The Media/Democrat Complex Strikes Big Tech

Ben Shapiro, June 13, 2019

This week, The New York Times ran a massive piece detailing the supposed radicalization of one Caleb Cain. Cain moved from political liberalism toward self-ascribed "tradcon" status from watching YouTube videos. The New York Times charted this nefarious move by following those videos. The suggestion by The Times was simple: If you watch typical conservative content hosted by people like me, you will eventually end up watching material hosted by alt-right figures. The only solution, presumably, would be for YouTube to downgrade material The Times dislikes.

This attitude isn't only springing from The Times. Axios chief technology correspondent Ina Fried grilled Google CEO Sundar Pichai over the weekend, essentially demanding that YouTube do something to marginalize videos Fried dislikes. Vox ran a full-scale propaganda campaign last week to get conservative comedian Steven Crowder kicked off YouTube for the great sin of making offensive jokes about one of Vox's columnists. Taking their cues from Democratic leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, various media outlets have spent years suggesting that Facebook's unwillingness to censor political materials led to Hillary Clinton's unjustifiable 2016 presidential defeat.

And it's not just targeting big tech companies. The far-left organization Media Matters for America routinely leads boycott attempts against advertisers who deign to sponsor conservative programs -- even if those advertisers sponsor a wide variety of political programming. Pseudojournalists from organizations like Vox and Huffington Post spend their days calling advertisers for comment on various controversial statements by right-wing hosts from Tucker Carlson to Laura Ingraham to Sean Hannity. Their goal isn't to follow the news but to generate a wave of advertiser-pullout announcements likely to do damage to those conservative hosts.

Such censoriousness is rarely, if ever, practiced on the political right. YouTube and Facebook and Twitter are never targeted by conservatives over their unwillingness to shut down opposing points of view; they're criticized for their willingness to kowtow to the political left and its demands for speech suppression. Advertisers on left-wing programming can speak freely, secure in the knowledge that conservatives won't be calling them up to rip them for sponsoring shows like Rachel Maddow's.

That's good. That's how it should be. But for members of the political left, it isn't.

There are two reasons for that. The first is obvious: Those on the political left long ago abandoned the traditional liberal notion that those who disagree have a right to speak. Instead, they must be deplatformed and their advertisers punished, lest their nefarious ideas spread and metastasize. "Repressive tolerance," in the parlance of Herbert Marcuse, has become a mainstay of left-wing thinking.

The other reason is far more cynical: Many in the media want a regeneration of the monopolistic media control of the past. They long for the days when everyone consumed mainstream product to the exclusion of alternative sources. It's no coincidence that YouTube and Facebook have been touting their elevation of "authoritative" news in recent years -- they're looking to appease a ravenous media eager to tear them down.

The media and Democrats have picked the right target: The lords of Big Tech are eager to please and frightened of blowback. They're political liberals who can be intimidated into censorship while being simultaneously assured that they're making the world a better place.

They aren't. All it would take for this censorious moment to end would be a little backbone: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter announcing that they won't censor people unless those people violate actual First Amendment principles like incitement and libel; advertisers announcing that they won't pull their dollars based on astroturfed pressure tactics. But backbone is in short supply. And the glut of intimidation won't relax anytime soon.

NBC Names Debate Moderators -- or Celebrators

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham, June 13, 2019

The first Democratic presidential debates are scheduled for NBC and MSNBC on June 26 and 27. The Comcast-owned networks have just announced a team of five moderators for the 20 candidates who are allowed to participate, or one moderator per four contenders. Let's review this tilted team of liberal journalists/activists.

1. Rachel Maddow is a leftist, Trump-hating Russiagate conspiracy theorist. She ended her last turn as a debate moderator by hugging both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. When this was mocked, she promised she would also hug Republicans if they would let her moderate a debate. This is never going to happen. Maddow's show has been a hot spot in recent months for easy, positive publicity for Democratic presidential candidates ... and Hillary Clinton ... and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. You get the pretty picture.

2. Lester Holt was a one-sided disaster as a moderator between Donald Trump and Clinton in the fall of 2016. Holt asked Trump about stop-and-frisk policies and then challenged his answer. He hammered Trump about the Obama birther issue and then challenged his answer. He asked Trump about Iraq and then interrupted and challenged him more than five times. But there was not one single, solitary challenge of anything Hillary Clinton said. In fact, there were no questions about Benghazi or The Clinton Foundation or anything scandalous. The New York Times loved it. Say no more.

3. Chuck Todd has interviewed Sanders umpteen times in the last five years and has never disclosed that the direct-mail fundraising firm run by his wife, Kristian Denny Todd, earned almost $1.5 million from Sanders' 2016 campaign, as reported by This is a clear conflict of interest, and Todd should recuse himself from any such discussion. But Todd doesn't think that's worth mentioning, just like he thinks you shouldn't mention the reported cozy dinner party and cocktail hour at his house in 2015 that honored then-Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri. Transparency is a one-way street. The public doesn't have a right to know.

4. We best remember Savannah Guthrie for assisting sleazy author Joe McGinniss on the "Today" show in 2011 as he uncorked a pile of unproven sex and cocaine rumors about former Gov. Sarah Palin. Like her pal Chuck Todd, Guthrie has a spouse who works in Democrat circles. Michael Feldman spent the 1990s as an aide to Al Gore and then became a Hollywood consultant who helped Gore push his "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary.

5. Jose Diaz-Balart, a news anchor on the NBC-owned Spanish-language network Telemundo, might be painted as the centrist here, since his brothers are a Republican congressman and a Republican former congressman from Florida. But on air, Telemundo fiercely editorializes against any policy restraining illegal immigration. To oppose it is smeared as "anti-immigrant." For example, Diaz-Balart reported on May 30 (in Spanish), "The private wall that is being built by an anti-immigrant group at the border has sparked a wave of repudiation, both from area activists as well as residents."

This is all par for the course for Comcast, whose chief lobbyist David Cohen hosted a fundraiser in late April for front-runner Joe Biden in Philadelphia. Biden proclaimed to the audience that the moral fabric of America is being "shredded" by President Trump, and that as president he would work to "restore the American creed." The fabric that's been shredded here is the notion that NBC or MSNBC can be perceived by anyone with a brain wave as neutral moderators in our political debates.

Editors Corner 

I attended the Locust City Council meeting last night and listen to mostly Stanfield residents living on Elm Street bashing the planned Elem Street Project complaining about the traffic and crime and the loss of wild Turkeys and Deer.  Well guest what people get use to it because a planned community is coming on Big Lick Road within throwing distance of Elm Street. Moss Creek a new subdivision is planned and the Town of Stanfield has signed off on it. Do you think for one minute these Moss Creek home owners are going to Stanfield and make a left turn on Big Lick Road to go home? Not! they will come straight down Elm Street to Big Lick Road.  We know whats coming to Oakboro so get ready for more new subdivisions in Western Stanly County.