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?
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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Photo “Dan Gainor” by MRC.