Tony Perkins / Oct. 17, 2020

A Big Tech Suppress Story

All Twitter has done is make the accusations about Biden's dirty dealings more credible.

Rule #1 of Crisis PR: If you want to discredit a story, don’t try to cover it up. Obviously, that advice never made it to Facebook and Twitter, because when the bombshell broke about Hunter Biden’s emails Wednesday, both companies panicked. Instead of letting the news cycle play out, they made a desperate move — blocking the New York Post’s articles and locking down the accounts of anyone trying to share them. But unfortunately for them, rather than stopping the story, Big Tech became the story.

At best, the American people suspected Twitter was in the tank for the Biden campaign. By Wednesday evening, the company had removed all doubt. In one of the worst miscalculations of this election cycle, Jack Dorsey’s platform didn’t succeed in smothering the doubts about Hunter Biden’s corruption, they managed to confirm them. As Dana Loesch pointed out when her own account was shut down, all Twitter has done is make the accusations about his dirty dealings more credible. “I wasn’t even sure whether or not I believed how the laptop came to light, but the way that Big Tech is reacting only makes it look more [believable].”

This all came about, the Post explains, when someone dropped Hunter’s laptop off to a computer repair shop in the spring of 2019. Months later, when no one retrieved it, the owner started going through the hard-drive and stumbled on a string of political stunners — emails that suggested Vice President Joe Biden had met with the Ukrainian officials he’s claimed he had no contact with, questionable “business arrangements” with foreign leaders (including China), lewd photos of Hunter, and other proposals that would amount to big payouts for the Biden family.

Frantic to apparently keep the details from upending the presidential race, Twitter and Facebook started blocking shares and posts. When that didn’t work, they started suspending people’s accounts, including the White House staff, House GOP, Republican members of Congress, and conservative commentators. They all got the same message — that Twitter had deemed the link “potentially harmful.” Oh, it was harmful all right — to Biden’s credibility, his campaign, and any scrap of confidence people had left in these platforms. Because as awful as these revelations are, the suppression of speech is actually worse. If Americans can’t trust the media (and record numbers don’t), then these open forums are their only hope for free expression and debate. But obviously, as Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and others point out, there’s nothing “open” about them.

“Big Tech has spoken,” Cotton stated. “You will see and read only what it finds politically acceptable.” Then in a shot across the bow, he warned, “Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest of you: If you want to act like publishers, we will treat you like publishers.” That shoe may have dropped Thursday morning when Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced that the Judiciary Committee will be voting to subpoena Twitter’s Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for election interference. “This looks like an in-kind campaign contribution to the Joe Biden campaign,” Hawley argued. “It reeks. These tech companies… want to control what we read. They want to control the news. And we just can’t let them.”

On the House side, plenty of Republican members are up in arms, including Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who worries Big Tech may be trying to rig the election. He called for an immediate investigation, insisting to Attorney General William Barr that these platforms have violated their “immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.” If they want to censor free speech and “curtail Americans’ access to a free press,” then they should be held liable for it. “I also urge the DOJ to consider removing Section 230 immunity for social media platforms that engage in political content moderation.”

Twitter’s Dorsey, meanwhile, offered a half-hearted apology, saying his company’s decision-making “wasn’t great.” Wasn’t great? Try criminal! In a country where the media is already a sewer of lies, spin, and disinformation, the last thing Americans need is another platform that calls itself “neutral” but only gives a voice to one side of the debate. No one is fooled. As the NRO editors point out, “Over the past five years there have been scores of dramatic scoops written by major media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN that were based on faulty information provided by unknown sources that turned out to be incorrect… Not once did it censor any of those pieces.” It’s even more astounding when you consider the last four years of coverage, where every lie about Trump is treated like fact and every phony conspiracy grounds for impeachment.

At the end of the day, Big Tech’s cover-up backfired. More Americans know about Hunter’s shady dealings than if Twitter and Facebook hadn’t gotten involved. And, more importantly, they understand exactly what they’re up against now that the Democratic operatives behind the world’s largest platforms have been exposed for the political hacks they are.

Originally published here.

Ballots 2020: Going Postal Has Its Downsides

It was an unexpected headline, especially from the New York Times. Biden, it warned, “is not out of the woods.” Democrats may not be prematurely celebrating to the level of Hillary Clinton in 2016, but the stories about potential Cabinet picks and wildly lopsided poll numbers have eerie similarities to four years ago. The result, the Times warns, may also bear an uncanny resemblance. The bottom line? Don’t go measuring the White House’s drapes just yet.

Like FRC Action’s Matt Carpenter, the Times is paying close attention to the voter registration numbers. The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman, they point out, says that “Republicans have swamped Democrats in adding new voters to the rolls, a dramatic GOP improvement over 2016… Florida, since the state’s March primary, added 195,652 Republicans and 98,362 Democrats. Pennsylvania, since June, Republicans plus 135,619, Democrats up 57,985. North Carolina, since March, Republicans up 83,785 to Democrats 38,137. In Arizona, the exception, "Democrats out-registered Republicans 31,139 to 29,667” in recent months.

Also worrisome for liberals, Thomas Edsall notes, is that Biden is getting weaker among Hispanic Catholics and African-American women. Combined with the strong support for Trump among evangelical Christians, and the election just got a lot more interesting than the major polling houses are telling us.

Another thing to watch, political strategists are realizing, is this whole mail-in voting scheme. While states race to put out ballot fraud fires and other election errors, some Democrats are starting to worry that this push for voting remotely could backfire. While the headlines about general incompetence are troubling — 28,879 voters in Pennsylvania were sent the wrong ballots this week — that’s just a microcosm of the bigger problem.

This heavy reliance on mail-in ballot also exposes another vulnerability for the Left, Newsweek’s Jonathan Tobin argues, and that’s the number of votes that will be incorrectly cast and automatically disqualified. “Democrats may believe that moving to mail-in ballots expands the electorate and increases their vote totals. Yet by making themselves so dependent on absentee rather than in-person voting, they have also made themselves vulnerable to having a significant proportion of their votes go uncounted.” It’s not just that ballots go missing (as more than 28 million have since 2012), it’s that the ones that do arrive are ruled ineligible.

“A study published in USA Today showed that in 2016 as many as 315,651 ballots were rejected by authorities nationwide. Given the closeness of the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton, in which fewer than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin gave Trump his Electoral College victory, that’s a significant number. The authors point out that the number of rejected ballots in 2020 could be as high as 1,030,700, given the higher number of votes cast by mail. But they admit that the actual number could be higher still, since the vast majority of those availing themselves of the opportunity to vote by mail will be doing so for the first time.”

That’s especially troubling for Democrats, who are twice as likely to vote by mail-in ballot than Republicans (40 percent to 20 percent). Adding to those woes, a number of researchers say that Democratic voters “seem to be more likely than Republicans to make the sorts of mistakes that could disqualify their ballots. "Any ballot sent in with the wrong address or name — rather than a corrected one that we’re told voters will eventually receive — won’t be counted. Ballots wrongly marked "military” will be counted, but many citizens won’t use them. This could result in widespread disenfranchisement.“

Even states, Tobin writes, that have been doing all mail-in voting for years still reject about 1 in every 100 ballots. in an election that will almost certainly be decided by razor-thin margins, that’s a frightening thought for either side — but especially, more headlines are starting to suggest, the Left. Democrats wanted to exploit the pandemic and change the voting system for good. But increasingly, the message is this: Be careful what you wish for.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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