Dan Gainor VP of MRC TechWatch Explains the Left’s ‘Freedom of Speech Does Not Equal Freedom of Reach’

Dan Gainor VP of MRC TechWatch Explains the Left’s ‘Freedom of Speech Does Not Equal Freedom of Reach’

 

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed VP of MRC Tech Watch, Culture, and Business Dan Gainor to the newsmakers line.

During the first hour, Gainor made the case for liberty explaining how the MSM and Big Tech are controlling speech, de-platforming, and censoring the content of right-wing media outlets. He recognized the control as an attempt to have America online mimic that of Europe online by systematically removing our Bill of Rights. Gainor outlined how the left games the system as citizens have moved most of their life online.

Leahy: We are joined Now by our good friend of many years Dan Gainor Vice President of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center. He also has a section there called Tech Watch. Welcome, Dan.

Gainor: It’s good to be talking to you. It’s been a while.

Leahy: Dan, we first met back in the Tea Party days.

Gainor: Yes. I was just going to say that. And we go way way back. And in today’s environment that’s like, you know dog years and we’re like both a hundred or something.

Leahy: Well, we first started corresponding in 2009 at the start of the Tea Party Movement. We met in person and talked about Tea Party strategy and related things at a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia back in 2010. And we’ve been friends ever since. Big question Dan. How has the case of liberty proceeded in America in the intervening 11 years since we first met in person?

Gainor: Oh, it’s like a snowball rolling downhill and it’s heading toward a cliff. I mean, it’s in bad shape. When you have major media outlets calling to de-platform major media outlets. When you have Big Tech basically controlling what you can see say or do online, that is not the path for freedom. That’s not the path for liberty.

Look, we just finished it seems like forever ago already, but we just finished an election where Big Tech, Facebook, and Twitter fixed the election by censoring content. In Facebook‘s case, it openly violated its own policies to the point where its bogus fact-checkers threw them under the bus and said that they weren’t even obeying their bogus fact-check rules.

So then you get to this point now where CNN is blatantly calling to de-platform and for people that don’t know, what that means basically remove from any platform that’s available on. So if you want to remove OANN, Newsmax, Fox, and Fox Business, that means sure they can broadcast but nobody can see them. So if you’ve got Verizon or you have Comcast they’d be kicked off. If they broadcast online on Facebook or YouTube they’d be kicked off. That’s what the media team at CNN is trying to do.

Leahy: Well what kind of opportunity do we have the push back here Dan?

Gainor: To me first, people need to not buckle under to this stuff. And that means there are ways on their sites too, first of all, complain and to file and to reject it. And if you’ve got stuff suspended or whatever there are ways to appeal that. You do that. That’s just a bureaucratic thing you do it. Because know a lot of people don’t even bother but sometimes you win.

So there’s that’s the first thing. Next, Facebook has just announced this oversight board, so if you get content taken down, you could appeal to that. It’s just one more way of putting pressure. Then ultimately this is going to be something that gets decided I think on either Capitol Hill or in the courts or both because these companies are still American companies and they’ve decided that we don’t have the same rights we have offline as online. And they’re trying to make it worse. There is a strong push by these companies to make America online be more in line with Europe online. Well, the last time I checked we still have this Bill of Rights thing.

Leahy: It’s a good way for them to get rid of the Bill of Rights.

Gainor: Well it effectively does when you look at how much we live our lives online now. And more so obviously because of the COVID. I just heard the newscast coming on that kids are still going to school at home. You’ve got people working from home. You’ve got people interacting with the government expressing their opinion. And if you can’t express your opinion online then you don’t have free speech. If you can’t worship online then you don’t have freedom of religion.

Leahy: And by the way, you mentioned this Facebook Ombudsman appeal court, I guess you could say of review. And I looked at the members of it and  I did not see a single conservative news journalist.

Gainor: There is actually one.

Leahy: Who is that? Who is that? Who is that one? Is it Mike McConnell?

Gainor: He releases the social con of some things. But then you’ve got a Libertarian guy who isn’t especially conservative on a lot of things. So they almost cancel out. This is how the left games the system. They say they create a free-speech board. They have 20 members of the board, 15 of them are international.

Leahy: Exactly. That caught my attention too Dan. That caught my attention.

Gainor: So they don’t have any similar view of the U.S. for free speech.

Leahy: Did they call you to be on the board, Dan?

Gainor: No.

Leahy: They didn’t call me either. I’m shocked! I’m shocked!

Gainor: And so I mean they’ve already gamed the system. And here’s the funny thing. To show you how radical the left is the left hates the oversight board because it’s not left-wing enough. Because it’s not censoring content. They hated the rulings that they have already done because they didn’t want to censor content.

The left has this new line and if used for a while I but when you see it crop up on CNN, you know, it’s breaking through. And that’s freedom of speech does not equal freedom of reach. So in other words, you have a right to stand on your soapbox and say something but not in the public square. You can say it on your property. You can say it at your house.

Leahy: Where your nearby neighbors can hear it, but nobody else.

Gainor: Right, and maybe not even that. How dare you say that! A lot of this comes from the radical left on all sorts of issues particularly the transgender issue. If you say men aren’t women on Twitter you can be suspended.

Leahy: They are crazy!

Gainor: It doesn’t matter. They control the platforms.

Leahy: So do you have a particular plan to be on this Dan? I have some thoughts but do what do you think the pushback should entail and what are the chances of success?

Gainor: Well ultimately I think this is the Civil rights battle of this century. And I say civil rights battle because when there is an organized effort to target a group of people, doesn’t matter who the group of people is when there’s an organized effort to target a group of people for the way they think and to silence them, to shut them down, to cost them their jobs, to target their faith, etc, historically that’s seen in this country as a civil rights issue.

And I know that’s hard for conservatives to think of that we’re a minority that’s being targeted. but we are. And so ultimately I think that’s the battle to fight all the way up through the Supreme Court. and that takes a while. So I think that’s part of it. I think this is an international battle. We’ve headed up the Free Speech Alliance which is a coalition of 76 different organizations that are conservative around the world now.

We’ve added I think half a dozen members in Europe, South America, and Australia and we’re continuing to expand because we are fighting globalist international corporations of the most powerful corporations in human history. I always tell people that India was conquered by the British East India Company. And the British East India Company isn’t as powerful as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon.

Leahy: Dan here’s a question for you. We are on a talk radio station right now here in Nashville, Tennessee. How long will talk radio allow freedom of speech or is it likely to continue in your view?

Gainor: Well, I mean, I think the left has wanted to go after talk radio for a long time. It’s just not their number one target. Right now their number one target is Facebook. They want to knock us off there. I mean they’re going after Fox because I think I think they think Fox is weak right now post-election. So they’re trying to bully as much as they can. And you always heard of the bully pulpit. They’re using the bully pulpit.

If they can silence people into being afraid to speak out then they win half the battle that way. They don’t even have to change things. But the Democrats are definitely in charge of Washington and not respective of the First Amendment. They don’t believe in it. They don’t believe in free speech. If you look at HR1 which they passed in the House under Trump that they wanted to get rid of Citizens United.

Citizens United is a free-speech ruling. They don’t believe in it. It was all about creating a documentary about Hillary Clinton when she ran for president. And they oppose that even though they control Hollywood and they produce documentaries all the time bashing the right.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Dan Gainor” by MRC.

 

 

 

 

 

Host Leahy and Crom Carmichael Take Listener Calls Regarding Big Tech and Censorship

Host Leahy and Crom Carmichael Take Listener Calls Regarding Big Tech and Censorship

 

Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who took calls from listeners weighing in on the constitutionality of Section 230 and Big Tech’s ability to censor free speech.

Leahy: Crom, I thought that was a very interesting dialogue with Akiva Cohen the attorney who was defending the constitutionality of this Section 230 and defending Big Tech.

Carmichael: Well, he’s not just defending Section 230. He’s defending the actions and that’s what’s key. He’s defending the actions of the Big Tech companies because there is an in spite of what he said about Skokie, Illinois, that’s not really the issue.

Leahy: It had nothing to do with the argument. What he said was accurate, but it wasn’t relevant.

Leahy: Exactly. We’ve got a lot of that these days Crom.

Carmichael: And we’ll have to have him back on because at some point there will be a case that that will determine whether or not his position or the position of these writers in The Wall Street Journal is accurate. Because the Supreme Court has ruled on numerous occasions that if the federal government gives an exemption to a private organization that the government itself cannot do then that is unconstitutional.

They’ve ruled that in a number of cases. Here is what they’re saying. I’m going to quote. ‘Section 230 is the carrot and there’s also a stick. Congressional Democrats have repeatedly made explicit threats to social media giants if they failed to censor speech those lawmakers disfavored in April 2019.’ In Louisiana representative, Cedric Richmond warned Facebook and Google that they ‘better’ restrict what he and his colleagues saw as harmful content or face regulation. Nadler did the same thing. So there are a number of other examples.

Leahy: It makes Google and Facebook state actors.

Carmichael: Yes. Well, there are a number of other examples that show that the government threatened Facebook and Google and I’d like to know whether or not Akiva believes that the federal government has the right to stifle what Trump says or what Candace Owen says. And my guess is he would say no, that the First Amendment protects their rights.

Leahy: Yeah. I think you’re probably right there.

Carmichael: So there will be a court case at some point. And North Dakota is passing a law saying that people from North Dakota can sue and this issue will come up in that lawsuit.

Leahy: If that law passes there will be a lawsuit in a federal court that will determine it. I think that they would rule in favor of North Dakota. But we’ll see.

Carmichael: There will have to be somebody in North Dakota. Some individual in North Dakota who is D platformed.

Leahy: And then sues.

Carmichael: And then sues for being de-platformed and then the issue will come up.

Leahy: Well the phones have lit up Crom! Carl in Murfreesboro wants to talk about this issue. Carl good morning.

Caller Carl: Well good morning. I’ll tell you what. Y’all just have some of the most interesting guests. And I was calling and I’m not going to comment on the other Carl said a couple of weeks ago, but I was thinking about that guy. I didn’t know where he was coming from and then at the end I realized what he was saying.

And the reason I was calling you is that I couldn’t tell you this case, but I was listening to I think Mark Levin and he had Glenn Beck on. And Glenn Beck brought up a very interesting case from 1946. And this would be for Crom or you Michael to investigate. But back in 1946, the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation cannot infringe basically on the civil rights of an individual.

He said that a farmer is freer on his own land with his own tractor. So I could cut through the chase on all this mess of opinions and for and what you’re wanting to say and what you can’t say. I have to look at it if we can go back to the Jim Crow laws and discrimination. What we need to do is look at this. This is no different than saying I’m a White guy and a Black guy is not allowed in my restaurant.

Leahy: Hold on. Let’s get Crom responding to that Carl.

Carmichael: Well what you have here, and I’m not really disagreeing with you because I think the protections that are provided by section 230 are now unconstitutional because of the actions of the protected parties. So if Section 230 were to be ruled unconstitutional then what you’re saying would it would happen. What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to claim that Section 230 allows them to discriminate.

I think you’re exactly right. That’s what they’re arguing. They are allowed to discriminate against a Black person, against a gay person, and against anybody they want to because Section 230 allows it. now what these people arguing is that no they don’t have that right because by doing what they are doing they are acquiescing to the threats made to them by government officials. And that therefore Section 230 does not protect them. They are now by legal term state actors.

Leahy: The phones are lighting up. We thank Carl in Murfreesboro for that call and we go on now to Colin in Nashville who wants to talk about Akiva Cohen’s argument that Section 230 is is perfectly okay. Colin, you’re on the Tennessee Star Report.

Caller Colin: Hey, good morning gentlemen. The way he was going about his argument and how he explained how Section 230 came into being was because of a defamation issue with CompuServe. But what he didn’t really point out was that free speech doesn’t mean that everything can be said. There is protected speech and there’s unprotected speech.

Defamation is unprotected speech just like things like National Security. You can’t give away government secrets because that’s unprotected speech. But what Section 230 is done has allowed those corporations to discriminate against protected speech. And I think that should be one of the bigger issues brought up because political opinion is 100 percent protected speech. So for them to say that they can discriminate against protected speech I think maybe a little bit of a different avenue that could be taken in regards to Section 230.

Carmichael: And that’s really what the argument being made by the writers in The Wall Street Journal. What they’re claiming is that if it were not for the fact that Democrats in Congress had threatened Big Tech telling them if you don’t eliminate speech that we disagree with we’re going to take away your protection under Section 230. And then each one of these companies then did exactly what the Democrats demanded that they do.

And so that is what these authors are saying makes these companies now state actors. Because they have done what government itself would not be able to do constitutionally. The government could not say Trump does not have a right to speak. But the Democrats threaten Twitter and Facebook and Google saying if you don’t deny them their right to free speech because we disagree with what they’re saying. Not because they’re dropping the F-bomb or this type of thing or that they’re even lying, they just don’t agree with the opinions. And so that’s really where this hinges Colin. So I agree with Colin.

Leahy: Are you an attorney by any chance Colin?

Colin: No, I met one of your Millennial listeners. I’m only 30.

Leahy: There are attorneys who are aged 30. But you’ve made a very good grounded legal argument.

Carmichael: Obviously you’ve stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. (Laughter)

Leahy: Just out of curiosity, what do you do for a living Colin?

Colin: I’ve been in the United States Marine Corps for the last 12 years.

Leahy: There you go. Are you still in the Marine Corps?

Carmichael: Thank you for your service.

Colin: I am currently on a program to the commission to become an officer. So I’m actually I’m studying political science at Tennessee State University.

Leahy: There you go.

Colin: I’m outnumbered.

Leahy: What are those classes like Colin? The Marine studying politics at Tennessee State University. How how does that go?

Colin: Oh, they’re interesting. But I fully understand my First Amendment rights and that being a student there I can’t express my opinion. And I have no issue at all arguing with whatever other opinions are brought up. So I have a whole lot of fun in every one of those classes.

Carmichael: And the state of Tennessee cannot tell Colin what he can and can’t say.

Colin: Exactly.

Carmichael: But nor can a company that has protections from the state or protections given to it by the state. Nor can it do the bidding of one particular party. That’s really what the issue is here. And whether or not they are what is defined by the courts as a state actor.

Leahy: Colin, call in again. And by the way, thank you for your service. And we wish you the best of luck in getting that officer’s commission in the Marine Corps.

Colin: Thank you. And I appreciate the support.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Online Censorship” by Mike Mackenzie CC BY 2.0.