Watch: WH Conveniently Cuts and Runs From Previous 'Twitter Interference' Position Under Questioning

AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

Though it’s quite common for the Biden administration to tinkle on your leg and tell you it’s raining, the tactic has been taken to absurd new heights in recent weeks in the aftermath of Tesla CEO Elon Musk taking over Twitter and his ongoing revelations about the social media platform’s inner workings thanks in part to the release of the Twitter Files.


The latest perfect example of this comes courtesy of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who was asked during the daily press briefing Friday if the Biden White House had had any behind-the-scenes conversations with now-fired former Twitter lawyer (and former FBI general counsel) Jim Baker regarding Twitter’s moderation decisions and/or Musk’s efforts at transparency.

Jean-Pierre’s response was to proclaim that the White House has repeatedly stated that “it’s up to private companies to make these types of decisions” while noting that “we were not involved” with anything related to Baker during his time at Twitter.


Except as even the casual observer of political goings-on will tell you, the government playing an, ahem, consulting role in the decisions private companies make about matters that in reality should have nothing to do with government has absolutely been the Biden administration’s position during the COVID pandemic, as indicated by, among others, then-press secretary Jen Psaki, who reiterated this position numerous times on behalf of President Biden.


On one such occasion in July 2021, Psaki was specifically asked – after she discussed and cheerleaded the White House’s routine “flagging” of supposedly suspect posts to Facebook – if they were happy with the efforts being undertaken by Facebook to control the alleged spread of misinformation. Here was her response:

“… this is a responsibility of officials speaking, of course, on behalf of the government; it’s the responsibility of members of the media; it’s the responsibility of citizens and civic leaders and people who are trusted voices in communities around the country. That has a broad definition. Social media platforms is one of them.

And as we know, it is also — there are also areas where a lot of people get news and information. Sometimes those are accurate news items reported by some of your outlets or accurate information shared by a neighbor. Sometimes there is information that is not. It is hard to discriminate, as we know. This is not a new issue, but it is an issue that is impacting people’s lives.

So a couple of the steps that we have — you know, that could be constructive for the public health of the country are providing for — for Facebook or other platforms to measure and publicly share the impact of misinformation on their platform and the audience it’s reaching, also with the public, with all of you to create robust enforcement strategies that bridge their properties and provide transparency about rules.

You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others if you — for providing misinformation out there.”


Here’s the short version of that quote. Watch:

That same month, Joe Biden himself put more pressure on Big Tech to suppress dissenting views about COVID and the vaccine by proclaiming without evidence that platforms like Twitter were “‘killing people” with alleged misinformation:

Biden, asked if he had a message for platforms like Facebook where false or misleading information about the coronavirus vaccines has spread, told reporters, “They’re killing people.”

“The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,” he said.

At the same time, Biden’s Surgeon General Vivek Murthy echoed Biden’s remarks in declaring “misinformation” to be “an imminent and insidious threat to our nation’s health.” He went on to demand sites like Facebook and Twitter more aggressively police their users:

“Misinformation poses an imminent and insidious threat to our nation’s health,” Murthy said during remarks Thursday at the White House. “We must confront misinformation as a nation. Lives are depending on it.”

Given the role the internet plays in spreading health misinformation, Murthy said technology companies and social media platforms must make meaningful changes to their products and software to reduce the spread of false information while increasing access to authoritative, fact-based sources.

Too often, he said, the platforms are built in ways that encourage, not counter, the spread of misinformation.

“We are asking them to step up,” Murthy said. “We can’t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.”


Here we are nearly a year and a half later, and the Biden White House is still talking about “misinformation,” except in this case they’re centering their “concerns” around the fact that Elon Musk is the new sheriff in Twitterville, which means bye-bye to censorship and hello to the free expression of ideas and differing viewpoints.

That’s dangerous territory, Jean-Pierre explained in response to a question from a reporter last Tuesday on what “tools” the White House had at their disposal to help them “keep track” of developments at Twitter under Musk’s rule.

“Again, we’re all keeping a close eye on this. We’re all monitoring what’s — what’s currently occurring. And we see — you know, we see it with our own eyes of what you all are reporting and, just for ourselves, what’s happening on Twitter,” she said at the time while continuing to emphasize that they believed it was the responsibility of private companies to decide how to handle “misinformation.”

Do not be fooled. We know exactly what they’re up to, and it’s definitely not letting private companies freely make their own decisions.

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