Following Big Tech’s censorship of President Donald Trump in his last days of office, CNN’s media reporter Oliver Darcy has suggested cable providers do something similar to conservative voices.
Darcy, who routinely writes up alleged bias at Fox News and other right-leaning networks and publications, insisted that the most-watched news channel (Fox routinely beats Darcy’s employer CNN) spent months spreading disinformation about the November election results.
“We regularly discuss what the Big Tech companies have done to poison the public conversation by providing large platforms to bad-faith actors who lie, mislead, and promote conspiracy theories. But what about TV companies that provide platforms to networks such as Newsmax, One America News — and, yes, Fox News?” Darcy wrote in CNN’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter.
Darcy suggested that it was not just the anchors on these networks who should be held responsible for what he insists are lies, but cable providers who continue to host those networks. Darcy then went about contacting numerous providers, including AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Verizon, and others to ask them about their guidelines and “if they have any regret over carrying right-wing channels that were in many ways partly responsible for what took place in our nation’s capital this week.”
CenturyLink was the only provider that responded to Darcy’s questions, telling him that, as a company, it was committed to providing “a variety of broadcast channels covering thousands of topics” and that it did not “endorse specific media or outlets.” Darcy accused the other providers of dodging questions for not responding quickly enough.
CNN, you may recall, spent years pushing the hoax that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.
Darcy’s attempt to censor his competitors comes after Big Tech began its crackdown on Trump and his supporters. Twitter permanently banned Trump from its platform on Friday, claiming that Trump’s tweets about his supporters continuing to be heard and not attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration – neither of which included calls to violence of any kind – somehow violated Twitter’s guidelines on inciting or glorifying violence. Here’s what Twitter wrote about its banning of Trump:
On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump tweeted:
“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Shortly thereafter, the President tweeted:
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks. After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.
Facebook also banned Trump from posting during the remainder of his term in office, and Snapchat banned him as well. YouTube suspended Trump’s account, and Google took the next step of removing alternate social media website Parler from its store, with Apple threatening to do the same.