC spokesperson.

      At publishing time, the media and DNC had confirmed they would also be suppressing the story about their collusion to suppress the original collusion to suppress the news story.
      https://babylonbee.com/news/dnc-media-collude-to-suppress-story-about-dnc-media-colluding-to-suppress-story

      1. “. . . as long as they get away with it . . .”

        As with all criminals, their calculation is: Can we get away with it?

        It’s gotten to the point that with any Leftist story, proposal, legislation — I reach for my wallet.

        That’s no way to have to live, and it’s sad. On certain issues, I used to trust the Left (e.g., on certain topics, I would turn to the NYT). Not any more.

    3. “Why is it so difficult for some to accept that which is painfully obvious?”

      It’s not difficult for them to accept the goal: The ends justify the means. What never occurs to them is how others will one day use their own technique (or perhaps even worse) against them. That’s the ‘painfully obvious’ they never consider.

      1. What never occurs to them is how others will one day use their own technique (or perhaps even worse) against them.

        As Bezmenov pointed out, it will once they get the boot put on their necks.

        1. True, and has been mentioned before, they’ll have the nerve to act shocked and surprised when it does. I’m looking forward to witnessing that.

  11. The media’s neutrality masks came off long ago. If there is anything good to say about Trump, he drove them so crazy that they could no longer feign impartiality. By revealing their concerted efforts to censor and push real disinformation, Musk has fully disrobed them. And they don’t like the way they look.

  12. “The brilliance of the Biden campaign was to get the media to become invested in the suppression of the story.” Turley, do you think the media went kicking and screaming? Do you think they approached this “investment” with skepticism?

    “The effort to dismiss these disclosures will not work — any more than earlier efforts to suppress the story itself.” Have you ever said, “That is so dumb, it will never work,” and it showed up on the list of exit polls as one of the deciding factors for some voters. Modern politics reinforces the notion that if you repeat it (no matter how dumb “it” is) often enough, people will eventually believe it.

  13. The quote from Salon that Professor Turley referenced is from the following:

    There is nothing there other than a man making money by trading on his family name, which you might think would be an embarrassing issue for a family that literally sells its name to the highest bidder.

    The link has been archived in case the columnist realizes her reference to the illegal actions dick pics of Hunter and Joe Biden and cover her damning mistake.

    https://archive.ph/BcL0n

  14. “influence peddling is not necessarily a crime.” I shall disagree because when one sells political influence, regardless of party, one is essentially trading in stolen goods because political influence belongs to the public. In the corporate world, influence is derived form the job one holds, and unless one owns the company, influence is not one’s to trade.

    1. Interesting. If all influence peddling is a crime, then should we prosecute Trump for influence peddling?

      Just one example: https://apnews.com/article/travel-business-saudi-arabia-malaysia-15835346f75bc5f152a58842eb7c8609

      Of course, not all influence peddling is a crime. “Influence peddling” isn’t even a term with much of a defined meaning.

      Does De Santis contracting with a private company that donated to his campaign to ship Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard constitute “influence peddling”? Should he be prosecuted?

      Everyone does it. That doesn’t make it acceptable, but to suggest that all influence peddling is a crime is not only legally incorrect but completely unworkable as a concept in American politics.

      1. Biden’s influence peddling is a crime. He was selling America and pocketing the money. He didn’t sell private goods. There is no question about this but ATS wants to make arguments to deceive the reader. He fails. Trump sold private property, not America.

        Will Biden be convicted? Highly doubtful. Convictions are reserved for those not in power and not powerful.

        ATS wishes to say everyone does it, but that is not true. Most of this type of criminality is on the left and tied in with Biden, Obama and Clinton.

  15. It appears Fish Wings and Justice Holmes may have found someone else to harass, this from the tolerant Left

    / sarc

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11504121/CNN-boss-Chris-Licht-forced-hire-extra-security-gutted-hundreds-network-staff.html

    CNN boss Chris Licht was ‘forced to hire extra security posted outside his 17th floor corporate office’ after he gutted hundreds of the network’s staff – as ‘big-name anchors now hunt for new jobs to salvage their careers’

    CNN CEO Chris Licht reportedly hired extra security to stand outside a conference room and follow him around after cutting network staff

  16. Turley wrote also daily how Hillary’s e-mails were to be the end of the world for her. Turley also wrote that the Durham investigation would expose everything, and right Trump’s ship. Now he’s pounding Hunter’s laptop in hopes he can get a least something right. His false assertion about how someone, somewhere is trying to take away free speech, which is nothing more than a right-wing dog whistle. And in previous cases, Turley changes the topic when nothing happens. Expect the same from Turley when again, his arguments fail.

  17. Dear Prof Turley,

    Fool me once .. . can’t get fooled again. ~ G.W. Bush

    >”Indeed, the Wall Street Journal has noted that it turns out that the greatest purveyors of disinformation turned out to be former intelligence officials who worked to kill the story before the election as “Russian disinformation.” The public seems to be following the old adage “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”” ~ Story

    Unfortunately, you can fool some of the people all of the time. Clearly, the Twitter executives were willing surrogates in the censoring of The Laptop, and those people probably still are. Willing. Dupes.

    Apart from the 50 top national security officials + team Biden, the Question remains: why is the FBI still ‘probing these questions’?

    *also you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.’ ~ honest Abe

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