CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter’s sidekick Oliver Darcy is not exactly the brightest tool in the shed, although he is no doubt a tool in other ways.
Not only does CNN’s “senior media reporter” not get what journalism actually is and isn’t (much like his colleague), but he also spends a significant chunk of his days and nights devoted to advocating for the censorship of news outlets and social media accounts he doesn’t like.
Because nothing spells a dedication to freedom of speech and the free flow of ideas quite like wanting to squelch the viewpoints that make poor Oliver feel uncomfortable.
The latest instance of Oliver acting in the role of a Twitter “Karen” was just a few days ago, when he had the bright idea of suggesting Twitter label President Trump’s entire account as a source of disinformation:
At this point it might just be easier for Twitter to label Trump’s entire account as a known source of disinformation.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 27, 2020
He expanded on his deep “thought process” in the daily newsletter he writes with Stelter:
“Nearly every tweet from the president at this point is labeled for misinfo. Which had me thinking,” Darcy wrote. “Why doesn’t Twitter just take the step of labeling his entire account as a known source of election disinfo? And why stop there? Why not label accounts that repeatedly spread claims the platform has to fact-check?”
Darcy then suggested the hypothetical move would “help users weed out reliable sources from bad-faith actors,” specifically from verified accounts.
“Think of it as a version of NewsGuard for Twitter,” Darcy wrote, referring to the website that rates websites based on standards of credibility and transparency.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a staunch defender of free speech who has testified before Congress on many occasions and who frequently shares his thoughts on the various pressing issues of the day, called out Darcy’s call for the “labeling” of Trump’s tweets for what it was, correctly pointing out that “there is little reason or inclination” for the Censor Mobs to stop once they get started:
We previously discussed the unrelenting drumbeat of censorship in the U.S. Those calls are growing as anti-free speech advocates see an opportunity in the Biden Administration to crackdown on opposing views. One vocal advocate has been CNN's Oliver Darcy. https://t.co/nGvVzqHggn
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 30, 2020
…Darcy calls for every tweet by Trump to be labeled as disinformation while asking “and why stop there?” Precisely. Once you cross the Rubicon of speech regulation, there is little reason or inclination to stop. Just look at Europe.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 30, 2020
Prof. Turley went into more detail on his website, noting that Darcy’s views (unsurprisingly) match those of many in the media and in the Democratic party, including many members of Congress and some of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s transition team members:
What is chilling about Darcy’s writings is that they reflect the view of many now in Congress and in the Democratic Party. Indeed, they reflect many in the Biden campaign. Once a party that fought for free speech, it has become the party demanding Internet censorship and hate speech laws. President-Elect Joe Biden has called for speech controls and recently appointed a transition head for agency media issues that is one of the most pronounced anti-free speech figures in the United States. It is a trend that seems now to be find support in the media, which celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.
The key point, Turley states, is that the meaning of “disinformation” is left undefined from the loudest voices calling for censorship/suppression of it:
Of course, what Darcy considers “disinformation” or what Blumenthal considers “robust content modification” is left dangerously undefined.
To put a finer point on it, as we’ve seen all too often what these clowns view as a “lie” or “disinformation” from Trump is oftentimes anything but. To them, a Trump “lie” basically boils down to anything that makes Joe Biden (or another Democrat) look bad, anything that makes CNN (or another liberal news network) look bad, anything that proves Democrats and the media wrong on the various anti-Trump conspiracy theories, and/or anything that proves Trump is showing smart leadership at times no one else seems to be willing to step up to the plate.
The bottom line here is that Brian Stelter, Oliver Darcy and their ilk believe it’s the media’s “job” to sanitize/suppress stories they think you shouldn’t hear – even if those stories come from other networks (NY Post) or sources (Trump). This has nothing to do with wanting the information highway to be “free of disinformation” and everything to do with controlling what you see and don’t.
To say this is a dangerously stupid position for them to take would be quite the understatement. Reporters and social media platforms are not supposed to be in the business of “protecting the public” from what politicians, candidates for higher office, and the like say. Period.
As I’ve said before, media outlets like CNN are openly calling for the suppression of legitimate political stories/speech they think the public shouldn’t see – simply because those stories do not jive with the political narratives they’re trying to push. That’s the equivalent of state-run TV, not journalism. That’s not freedom of the press; that’s subjugation by the press.
This is why supporting non-traditional and independent news media sources is so vitally important right now. It’s simply the only way left for real reporting to have a chance at prevailing.