Trish Regan: The media, the Left, they’re all out for revenge. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of American Consequences With Trish Regan. I am Trish, and my goodness, to hear the media talk… well, they’re pretty convinced not only do we need to be programmed, well, apparently Joe Biden and his administration are the first to do everything.
Male: So let’s talk about Biden’s team… diverse, as he promised.
Female: There are a lot of firsts in the Biden cabinet.
Female: Biden forging ahead, revealing a list of historic cabinet picks.
Male: Historic appointments.
Male: Historic appointments.
Female: More historic nominations.
Female: Historic nomination.
Female: The first openly gay American to his cabinet and Native American to his cabinet posts, the first Latino to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Female: She will be the first woman to serve as DNI.
Male: Regan would be the first Black man to lead that agency.
Male: The first transgender person.
Male: The first –
Female: The first –
Female: The first –
Female: The first Native American ever.
Male: Are we going to see the president perhaps push to have a minority person in the secretary of labor?
Male: Latino leaders are pushing to have five Latino cabinet members in the new Biden administration. So far he’s only named one.
Female: We take a look by the numbers at Biden’s diverse cabinet picks.
Female: He’s tapped at least six Black officials.
Female: Two AAPI people.
Female: This would add another Latino.
Female: Two white men.
Male: Four women.
Trish Regan: OK, OK, OK, we get the point. Apparently he’s like the second coming. This is the messiah. I am joined right now by my good friend, Dan Gainor, from the Media Research Center, who works to keep the media accountable, which means he’s going to be working overtime these days for the next four years.
Dan Gainor, welcome. Good to have you here.
Dan Gainor: Oh, it’s great to be here. Thanks, Trish. It’s always good to talk to you.
Trish Regan: Well, I was just saying you really are going to have to be working hard right now because you’ve got to keep these guys accountable. I know it’s what you guys do at Media Research Center.
But when I hear the gushing, the fawning, it is very clear the Left, this is their moment, right? The Leftist media, this is their time to I guess do some kind of victory lap.
But I just question, Dan, whether the entire point and purpose of the media, which is to look critically at the administration’s policies and what’s being proposed and suggested, has that gotten lost?
Dan Gainor: Oh, they blew it up. It’s totally destroyed. The press now operates more like Pravda in the old Soviet Union where they must celebrate everything about the administration and attack its enemies, and they did the exact reverse for Trump.
It was amazing as we head into the Biden administration and all this push now, the fully push of unity, as Biden rams through 19 executive orders, and Trump did one in this time period. The push from the media is like, “Oh, well, he’s got to go further Left.”
And then you look back at 2001, when you had an equally contested election and a narrow division of Congress, and the media did exactly the opposite. They stressed that George W. Bush should hire liberal people and reach across the aisle. I wonder why it’s inconsistent. I am just baffled.
Trish Regan: Well, we know. I was talking to someone about this the other idea because I look at it, and perhaps I’m too much of a purist. I say the role of a journalist – now, by the way, we all have our opinion, and you know my opinion. I wear it on my sleeve. I’m all about lower taxes and less regulation to help our economy be what it should, and I make that clear to people.
But I still nonetheless try to look at things critically, and I see the role of journalists as being one to really hold people and administrations accountable and to try to their best to come at things with a lack of bias.
And yet we know where the bias now is in the Leftist media. I question why is that? Is it because this is just how it’s been since the days of Watergate, or is this something else, perhaps big corporate interests?
Look, I think Jeff Zucker, for example, over at CNN was not going after Trump within a vacuum, right? You think about Bloomberg as another example, actually a place I used to work where I was pretty horrified to see that they had suppressed their reporters’ ability, 5,000 reporters around the globe, to do anything negative on Democrats during the election.
To me, that really speaks more of advocacy, if you would, instead of journalism. Your thoughts?
Dan Gainor: Well, I think Watergate taught journalists all the wrong things. It taught them that they could not take down a president of the United States, it taught them they could take down a Republican president of the United States. And the people who went into journalism learned that.
And then when social media hit, the Internet was bad enough for journalists, but when social media hit, it has sort of a feedback loop that encourages you to speak your mind and snark about things. Journalists just took off all the masks and just revealed who they really were. They followed liberals. They interacted with liberals. They espoused liberal positions to the point where it’s just totally obvious who they were.
And then Trump arrived, and that was it. Any pretense, even people like Jake Tapper, who had tried at least somewhat to look at least marginally neutral on certain topics, all gone out the window. He completely became a Leftist troll on Twitter to the point where he’s bashing a member of Congress who lost both legs fighting for the United States, and he accuses him of sedition.
Trish Regan: Wow. So let’s get at that then. They have now been unmasked effectively. We know their biases. They then go after the conservative media with such venom. It’s almost as though the conservative media and the liberal media have become two parties, the Democrats and the Republicans.
There’s an attack going on there, for example, as you watch CNN now try and put new Newsmax, OAN, and Fox News out of business.
Dan Gainor: Yeah. Unfortunately it’s not so much two parties. It’s more like the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia by comparison to power, the Leftist media so much more powerful than the media on the Right. And the Left has decided they want to shut down any opposition.
There’s a very clear reason why the media people want this. You have to go back really to the 1970s, when everything that the media said was law. That’s it. They were the complete arbiters of everything going on in the world.
And then you’ve got the Washington Times and then Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and talk radio and then the Internet, and they lost the narrative. They no longer were the ones in control.
It used to be so bad that the top couple political reporters determined what the president of the United States said in a quote. Now we’ve got video everywhere and audio everywhere, and that doesn’t happen. They’re no longer the arbiters of facts, as they wanted it.
They must be, because they hate that anybody else has – if you remember this term became popular during the Trump administration, “alternative facts.” But alternative facts exist. They’re the whole essence of journalism.
An unemployment report comes out, and you can either focus on the big number for the whole country or focus on what it means specifically to one group. That’s what you mean by “alternative facts.” “OK, well, it’s great for the country, but maybe this minority group or that minority group is not good.”
The media don’t like that. They don’t like anybody else setting the narrative, so they’re shutting it down.
Trish Regan: It’s such an interesting point. We’re talking right now with Dan Gainor. You should follow him on Twitter, @dangainor, really interesting tweets from him.
He’s holding the media accountable right now, which is something that you don’t see done from the side of conservatives very often because, to his point, it’s like the USSR, what did you say, and Czechoslovakia. I like that analogy. I may have to borrow that.
Dan Gainor: It didn’t turn out real well for Czechoslovakia, either.
Trish Regan: You’ve got a lot of people on the right warning of this. I think it’s interesting that Tulsi Gabbard actually has come out and warned of this very issue on the Left as well. She’s been saying basically you need to be aware of these people like Adam Schiff and John Brennan and Big Tech, that in many ways they’re more dangerous say than the rioters on Capitol Hill. That’s a new quote from Tulsi Gabbard.
What do you think of that? Is there truth in that?
Dan Gainor: Oh, there’s absolute truth in that because the rioters on Capitol Hill weren’t seizing power from a democracy. Yes, I know we’re a republic, but you know what I mean.
The danger from Big Tech is so bad that the leaders of Germany and Mexico were upset when Trump was deplatformed. Think about that. These are not exactly countries that were fond of Trump or the Trump presidency. But they recognize that Big Tech has grown too powerful, and it is now jeopardizing our ability to have not just free elections anywhere in the world, but to have freedom anywhere in the world.
We have seen this during COVID-19. It’s no longer just what you say online. We live our entire lives online. We go to work, and we go to school. Unfortunately too many kids go to school, but blame unions. We sell. We buy. We even worship. We interact with our government.
And if they can shut us down and say, “We’re going to deplatform you. We’re going to do what Google did to conservative organizations back in July and flip the switch and knock you off Google’s search for 92% of the world for a few hours,” well, then they’re the ones in charge, not government.
Trish Regan: Yeah, that’s pretty messed up, and it’s pretty frightening. That is the place in which we’re at right now, Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, being the latest to get quite ceremoniously kicked off of Twitter. We know of course the president was kicked off. To your point, world leaders, including Angela Merkel out of Germany, expressing concern about that.
Let me go back to this because I say, OK, we have a private marketplace, right? So why is it that we don’t see more conservative or fair-minded or free alternatives to Facebook, to Twitter, to CNN springing up all over the place?
Dan Gainor: Well, money. I think there are a couple of reasons. One, conservatives tend to invest in things they’re sure are going to make money. Liberals don’t care because they don’t devote so much money to church. Their church is politics.
So they’ll found a Huffington Post, which now has lost its power, but they don’t care. They’ll move on to something else. They’ll found something else. Their politics comes out in everything they do. Conservatives want to make money. That’s part of it.
And then we saw with Parler, even when a company does that, the danger now is that the dominant players of Big Tech are the most powerful companies in the history of humanity. We’re talking Amazon, Facebook, Google. These are companies that effectively can shut you down, and Apple as well.
Apple and Google kicked Parler off the app stores. The thing is between the two of them, they control the app stores. You can call them an oligopoly, but Parker Brothers didn’t make the game “Oligopoly.” So let’s just call them a monopoly. They’re a monopoly.
Then Parler still existed, though, but it had its massive data stored on Amazon. And then the Leftist employees of Amazon demanded that the company shut them down, too. So they got kicked off in the middle of the night by the guy who owns the company the Washington Post, whose slogan is “Democracy dies in darkness.” I guess it does.
Trish Regan: Let me ask you about this. Do you think that Parler was made a bit of an example of? Because I’ve seen some pretty atrocious stuff on Twitter. In fact, you know what, I’ve kind of scaled back on my social media because I don’t like Twitter. I find it to be such a hateful place.
Maybe it’s I just wasn’t interacting in the same way. I’m going to blame myself here. But I did not see that kind of hate on Parler. I did see some very horrible particular instances that were cited, and this is what they were able to use to argue against Parler. But I bet if you looked hard, you would have found the exact same stuff on Facebook and Twitter.
So I don’t think it should be really anywhere where you have such tremendous, heinous hate or people that are trying to orchestrate violence of some sort, let’s be very clear. But let’s also be clear that the rules kind of need to apply to everyone, and if antifa is gathering on Facebook or Twitter, I don’t see how that’s somehow overlooked in this process.
Was Parler the scapegoat?
Dan Gainor: Yeah, absolutely it was. You can find worse stuff on Facebook and Twitter, and even according to the press accounts the Capitol Hill riot was organized more on those platforms than it was on Parler. But those are run by Leftists, so they weren’t shut down. They are not trying to be free speech locations, so they were shut down.
What we’ve got now is a situation where the rules are simply never applied equally. You look at the awful things that have been said to Dana Loesch on Twitter. They’re monumentally heinous. And yet the threats she gets and the awful things are almost never taken down on Twitter. They all violate terms of service, but they are not taken down.
So I think one of the big problems here in antifa organizing on these platforms, these Leftist companies don’t obey their own Leftist terms of service. They hide behind Section 230, which protects them, but it may not be a blanket protection for things like that.
But ultimately they’re so big they’re impossible to fight. When you look and realize Google tried to launch its own social media and couldn’t compete with Facebook, how are we supposed to do it?
Trish Regan: Yeah, and there’s kind of a groupthink. I’ve seen it. I’ve been a victim of it myself where there is this kind of hate that’s just thrown at you. It feels very orchestrated. It’s not organic. I’m sorry, it’s just not.
I’ll give you a great example. I insulted Denmark. Be careful. Do not insult the Danes because I compared – not really. I didn’t actually compare Denmark’s economy to Venezuela. But my point was socialism is never ideal, right, even in Denmark, which is considered the panacea of socialism and obviously a very different kind of socialism than you see in Venezuela.
But nonetheless, my point being that they were uttered in the same breath, and the Danes went nuts. There was this massive – and they had ambassadors, Dan, from around the world. They engaged in a massive attack on me, and I couldn’t check my Twitter feed for seven months without getting some more really disgusting hate from the Danes.
And then of course when I said and was one of the first to say, and clearly I was right, that they had politicized coronavirus, well, once again the hate came out this time on this side of the pond with the Left.
And so I see what they do on Twitter, and it’s a kind of bullying that’s one-way. That strikes me as extremely unfair. I’m kind of at the point where who the heck needs it, social media in general?
Dan Gainor: Well, I’ve been calling social media “anti-social media” for I think a decade or more, and I think you well described it there. And it’s interesting. There were two incidents of what you’d call “cancel culture” where the Left get caught up in social media incidents in the last week.
The Niskanen Center, ostensibly libertarian, but Left-leaning libertarian, made what I think he intended to be a joke about hanging Mike Pence. That cost him his job. Lauren Wolfe at the New York Times commented that she had chills about the Biden plane landing at Andrews Air Force Base, and she was gone.
And the Left is furious because suddenly they realized that the sword has two edges, not one, and it’s being wielded against them as well. We live in this weird culture now where you can literally say one thing that’s misinterpreted, and your career is over.
For those who remember the Internet, there was a young woman who made an awful joke who was flying to South Africa several years back, and by the time she arrived in South Africa her life was ruined. She had lost her job, her career was wrecked, etc., all because of a joke that people took wrong.
The New York Times highlighted recently just a vicious – somebody didn’t like that a young girl had used the N-word basically from a song. He saved this video until she got to college age, and he deployed it to ruin her.
Trish Regan: The best advice for young people right now is don’t even go near it. Maybe we as a market-driven society need to recognize that. Look, I’m in the public eye. You’re in the public eye. I can handle it. I can take it, as can you.
But if you’re a private individual, the minute you go onto one of these platforms in such a public way, you never know how something is going to spin out of control. So my advice to everybody would be stay the H-E-L-L away from this stuff.
Maybe read it if you’re looking to seek some perspective and some news, but to engage in it so directly, you’re making yourself so vulnerable. I hate to say that because you’re telling people not to have a voice at the table. But it’s just so scary how it can get misconstrued. If you don’t have the platform to fight back against that, then you could be toast.
Dan Gainor: You mentioned bullying earlier, and I think it’s really the world we’re all living in now. If you remember during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement last year, there was a day where – it was a Blackout day where you were supposed to post a completely black image on Instagram.
All sorts of young people did this, and they were pressured by their friends. If they did this and then did not follow with a sufficient number of pro-Black Lives Matter comments, then they got bullied by their friends about that, or if you dared disagree.
So we’re living in a world where the same kind of mobbing that happened in the Chinese cultural revolution now happens at the speed – the electronic speed of light.
Trish Regan: Salem witch trials, where we point a finger, and then the whole chorus of community jumps on board. It’s really messed up.
Let me turn to these shutdowns with you because, well, the lockdowns seem to be over. Gavin Newsom, Lord Newsom, as I call him, and King Cuomo, in New York and California, they’re saying, “OK, that’s done.” Cuomo making the point that we need to have something to come back to.
Dan Gainor, am I just being overly suspicious or sensitive when I say it’s amazing that these places are able to open up within the same week of their guy taking control of the White House? Chicago saying, “Come one, come all, to the bars on Saturday night,” after having been locked down for months.
Dan Gainor: They didn’t obey the science the first time, and they’re not obeying the science the second time. If you look at the rest of the world that didn’t just elect a Democrat, much of the rest of the world is locking down still because they’re afraid about the new variants of the virus.
Now I was against the lockdowns before, so I’m not going to be upset that they’re opening up now. But they’re doing so in a blatant political move, and no one in the press is calling them out about it. Whitmer and even Larry Hogan, the theoretical Republican in my home state of Maryland, are doing the same.
It’s all intended to boost the economy under Biden so you get a good 100-days narrative. It’s the same reason why Biden is urging people to wear a mask and setting a federal masking mandate. It has nothing to do with science, nothing.
Trish Regan: And to be clear, I think you and I are on the same page. I have never been for the lockdowns. My point from the very beginning is do not politicize this. Do not let this get out of control economically because you need a strong economy to fight this thing.
And there were ways to be smart about it. There were ways to protect those that needed to be protected. There were ways to encourage working from home, etc. But you didn’t need to lock down the entire economy and deprive people really of their right to survive. But that’s what they did, and now those days are over.
And so here we are looking at two new virus strains and increasing numbers of infections, and I’m just like, “OK, guys, in the middle of flu season, really this is when you choose to open up? But you had to lock down back in June and July?”
Dan Gainor: And if you’re pushing the mask mandate, OK, well, you can argue – Fauci is out there saying you should even wear a double mask, which sounds wacky, but he’s saying that.
But then there’s no 100-day rule to that. The 100-day rule that Biden called for is a purely political platform. It goes I think back all way to FDR, the idea of the first 100 days of your presidency mattering. That’s again politics. It’s not medicine or science.
If we were obeying science or medicine, then all of these school systems would have opened up a long time ago. But we didn’t because they’re controlled by the Leftist unions, and so they don’t want to open, and the press doesn’t really want to go after them, either.
So this idea that one side owns the science, “Oh, you’re anti-science,” it’s not anti-science to say that even the New York Times finally admitted that Donald Trump had been right all along about schools.
Trish Regan: Let me just say it doesn’t even take science to figure that out. All it takes is a parent who has to try and homeschool their kids, who learns really fast that a six- or seven-year-old is probably not going to be able to do so well over a Zoom session.
Look, and I feel bad for – a lot of private schools have stayed open this whole time. It’s the public schools that are getting hit because of the unions, etc. And it’s always the middle class and the poor that are missing out.
If you’re wealthy, you’re figuring this thing out, right? You’re able to hire tutors. You’re able to put your kids in some kind of learning pod or you’re able to go to a private school. But it’s consistently the very groups that they keep saying they are there to protect and promote, it’s those groups that are most at a disadvantage.
It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out because there’s going to be a little bit of a standoff, you think, in California, also in some parts of Illinois where the teachers are like, “We’re not going back.” And the state’s like, “Hey, guys, we won. Biden’s in office now. You have to go back.”
Dan Gainor: Even in blue Virginia, the Fairfax teachers union doesn’t want to go back fulltime, and they’re saying, no, they don’t want to go back in the fall. OK, now the last time I checked this is January, and they’re starting to put blockades because guess what?
I can say this as somebody who’s blessed to be able to work from home through all this. It’s easier to not have to drive to work. Yes, OK, if you’re worried about safety, I can see where you’d be concerned about that.
But ultimately teachers always have put themselves at risk. It’s part of their job, just as firefighters, policemen, the military, and all sorts of other people put themselves at risk.
Are teachers better than warehouse workers? Because warehouse workers have continued to work, get the virus, put themselves at risk. Some have died feeding us, putting food on our tables. So now teachers are not supposed to put themselves at all risk for kids?
Trish Regan: Dan Gainor, it is always so good to talk to you. It’s so interesting. I hope you come back because we just scratched the surface. You and I have talked off-air about some of the challenges that are in front of us right now as a nation in terms of the media, and I want to dig in even more. So please come back.
Dan Gainor: Oh, it’s a pleasure. I could spend all day talking to you.
Trish Regan: As Washington gears up for impeachment on February 8, there are a lot of questions about what really, really is motivating this. OK, on the one hand, they say they want to make sure Donald Trump will never win again.
On the other, maybe this is just politics as usual. Maybe this is really about dividing the GOP into the camp of the Trumpers and the never-Trumpers. Could that be it? Are Democrats actually trying to destroy the Republican Party for the foreseeable future?
I’m joined right now by a wonderful writer over at the Federalist. Make sure you follow him on Twitter, Sean Davis, @seanmdav on Twitter. Sean, welcome to the show. Good to have you.
Sean Davis: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure.
Trish Regan: Well, I do enjoy your writing, and I enjoy the Federalist very much. I want to ask your overall, and we can drill down here, but your overall thoughts right now on the direction of the Republican Party given what I think we’re going to start seeing coming February 8.
Sean Davis: It’s a great question, and I’ll actually divide the Republican Party into two factions, which is the voters and then the politicians. So the direction of the voters is pretty clear.
They’re done with forever wars. They’re done with big corporations getting big bailouts and benefits at the expense of people. They are done with bad trade deals that empower hostile countries like China against the American people.
And then there is the state of the Republican politicians. I think the schism between where the voters are and where the establishment and the politicians are is driving so much of the friction where the leaders in Washington, they just want to go back to 2004. They didn’t like what Trump stood for because it wasn’t what they stood for.
They want to go back to where the chamber of commerce runs things, where they get to make big new entitlements without ever having to pay for them, where they can just off and launch a bunch of wars and send other people’s children and parents to fight them.
And the war that’s happening right now, and I think the impeachment is a really good example of it, is between the party leaders and their own voters.
Trish Regan: I think you’re right, and I think frankly this was the problem with both parties, that both parties had gotten too divorced from reality. They’re kind of in their ivory tower, and they’re working on behalf of the corporations frankly that are paying for their campaigns. They’re not really thinking about how all these policies affect the individual Americans.
So with that in mind, however, in light of the Democrats winning all that they did, does that hurt Republicans, or do you think that – we can give a positive spin on this. Might they emerge stronger? Might this be the reckoning that they need so that you’re able to kind of cleanse the party of these big corporate interest types and really get more nuts-and-bolts fundamental type politicians that will represent the interests of the voters?
Sean Davis: Well, I think it’s a potential opportunity for the Republican Party, but they have to play it correctly. And what they’re doing right now is they seem to be convincing themselves that Trump was an aberration, that the support for him and the party was entirely built around his personality and his brand and had nothing to do with particular policies, and that if they can just get him out of the way, everything will be fine.
We’ll go back to, like I said, ’04. They’ll just control everything again, and they’ll have majorities, and everything will be great.
I think the fundamental disconnect comes with that assumption that the support for Trump was about support for the person. I’ll tell you, in the countless people I have talked to all over the country, they liked Trump because of what he stood for in spite of all the negatives about him personally, about the tweets and the lack of discipline and the insults.
They supported him because of what he enacted policy-wise for the country, and I think if the Republican Party really wants to survive, they’ve got to stop declaring war against their own voters, which is what’s happening now, and they need to start actually listening to them and delivering for them, whether it’s on trade deals, on engaging the culture war that’s being waged against us by the totalitarian Left, by no longer putting China’s interests ahead of American workers’ interests.
So it’s an opportunity for them if they’ll actually use their brains and do what their voters want. It’s going to be disastrous for them if they continue ignoring the voters or looking at the voters as a nuisance rather than their actual bosses.
Trish Regan: That’s such a good point because I’ll tell you just anecdotally I remember in 2015 when he first announced that he was running. I’m kind of wonky and dorky enough that I literally read every single tax plan from every single Republican candidate.
There were things like, “I don’t like this VAT tax,” that Cruz had. Then I looked at Trump’s, and I said, “Wow, this is the best tax plan.” It really is from both an individual standpoint, from a corporate standpoint in terms of what I thought it could for the U.S. economy. And then as I looked through the trade deal, etc., there were real policy chops there.
And that is what impressed me. I think you’re spot on when you say a lot of voters were impressed by his commitment to the policy and not necessarily by his personality, which means as we move forward if those policies are there, then theoretically they should still be able to – the Republicans should still be able to really generate some support among that more conservative base.
But then let’s take it further because I think a lot of conservatives, they feel kind of hung out to dry by their party, and it’s not just on the policies. They kind of feel as though the president was hung out to dry, and there’s a lot of anger at people like Liz Cheney or Mitch McConnell right now.
So how does the party get over that hurdle, especially if you come down to a vote in the Senate and you get a lot of Republicans voting to impeach him?
Sean Davis: Right. Well, see, the Democrats understand politics so much better than Republicans in Washington do because they know what the political ground looks like, and they see right now an opportunity to permanently separate the Republican Party leaders and politicians from their own voters.
That’s why they’re pushing impeachment. They’re basically saying to Republicans, “We don’t want you to be able to pick your next president because if you pick Trump, we obviously can’t have that because he’s the orange bad man. So we’re just going to eliminate that possibility from you entirely.”
And then you see a not-insignificant number of Republicans like McConnell, like Romney, probably like Sasse, like Liz Cheney who have decided, “Yeah, we’re going to tell the voters who they get to vote for. We’re done with them making their own decisions because when they made their own decisions, we got someone who wasn’t down with just outsourcing everything to military contractors and the chamber and China, and we can’t have that anymore.”
So it is a key moment for Republicans. They have to ask themselves, “Do we represent the small sliver of the populace that runs the big corporations, that runs the chamber, that runs the military-industry complex,” as Eisenhower called it.
Are we going to outsource our party to them, or are we actually going to listen to our voters? Because if they continue to give the middle finger to their own voters, which is what voting to impeach Trump over a speech where he told people to be peaceful would do, the party doesn’t have a future in the country.
Trish Regan: Wow. We’re talking with Sean Davis. He’s a cofounder of the Federalist, @seanmdav on Twitter. By the way, did you have a Parler account, Sean.
Sean Davis: Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s the same username over at Parler.
Trish Regan: I wanted to ask you about that because you’re in the digital space. What are you feeling? What are you sensing? I know the Federalist has run into trouble before with Google and the likes.
What do you think of this moment in time? How do you think history will portray it in terms of Big Tech and its desire to censor anything it doesn’t see as appropriate?
Sean Davis: I think we’re at a really, really dangerous moment. When I was growing up, and you probably had the same experience, when you’d get in an argument with kids on the playground, they’d tell you to shut up, and you’d say, “No, it’s a free country.” That was said all the time when I was in elementary school.
That’s not the ethos that we have here anymore. It’s an ethos here that if you say things that someone else doesn’t like, you’re bad and you have to be silenced.
What we have now, despite having the First Amendment, which exists to give people the right to free expression, is a bunch of Left-wing Big Tech oligarchs with big old monopolies, which are made possible through government carve-outs, deciding what speech is appropriate and what speech will be allowed.
You cannot have that in a free society. You cannot have that culture that says, “You are not allowed to say things that might hurt my feelings. You’re not allowed to say things that are even true or else we’re going to get you fired. We’re going to shut down your bank accounts. We’re going to make sure you can’t do business anywhere.”
It’s extremely, extremely dangerous, and again we’re talking about the disconnect between the party and its voters. This is a major, major concern for people, that if they so much as put something like the Pledge of Allegiance or a Bible verse on the Internet that they’re going to get canceled. That is how democracies and republics fall.
Trish Regan: Listen, I put up the First Amendment a couple weeks ago, and I was like, “Oh, gosh, I have to be careful.” Somebody said to me the other day, “Trish, stop saying the word ‘patriot.’ “
And I’m like, “Oh, what?”
“Yeah, you can’t say the word ‘patriot.’ “
I come from New Hampshire, Sean. “Live free or die,” in New Hampshire. It’s one of the first things I learned to read as a little kid on the back of every single car. And that’s another one right now that somehow the state motto, “Live free or die,” in New Hampshire is going to imply other things.
So how do we move forward from this? I say this as a capitalist, right? I appreciate and understand that a business may not want certain people on its platform. OK, so be it.
But the problem is, and you mentioned it before, we have these monopolies, right, thanks to these government carve-outs. We don’t really have a fair business environment. It’s not a real marketplace because you’ve got one group of people with groupthink controlling everything.
Sean Davis: That’s right. The first thing that people will say if you criticize the obvious totalitarian censorship from these companies is, “Well, I actually like the free markets, and you don’t,” or “If you don’t like it, go build another one.”
Well, some people did go build another one, and Twitter, its competitor, banded together with another big oligarch to shut them down. I’m sorry, but a bunch of monopolistic oligarchs controlling that sector and controlling who can speak on it, that is not free market. That’s not free market at all.
In fact, we have heard the word “fascism” tossed around recently, which has apparently just become a synonym for “somebody I disagree with.”
But big corporations using their monopolistic power to crush the people on behalf of the government, which is what’s happening now – they’re doing it on behalf of the ruling regime because they want to have their favor – that is the essence and that’s the actual definition of fascism.
We actually as a people have to stand up and say, “We’re not standing for this anymore. No more Facebook getting carve-outs for itself and protections for itself, which it the denies to its own people.” That has to end.
We are either a nation that believes in free markets and not corporations and free speech, or we’re not going to be a republic.
Trish Regan: Listen, I hear you. When they shut down Parler, I’ve got to say, to me, that was just a way to find a scapegoat because they’re citing Parler as being part of this insurrection.
You look at what we’ve seen on Twitter. You look at what we’ve seen on Facebook and any of the riots and the looting and the antifa actions and frankly even some terrorist troubles that they’ve found that have been generated through these Facebook contacts.
It’s not like you can look at one company and then say the others were completely absolved of this. I look at them and say, “None of you – if you’re not policing – ” And by the way, I don’t believe in policing speech.
But in other words, if you’re not policing the hate, which means maybe some groups coming together to really create unrest and violence, then that in and of itself is the problem. But don’t think that Parler is the only one.
Sean Davis: Right. We know it’s a fact that most of this stuff was organized, not incited by Trump while it was already going on, but it was organized on Facebook and on Twitter. So what do they do? They turn around, and they find someone else to blame it on.
The term “scapegoat” is perfect here. They pile all of their sins on the scapegoat and pretend that somehow they are absolved of everything and everything’s been atoned for and they’re fine now.
No, if they actually believed what they were saying, they would shut themselves down. That’s why all these excuses are just that. They’re pretext. They wanted an excuse to go shut down their business competitors and their ideological competitors.
And it’s no coincidence and no accident that the stuff they are accusing their own competitors and ideological opponents of are things that happened on their own platforms. They’re not interested in safety or security or tolerance or dialogue. They are interested in control. And when the other side says it wants unity, what they’re actually saying is they want submission.
Trish Regan: Yeah, you’re preaching to the choir on that. I was saying that the other day. This is not about unity at all. This is all about, “Conform. Submit. You think like us. If you don’t think like us, we’re going to what? We’re going to deplatform you or we’re going to send you to some kind of reeducation camp.” Is that the idea here, Sean?
Sean Davis: Apparently. We’re seeing the word “deprogrammed” being thrown around. These are really dangerous terms and states of minds that we have on the Left that if somebody has thoughts that are different from yours, it means that there is something wrong with them, that they have to be cleansed or they have to be reprogrammed.
Again, it can seem to those who aren’t engaged in the day-to-day of watching politics and culture that it would be histrionic to say, “This is kind of like Nineteen Eighty-Four. This is the attitude that led to gulags and all that.”
But it is. Nobody in the moment ever thinks – I don’t like how we’re going down this road. I don’t like where it’s headed. They always say, “Oh, no, no. This is different. We would never do those things that those awful people in history did because we’re better. We’re enlightened. We’re more perfect. We would never go down that road.”
And I’ll tell you the bad guys, when they’re doing the bad things, never see themselves as the bad guys.
Trish Regan: Very, very, very well put. I encourage everybody to go to the Federalist, federalist.com. You can read Sean’s writings there. You can follow him on Twitter. A really thoughtful way of putting everything right now. It is challenging, and it is really scary.
Sean Davis, thank you so much.
Sean Davis: Thank you so much for having me.
Trish Regan: Well, I think it’s very clear we’re in a very challenging time, and there is a kind of groupthink going on where one half of the country thinks it can shut down the other half. And that is never a good recipe for our future.
Part of our strength lies in our ability to listen to each other, and by listening to each other, we become better. We become stronger. We become sharper.
But all of that right now is in a very different state, and I think it’s going to continue. It’s going to continue, and they’re going to keep saying, “Oh, remember that time? Remember that time that the Right tried to storm the Capitol?” And they’re going to use that as an excuse to shut off half the country.
I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on, you should never want that. You should always want that freedom of information, that flow back and forth, and the ability for one side to talk to the other. That is part of what makes America the strong country that she is.
Thank you so much for tuning in. I’ll see you back online every day at trishintel.com and on americanconsequences.com, where you can read some of my longer, more meaty articles. We have a great one this week coming on Bretton Woods. Anybody who is interested in the gold standard or the origins of the IMF needs to check that one out on americanconsequences.com, and I’ll see you back here next week.
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