Now they’ve done it.
In the category of playing it too cute by half, Facebook and Twitter, both of which made a point of silencing The New York Post bombshell about e-mails from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, have now opened themselves to a blunt charge of violating campaign contribution laws.
Here’s the headline from Fox: “RNC files FEC complaint against Twitter, claims company made ‘illegal in-kind contribution’ to Biden campaign.”
The story said:
“EXCLUSIVE: The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Friday filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the censorship of the New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings and former Vice President Joe Biden’s alleged knowledge of those dealings amounts to an “illegal corporate in-kind political contribution” to the Biden campaign, Fox News has learned.”
And shortly after this was reported came this …ahhhhh…Twitter policy change. Here’s the headline from The Washington Times: “Twitter changes policies after criticism for restricting anti-Biden content. ‘Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy,’ CEO Jack Dorsey said.”
This jewel of a “hand caught in the cookie jar” story says this:
“Twitter changed its ‘hacked materials policy’ in response to mounting criticism after the policy was enforced against users sharing anti-Biden content online…. Twitter is no longer redirecting users away from the news publication’s Wednesday story.
…Vijaya Gadde, Twitter legal, policy and trust & safety lead, said Thursday evening that the company is ‘no longer limited to Tweet removal as an enforcement action’ and may choose instead to apply labels to tweets the company deems inappropriate.
‘We believe that labeling Tweets and empowering people to assess content for themselves better serves the public interest and public conversation,’ Ms. Gadde tweeted on Thursday. ‘The Hacked Material Policy is being updated to reflect these new enforcement capabilities.’”
Not to be rude but, as kids would say, “well….duh!”
Let’s cut to the chase here.
What America has just seen displayed by Facebook and Twitter is the umpteenth example of leftist state media bias, carried out to the max.
It is the ultimate example of what happens when the left-wingers who live in their own liberal bubble are literally clueless about how they have allowed their lefty politics to lead them down a path of extremism. Led them to the point that they are completely willing to censor and silence a major American newspaper’s decidedly major scoop — all for the self-evident reason of protecting the liberal candidate of the moment — Joe Biden.
Let’s take a moment and visit the Federal Election Commission’s site and their definition of “in kind contributions.” With bold print for emphasis supplied. It reads as follows:
“An in-kind contribution is a non-monetary contribution. Goods or services offered free or at less than the usual charge result in an in-kind contribution. Similarly, when a person or entity pays for services on the committee’s behalf, the payment is an in-kind contribution. An expenditure made by any person or entity in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign is also considered an in-kind contribution to the candidate.
The value of an in-kind contribution—the usual and normal charge—counts against the contribution limit as a gift of money does. Additionally, like any other contribution, in-kind contributions count against the contributor’s limit for the next election, unless they are otherwise designated.”
What Facebook and Twitter handed the Biden campaign was a “non-monetary contribution.” No money changed hands. The biggest thing the Biden campaign needed – and needed urgently – was to somehow silence the explosive Post story as best it could. Pre-social media, the only way a campaign could do that was convince the newspaper in question the story was false and persuade it not to publish the story. Or, if that failed, to mount a serious public relations offensive that accused the story of being false or dismissed its importance.
Think back for a moment to the Watergate story. After the initial break-in by Nixon campaign operatives at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, then-White House press secretary Ron Ziegler dismissed the allegation of a Nixon-tie in by calling the break-in a “third-rate burglary attempt” that wasn’t worth any further comment.
What Nixon did not do — could not do — was literally silence The Washington Post by cancelling the subscriptions of the paper’s subscribers or impound the paper’s printing presses. (In fact, earlier in the administration Nixon had in fact tried to prevent the publication of the Pentagon Papers, taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court. He famously failed and the presses of both The Washington Post and The New York Times kept rolling with the story.)
But that was the 20th century. Social media did not exist. It does now, arguably, in the 21st century, dominating not only America but the world. And the surest way to silence social media is the obvious one — when the Lords of Silicon Valley silence themselves.
Make no mistake. As this is written there is much talk that there is more to come on the Hunter Biden e-mails story. But almost as big a story — if not a story with longer lasting consequences — is of the behind-the-scenes use of Facebook and Twitter in making a contribution in-kind — a massive contribution in-kind — to a presidential campaign by silencing an unfavorable story that has already been published elsewhere.
Which, in this 21st century world, would indeed appear to count as an “in-kind” contribution.
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