Tennessee State Senator Mike Bell Talks Section 230 Reform and the Momentum Created by Trump Lawsuit

Tennessee State Senator Mike Bell Talks Section 230 Reform and the Momentum Created by Trump Lawsuit

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 Tennessee state Senator (R) Mike Bell to the newsmakers line to discuss much-needed Section 230 reform and the momentum created by Trump’s lawsuit against Big Tech.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by State Senator Mike Bell. Good morning, Senator Bell.

Bell: Good morning, Michael. How are you today?

Leahy: I’m great and it’s great to have you on here and talk a little bit about this big tech lawsuit that former President Donald Trump filed on Wednesday.

By the way, our own Laura Baigert was there at Bedminster Golf Club. The Trump National Golf Club there and was present. We had a photographer there.

We did a big story on it and put it out through our Star News Wire Service. It was picked up by a number of outlets around the country.

And Laura got to ask the former president a question, which was there in the press conference. So we are looking upfront and personal at this particular lawsuit. What is your reaction to the lawsuit, Mike?

Bell: Michael, I think it’s probably overdue. This is something that we’ve been talking about in the legislature. Of course, I had an amendment to a bill this last session that was attempting to address this problem, representing Johnny Garrett had it in the House.

And, Michael, we’ve been talking even to the attorney’s general’s office. You may have read yesterday they joined a lawsuit with 37 other states against Google because of the monopoly that they have.

And it’s not just Facebook. It’s not just Twitter, it’s Google. There’s probably a couple of other platforms that would be included that has become a monopoly. And they’ve become an entity that’s controlling speech.

And I don’t think it’s good. We look back in our history when the federal government eventually broke up the old Bell telephone company for somewhat the same reasons because they become a monopoly and control communications. Well, Facebook and Twitter are becoming that now.

As much as it is a free market, small-government conservative, I try to stay away from government regulating business. But when a business does become a monopoly at that point, the government sometimes has to step in.

Leahy: Well yes. Also, the other argument to make here is that the critics of this lawsuit say, well, it’s a privately held company.

It’s not a government entity. Well, my view is exactly the opposite that the protections granted to Google, Facebook, and Twitter under Section 230 of the 1996 Communication Act from liability for false claims, that that protection makes them a government agent.

And that protection has also provided them with the ability to be, in essence, monopolies or oligopolies. So that’s my view. Do you share that?

Bell: I do, Michael. In fact, if the federal government would remove that protection then maybe we would see the market correct itself.

But with that protection still there, as you’ve stated, that’s created a monopoly that’s protected by the government and enforced by the government. And Michael I told, I guess it’s Julie. I can’t remember, too.

Leahy: Our booking producer.

Bell: Yeah. I talked to her yesterday and told her I’ve been dealing with a constituent now for about a week and a half who was permanently blocked from Facebook.

And she is a huge Trump supporter. In fact, she is one of the few people I guess nationwide you look at has actually been brought up on a stage with President Trump at a rally.

He just picked her out of a crowd, and she was brought up on stage with him at a rally early on back in the 2016 campaign. And she just loves President Trump and puts things on social media all the time promoting President Trump.

And she’s been suspended for a period of time, like three days or four days, two or three times, and always being given an explanation by Facebook about why she was suspended.

In other words, she was suspended for putting a certain post up there. But she was permanently banned from Facebook for about a week and a half to go and can’t even get an explanation from Facebook about why she was permanently banned.

A media outlet and that’s what they become, a social media like Facebook can just ban people for any reason and not even give them an explanation.

And it’s become, I guess I’m trying to say, Mike, it’s become an avenue for people to communicate with that’s used by, goodness, I think I read somewhere around 75 percent of Americans have a Facebook account.

Then you’re essentially blocking somebody from being able to communicate. And again, as you said, the protections afforded Facebook and other social media giants through Section 230 just give them way too much power without any consequence.

And so I’m hoping this lawsuit that President Trump is leading will help change that for citizens so they can have some recourse when dealing with these social media giants.

Leahy: Yeah, a very good point. Now, you mentioned that there was a couple of things to talk about at the state level. First, the attorneys general, Herb Slattery, has joined the lawsuit of, I think, 35 other states against Google.

Are you familiar with the lawsuit and what the argument is? Let me just read from our story at The Tennessee Star. Attorney General Herbert Slavery announced on Wednesday that Tennessee will band together with 36 other states in the lawsuit in an attempt to combat what they see as anti-competitive trade practices.

Let me read this quote from Attorney General Slattery and get your reaction. Google’s “play was the long game enticing manufacturers and operators to adopt Android by promising to remain open. Now that the digital doorway is closed, if you want in, you’ve got to do it Google’s way. You essentially have to use its App Store, use its payment processing system, and pay its unreasonable commissions for digital purchases. All of this harms consumers, limits competition, and reduces innovation. Tennessee and 36 other states are no longer on the sidelines.”

What’s your reaction to that lawsuit?

Bell: First, I’m glad General Slattery has chosen to join these other states in the lawsuit. I think he’s exactly right. It has become a monopoly.

You do have to use their platform and their apps in order to access these different means of being able to communicate. I guess, anything from play games to use a map on where to drive to your next appointment.

And Google has grown so much that they control that whole area of the market. Again, from a top-list free-market person, you don’t want the government to step in in these situations.

You hope the market will correct itself. But this has grown to such a point, to use that analogy that I mentioned a few minutes ago, it’s gotten where the Bell company was.

The old phone company got to several decades ago when the federal government had to come in and break them up when they controlled the marketplace of communication.

Google is becoming that and has become that as well as these other social media giants. And I think again, it’s something that we have to be careful about as small government Conservatives to step in.

But it has grown to such a point that I think we got to step in and correct this. Government has to correct it at this point.

Leahy: You talked a little bit about a long bill that you proposed that would limit Big Tech here in Tennessee. Tell us what the status of that bill was and what’s going to happen in the next session of the Tennessee General Assembly when it convenes in January of 2022.

Bell: I think the lawsuit that President Trump is leading and this lawsuit that General Slattery has joined is just going to create more momentum for that.

When we filed the amendment, of course, not to get too much in the weeds, we had Representative Garrett and I had a caption bill that we filed this big amendment that was almost identical to the Florida bill.

You’ve read about the bill that Governor DeSantis had in Florida, and our bill was almost identical to the Florida bill. We filed it, but we filed it kind of late in the session.

And a big bill like that is sometimes hard to get people to be able to wrap their minds around it and to understand it and its impact on it without having a lot of time to look at it.

We had to lay it aside. It’s essentially sitting procedurally on the desk, ready for us to pick it back up and run with it next year.

But I think everything that President Trump is doing with our attorneys general joining the lawsuit will add more momentum for us getting that bill passed.

And what the bill was going to do is it was just going to allow give citizens’ recourse if they felt like they were blocked or wronged by one of these social media giants.

But as you started out talking about this morning, what needs to happen is Section 230 reformed at the federal level and that will open the door because we are at the state level kind of hamstrung in that these giants are, of course, not just multi-state or nationwide, but they’re multinational.

And even if we pass the bill to give set up some type of civil recourse here in the state of Tennessee, it’s going to be kind of tough to enforce on an international, multinational company like Google or Facebook.

But we’re going to try and hopefully, everything that’s happening now will just give us more momentum.

Leahy: Can you hang with us through the break? Because I have some more questions for you, State Senator.

Bell: Sure.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Trump Legal Aide and Visiting Fellow of IWF Law Center May Davis Talks Background and Big Tech

Former Trump Legal Aide and Visiting Fellow of IWF Law Center May Davis Talks Background and Big Tech

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 May Davis, former legal advisor to President Donald Trump and visiting fellow with the independent women’s form to the newsmakers line to discuss her background working with the Trump administration, Big Tech platforms, and the First Amendment.

Leahy: We are delighted to our newsmaker line, May Davis. She’s a former legal adviser to President Donald Trump. And she’s a visiting fellow with the Independent Women’s Law Center. Good morning, May.

Davis: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

Leahy: Well, we’re delighted to have you here. You have a great background. You are a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. That’s the Lawrence campus right?

Davis: That is.

Leahy: It’s a beautiful campus by the way.

Davis: Thank you. And you know, it’s a great basketball school, but it’s a good school, too.

Leahy: Are you a Jayhawk?

Scooter: Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Leahy: Rock Chalk Jayhawk. Does that resonate with you May?

Davis: Yes, it does. And so sometimes when you say rock chalk to someone, they have to say rock chalk back. But sometimes if you say rock chalk, they have to say Jayhawk back. And you just kind of have to look at them and decide which they’re looking for.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s very good. So are you a native of Kansas?

Davis: I am a native, actually, New Orleans, Louisiana. But I grew up mostly in Kansas. So I claim Kansas now.

Leahy: My brother was a teacher in Kansas for many, many, many years. Where in Kansas did you grow up?

Davis: So I lived in two cities. One is Goodland, Kansas. No one will have heard of it unless you are in desperate need of a rest stop on I70. So that’s on the border of Colorado. And then  Kansas, which is kind of close to K State.

Leahy: So what did your folks do there?

Davis: So my dad is a doctor and my mom is also a teacher. And I was a teacher for a few years in Kansas City as well.

Leahy: You were a teacher. Did you teach in a public school or a private school?

Davis: So it’s a charter school in Kansas City and it’s very interesting. They’ve got a couple of charter schools, but their public school system is actually not accredited, meaning a college doesn’t actually have to recognize your Kansas City public school diploma.

I mean, they do, but they don’t have to. So I taught a charter school that actually underperformed, underperformed. t the Kansas City public school system. So it was an interesting two years.

Leahy: It sounds like it was quite a challenge for you. (Davis chuckles) You know, who was at a time, I think he was for a while and he’ll be on our program later today. You probably know him. He has something in common with you, I think. And that is Kris Kobach, who was a professor of law at the University of Missouri, Kansas, for a period of time.

Davis: Yes. A very familiar Kansan.

Leahy: And he’s got a high profile on some of his litigation. Now you went from teaching at a charter school in Kansas City to Harvard Law School. What was that transition like?

Davis: I think it’s intimidating for a lot of people in the Midwest to just go to Harvard and say like can I read and write the same way that all these other people? It is a scary thing. And it turns out you can.

It was a really wonderful experience. And less so as time goes on when you first get there was what I would consider true diversity. Everyone had a different background, a different life story. And you got to sort of learn like that.

And then by the time my third year had rolled around and there were a lot of riots because of the Ferguson, Missouri, the shooting happened then it became less so. I feel sorry, I think, for the Harvard law students now, especially after the pandemic where they really can’t experience their classmates in the way that I originally could. But I truly loved it.

Leahy: She may not have been on faculty at that time. Did you ever have Elizabeth Warren as an instructor?

Davis: So funny enough, we had her husband and she had just left. But she would have been my contract Professor in my section if I was there one year earlier.

Leahy: Missed her by this much! (Laughter) Tell us how you came to become a legal adviser to President Donald Trump.

Davis: After law school, I did what law students do. And I clerked for a federal judge, moved to Denver, Colorado. And I was just content to be in Denver. In case Hillary won, I wasn’t wanting to live in Hillary Clinton’s, D.C.

I did not think that that would be a very fun experience. And I stayed in Denver. But Trump won. The miracle happened. And I got a phone call from some friends who, for one reason or another, we’re not able to work in the administration.

And they thought that I’d be good. And so they gave me a call and I worked all four years. I was there from day one to the last day. It was an incredible experience.

Leahy: Where did you work in the White House? For the chief of staff and some other parts of the White House?

Davis: So I worked in several offices. One is an office that very few people have heard of. It’s called the Staff Secretary’s office. Fascinating office. And you travel around with the president and basically help organize both the president and the White House.

So you create memos, briefings, and help run meetings. It’s a lawyer job. So the Supreme Court Justice Bret Kavanaugh had that job for President Bush. Then after that, I worked for the deputy chief of staff. But basically the chief of staff, John Kelly, for a few years.

And then at the end, I worked in the White House counsel’s office, Pat Sipalone. And actually, while everyone was doing impeachment, I helped more with the policy side. Is this legal? Can we do this?

How can we do this? I want to get that done. It’s a fascinating place to be a lawyer because your problem-solving. Like, can we do something? And you can’t just Google it. There’s no answer. You have to, you know, figure it out uniquely.

Leahy: How exhausting were those four years?

Davis: Well, my skin is definitely better now than it was then. It was very exhausting, especially at first. The first 100 days, only teaching can compare to the amount of work that that is. And then as it gets further on, it becomes manageable.

I don’t know whether that’s because you’re just so used to the lifestyle or whether at some point you’ve tried those things. And so if somebody asks you a question, can I do this? Oh, you asked me that two years ago. I know the answer to that. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: Did you come across a friend of mine? And now once and once again, colleague at Breitbart, where I also write, an attorney and good friend by the name of Ken Klukowski?

Davis: That name is definitely familiar, but we did not work closely with each other, unfortunately. There’s a couple of other Breitbart people that I don’t think went back, but I didn’t work with Ken that closely.

Leahy: Tell us about the style of working closely with President Donald Trump.

Davis: I think the one big thing that was surprising to people when I tell them this is how much he listened to women. This is somebody that when he took office, oh you know, he doesn’t respect women. That was one of at the time.

Now everything he’s Russian agents like people lost their mind. But at the time, everyone’s big complaint was sort of a women’s thing. But whenever I was in the room, he would scan the room for whose eyes seemed like they wanted to say something, and he would call on them.

And so there’s a lot of research that men speak up when they’re 20 percent confident in their answer. And women speak up when they’re 80 percent confident here.

Leahy: If you’re a talk radio host, you speak up when they are five percent confident. But keep going. (Laughter)

Davis: There probably are a lot of times in meetings where a woman is unlikely to just offer random advice to the President of the United States. But the president can look around and he can tell, he can sense that there’s something that’s left unsaid, and he will ask it.

And there’s just something about being a woman who has a voice that hasn’t been expressed yet in that room. He will quiet the room and he will listen to you. And so that’s why some of the closest advisors, Kellanne Conway and Hope Hicks were women.

And so I thought that that and every time I was in the room with him, if I wanted to say something and if I had to say something, I felt like I was able to say it. And that was incredible.

And it’s tough because he does take advice from so many people from so many sources. It was my job to kind of trying to organize him and manage him, like how the information was received. It’s an impossible job. You can’t do it. (Leahy chuckles)

There were so many things that we tried to do to make that better. And so it is both a blessing and it made my job very difficult. But I think in general, you do want the president to be able to and for people to be able to speak up.

So that was something that I found very, very helpful. But also, if you have a president like George Bush, you just had to be very regimented. And he only received this information from approved sources. It makes that organization piece a bazillion times easier. It prevents good ideas from reaching.

(Commercial break)

Leahy: May, You have a terrific article at Townhall. Headline, Crack Down on Social Media Censorship Exposes Conservative Fault Lines. And your conclusion is we’ve now seen a state generally in favor of light regulation on personal freedoms. Choose heavy regulation for the Internet.

That may well be a policy our friends in Florida, the Sunshine State, live to regret, or live to love. But the question is whether it’s a policy they can lawfully choose. Can you elaborate on that for us May?

Davis: Yes. Social media regulation is, I think, a topic you almost can’t learn about, because what are you going to do? Google it?

Leahy: Hold it. That is a great line. That is a great line. Scooter, we’re going to have to record that and keep it. That’s one of the best lines I’ve heard in some time, May.

Davis: (Chuckles) Thank you. Starting from the White House when we were thinking about these issues and even now, if you Google Florida’s social media law, it’s just negative, negative, negative, negative.

But when you think about it, when you Google abortion, what are you going to see? When you Google anything, you see what Google wants you to see. And that’s the same way it is on Twitter. And it’s the same way it is on Facebook.

You see what these companies want you to see. Now Florida says no, you should be able to opt-out of that. So the Florida law does a lot of things. I think they’ve gotten a lot of press on you can’t de-platform political candidates.

And people are, I guess, referencing Donald Trump. It’s not just about that. They say that they have to publish their standards on how they censor you and how they do platform you. And then they have to apply those standards fairly.

So they can’t just say because you’ve said the word, transgender. Now I’m going to watch you a little bit closer. There has to be something that they apply fairly. Alright. Well, then people who are transgender and say that then you get banned and blocked too.

It’s burdensome. It’s a lot. But it’s interesting. And so it’s not one of those issues where everyone said, oh, well, DeSantis is doing this just for political gains. It’s not a clear political winner.

There are a lot of conservatives who do not like the government telling people how to run their business. And at the end of the day, these are social media companies running their business.

And this is Florida telling them how to do that. And people like the Internet. It’s one of the few things in this country that works. It’s not an airline. It’s pretty great. And every day there’s a new cool thing on the Internet.

So you’ve got that side of conservatives who really are kind of free marketing. And they like the freedom of the Internet, even if it means you can’t see the Hunter Biden laptop story. That’s a negative. But there are so many positives.

Then you’ve got another group of people that are like this is the hill worth dying on because the social media companies run the way that we think. They control access to information. And unless they’re regulated or at least threatened with regulation, they’ll take over the culture.

There will be things you can’t say. It will be the 1984 lifestyle. People bring up three big legal problems with Florida law. And that’s what my article really gets into. And actually, yesterday a judge ruled preliminarily on these.

Leahy: What was your ruling? Was it in federal district court?

Davis: It was in federal district court. And it was a Clinton-appointed judge in Florida who ruled that Florida’s law is both unconstitutional and many provisions conflict with federal law. Florida has already said that they’re going to appeal that.

They’ll get three judges on the appellate court to look at it. But the legal challenges are basically this. One, there’s a First Amendment right that Facebook and Google saying that they have is you can’t tell me what to say.

And they resulted to that. And of course, the judge didn’t buy it. So we’re not telling you what to say. And no one would ever think that Twitter, that Jack believes what Donald Trump says on his own Twitter.

So no one by hosting a candidate you’re not saying now Twitter, you speak. They are two different things. Twitter is a platform. And California has a law that says shopping malls have to allow some amount of speech on their private property.

And the shopping malls in the 80s said, no, no, no. I don’t want to do that. I have the right to speak for myself. And the Supreme Court said, no, you’re not speaking. You’re just hosting people. And it’s the same here.

Twitter, when Donald Trump speaks, and whoever that they disagree with speaks, it’s not Twitter speaking. They’re hosting people. So I think the First Amendment is a little more wiggly than at least the judge in Florida would say. But it’s a tough challenge.

Leahy: May Davis, thanks so much. We are out of time. Can you come back again? And by the way, nothing is intellectually more interesting than the concept of a wiggly First Amendment. I like that phrase, too.

Davis: (Laughs) Well, thanks for having me. And yes, I’d be happy to talk about the Internet anytime, because you can’t find this information. We will have you back on May, and we’re delighted to have you on. Thanks so much.

Davis: Thanks.

Listen to the first hour here:

– – –

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 “May Davis” by Independent Women’s Forum. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star News Digital Media’s CTO Christina Botteri Discusses ‘Morality Bureau’ Facebook as Publisher Versus Platform

Star News Digital Media’s CTO Christina Botteri Discusses ‘Morality Bureau’ Facebook as Publisher Versus Platform

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday 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. – guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Star News Media’s CTO Christina Botteri in studio to discuss Big Tech censorship and the concept of publisher versus platform.

Cunningham: Christina Botteri is across the table. Cristina, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

Botteri: Great to be here.

Cunningham: Chief Technology Officer of Star Media and Grant Henry with Americans for Prosperity. Grant, thank you so much for joining us, too. Two days in a row here. Thank you.

Henry: I’m available for three if you need it.

Cunningham: I’m actually a little bit more alert this morning than it was yesterday, so I don’t know, maybe I’m acclimating a little bit. I was a little foggy yesterday. We were talking about Facebook and Project Veritas and their disclosures from a Facebook insider that Facebook has been censoring the people who have vaccine hesitancy.

That sounds like a disease itself. And it’s extraordinary the hubris that the corporate leaders have to come out and tell Americans, we’re not going to allow you to say that. That is not allowed speech on the Facebook platform.

That’s scary as the devil. And if they’re censoring something like that, you know, they’re censoring other stuff. What other speech on Facebook is censored? And I get messages every day about people that got a 30-day suspension for this or a seven-day suspension for that.

This literally is like some morality bureau where they are sitting up there and punching the button and the floor falls out from under you and your chair goes down in a hole. (Botteri laughs)

And nobody knows where you’re gone and you’re never to be heard from again. It’s almost like that, you know? And the arrogance of these people that believe that they can censor our speech. And obviously, there are lots of people concerned about this.

And Marsha Blackburn, in particular in Congress, is saying we need to revise Section 230. Grant, you were talking about Section 230. What does that involve? Where would that get us if Facebook became not a publisher? That’s what you were talking about, right?

Henry: Yeah.

Cunningham: They would not be a publisher, they would be?

Henry: A platform, basically. This all started, obviously, in the tech bubble wave, and we’re in the 90s into the 2000s. And the idea was if we have a website that has a message board or a forum, if you will, you can’t hold the website accountable for any random individual that would jump on there and just post whatever they want to.

Especially if there’s no process by which you vet this information before it gets on there. It’s logical. And to not stifle the growth of the Internet itself, the great frontier of information you have to give them some elite as some allowance, is that you wouldn’t give a normal publisher.

And to be fair, Facebook has always said that we’re not going to be in the game of dictating what is and is not true. We’re just going to let you get out there and have an interaction. But I will say, Ben, whether it’s from Twitter, say, censoring the information of the Hunter Biden story during the election.

Or whether it’s from Facebook censoring this vaccine information right now and whether it’s from Google shutting down stories about this Wuhan Lab leak, it seems to be fairly ubiquitous that we have a problem with access to information.

If I could be so bold as to play Devil’s advocate for a minute here, there are several libertarian-leaning Conservatives that will make the argument, or should I say just conservatism in general that will make the argument of, hey, this is a free company.

They can do what they want. A private company, let them do what they want with their own product. If Facebook wants to create a terrible product and drive its revenue into the ground, then, by all means, let them do it.

Something else to come up and take its place. And I don’t know, I’ll throw it out there to the audience to see. I have my own personal opinions on this, but it is something that Conservatives are left in a little bit of a conundrum to figure out how to deal with. Part of our world uses the free market. The other part says this is a major, obvious, objective problem we have here.

Cunnigham: Christina, what’s your take on that?

Botteri: (Chuckles) Well, you are wrong. People who think, oh, we’ll just wait until something better comes along. And the problem with that is that, as you mentioned, in the early days of the whole tech boom in 1999, I’m old enough to remember 1998, let me tell you something. (Laughter)

Cunningham: Cry me a river.

Botteri: At that time, the Internet was this grand frontier. That’s a wonderful way to put it. And special deals, carve-outs were provided for these new companies, these new endeavors that were going to connect people across the globe.

So Section 230 was sort of one of those special deals. And so companies like Facebook and Google and others, Twitter, and MySpace at the time got these special exemptions. And they grew and they prospered for the most part. (Laughter) They did. They grew.

They prospered. And because they knew what they were doing, and they improved as the technology improved. I’m thinking of Facebook in particular, Twitter, especially, they were able to effectively create a monopoly of instant communications and a freely available communications monopoly on the basis that they were going to be a platform.

And so when they start picking the winners and losers, they very quickly do not become a platform. They are a publisher. I think it’d be really tough for anybody and I’ll go nose to nose with anybody on that one.

Cunningham: And Facebook owns Facebook, of course, huge. They own Instagram. They own WhatsApp. And those are probably three of the biggest social media platforms around. And Microsoft owns LinkedIn. I can tell you that from first-hand knowledge because the Nashville Tea Party was thrown off of LinkedIn with 40,000 followers three weeks before the 2020 election.

And we asked, why did you throw us off? And they said, well, you were trying to influence the election. Us and like 100 million other people were trying to influence the election. It was just an absurd, absurd thing. They obviously didn’t like our politics and that I think they are beginning to respond.

The creation of this board where they decided about whether that they should keep Trump off is at least a PR attempt to create transparency. But they’re going to have to create a whole lot more transparency about how they handle these complaints.

Henry: Well, this is always what happens, right? The law always takes a prolonged period of time to catch up with technology. You certainly understand that. And I think that’s where we are.

But I will say ever the optimists, at least this morning, let me tell a quick story about what happened in the Tennessee legislature just this past session. Representative Mike Sparks, actually carried a bit that was fairly similar to what DeSantis just signed in Florida, and his ability to crack down on Facebook and social media’s quite obvious bias that’s going on right now.

Now, I don’t believe it made out of sub-committee. I’m almost certain it didn’t make it out of committee, but Representative of Michael Curcio made a fairly interesting argument in subcommittee, something to the effect of…

Cunningham: For or against?

Henry: Against.

Cunnigham: Good. Thank you for that.

Henry: Yeah, he made your arguments against why this shouldn’t pass. And his argument went something like this. He said, hey, I was just hanging out with my nieces over the past weekend, and I asked them something about Facebook.

And they almost give me this stunned, stoned perplex look on their face like they didn’t know what it was. They just don’t know what Facebook is. They’re not on there anymore. They don’t use Facebook.

So Curcio’s point was given another five years, and this entire argument itself will be moved. It will be obsolete because the product itself will no longer be used by the upcoming generation.

There are such a plethora of things to choose from nowadays, whether it’s Snapchat or Twitch, or TikTok. I can’t even remember all of them. And here’s the point that I’m making. Conservatives, here’s the optimism thing.

Conservatives, we believe in free-market choice, and we are doing that. If we can’t get the legal side, we are making the act of choice. Look what we did with Parler. We pushed that to the moon and back.

We pushed it so far that they shut it down and you can’t download the app anymore. Conservatives, we do believe what we say. We believe to some extent. And I think we actually go out there and use the alternative forms of media if we’re being censored on the other one.

Now, I think there is some conjunction use between making the legal aspect there. I mean, understandable fair, and free and at the same time, forcing free-market decisions to hold Facebook accountable at the same time.

Botteri: I’m sorry, but the thing of it is that when you have behavior that is unacceptable where a platform is, behaving like a publisher, you need to enforce the law.

Cunningham: Yes. I don’t think there’s any question. Something’s gotta change. Somebody has got to feel some pressure for free speech. And hopefully, that will evolve into something that’s useful to everybody.

Listen to the full second 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Simon and Andy Ogles Discuss the Immense Power of Facebook

Roger Simon and Andy Ogles Discuss the Immense Power of Facebook

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss the Project Veritas Facebook whistleblower and the companies power as larger than many nations.

Leahy: All-star panelist, Roger Simon, Sr. Editor-at-Large with The Epoch Times and our good friend Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. Andy, breaking story eight hours ago, James O’Keefe with Project Veritas, released documents and audio from Facebook. They’re going to start censoring people for vaccine hesitancy. Can you believe that?

Ogles: If you look at what Florida’s done in the bill that they’ve passed, this is akin to this social score.

Simon: In China.

Ogles: So to back up just a moment, Florida has a state legislator down there who came up with this tech censorship bill.

Leahy: Randy Fine. He’s been on our show. Great guy.

Ogles: Yes. And so I’m a fellow with Club for Growth. He is as well.

Leahy: Great minds think alike.

Ogles: Well, I guess, but it was one of those that we were seeing this coming. And so I reached out to the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the Speaker of the House. I sent them this legislation.

I implored them to do the same thing in the state of Tennessee. And they balked. And now we have a situation where you’ve got James O’Keefe unveiling and having actual proof that what we were warning people about is happening.

Simon: I can tell you why they balked. And that’s really horrible. The reason they balked is so many of our politicians are being fed money by Facebook and everybody.

Ogles: We recruited Facebook to come here.

Simon: So they’re bought and paid for, and we’re all headed to be Communist Chinese, not good Chinese. So it’s a very bad situation. And the governor ought to straighten up and fly right as the song goes.

Leahy: So here’s the actual quote. Based on the vaccine hesitancy score, we will demote or leave the comment alone one whistleblower at Facebook said.’ Unbelievable. So if you have a good vaccine, hesitancy score that is that you’re not hesitant to take the vaccine they’ll leave it alone.

Simon: That’s right.

Leahy: Like Senator Rand Paul. Senator Rand Paul has made the personal decision that he’s not going to take the vaccine. And so they will demote any of his comments at Facebook using this algorithm.

Ogles: Well, I think a lot of us suspected that Facebook was doing this, but now you have quantifiable proof that they are doing it. And again, either the fact that as in China that we’re being assigned a number, a score, and it is ranking our worthiness to be on their platform.

And some might say that this tech censorship bill smacks into the freedom of freedom of speech from the business perspective, but we’ve stepped in with antitrust laws to break up this type of behavior.

Leahy: Let me get the exact quote so you know exactly what happened. Fox News last night. ‘Investigative journalist James O’Keefe reacted on Hannity Monday to exclusive documents and interviews that were provided to his Project Veritas organization by two Facebook whistleblowers that purport to show the social media giant is using an algorithm to target users who disseminate messaging that runs counter to the company’s political ideology.’

O’Keefe told Hannity that Facebook initiated a beta test for the algorithm that classifies some users under two incremental tiers of what they dub vaccine hesitancy or your VH score without the user’s knowledge.

Based on that VH score, we will demote or leave the comment alone, depending upon the content within the comment. That’s what the Whistleblower said. Roger?

Simon: Speaking to what Andy said, a lot of people consider themselves a libertarian or conservative, complaining we shouldn’t be messing with private corporations. They are able to do what they want.

But no one ever conceived of private corporations like Facebook and Google Alphabet in the days that this kind of legislation was written. They are more powerful than 95 percent of nations. I would say they’re more powerful in every nation, but the USA in China.

Leahy: Roger, what’s your VH score? Has Facebook given you your score?

Simon: I’ll tell you, I’m going to be honest about it. I actually took the vaccine, and the reason I took the vaccine is I travel for work all the time and was afraid they wouldn’t let me on planes. And now I’m saying, well, I was a chicken and I did it, but my reason for doing it is probably accurate.

Leahy: Well, now I’ve taken the vaccines. My personal thing is I’m 66. I’m in that zone. The danger zone, if you will.

Simon: You’re looking good.

Leahy: My inner 46 says thank you, Roger, for that. And I looked at the evidence, and to me, there’s enough evidence to say, okay, well, it’s not going to hurt me, and it’s going to help me.

That was my personal choice, Senator Rand Paul, different choice. If you’re pregnant, if you’re a woman and pregnant, you may have a different choice.

Ogles: Well, I’m in the Rand Paul camp. I’ve not gotten the vaccine. I have no intentions of getting the vaccine. And that’s my choice.

Leahy: That’s your choice, because I don’t know your personal circumstances.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: That’s for you to decide. Not for me, not for Roger and certainly not Facebook.

Simon: Well, you know, I feel sorry for it, because he won’t be able to go to Paris next year. But maybe he doesn’t want to go to Paris.

Leahy: Let me correct that. He may be able to go to Paris, Tennessee.

Ogles: Well, and let me tell you, over the next year, I plan on visiting Paris and lots of places in Tennessee, so it’s going to be a busy keep you busy.

Leahy: That’s good. But, look, this is very dangerous, very dangerous. And I do think here’s a bit of the problem. We have antitrust laws that could be used by the Department of Justice, but Merrick Garland isn’t going to use them. Nor, by the way, did Bill Barr.

Simon: No.

Leahy: A big disappointment.

Simon: H.L. Mencken again, it’s about the money.

Leahy: It is about the money.

Simon: I mean, that’s the scary part about it. People are so easily bought.

Ogles: Well, when going back to that quote and this VH score, what’s frightening about this or concerning is that this is a beta test of an algorithm that is going to be applied in a much broader use and broader function.

Simon: Or has been already.

Leahy: We don’t know.

Ogles: And so, again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And again, that is why I begged the governor. I held a press conference. I sent a letter. I sent the actual piece of legislation that Florida passed and said, we’ve got to do this in Tennessee to protect freedom of speech and I got crickets.

I got nothing in response. And here we are, now we have the proof. And I hate to say it, but I told you so we saw this coming. And once again, we’ve done nothing about it.

Leahy: And that is, I think, a little bit of the problem here in Tennessee.

Simon: A little bit? It’s the biggest problem that may be facing America in the next 50 years.

Leahy: But in particular in Tennessee because Maury County in Tennessee, where our friend Andy Ogles is the Mayor there.

Simon: The one Tennessee free zone.

Leahy: It’s a bastion of freedom.

Simon: Tennessee should be a bastion of freedom. I mean, it’s one of the that’s interesting about it is being an immigrant here from California for three years now duration. I came thinking it was going to be pure red.

And actually, it’s one of the reddest states, and at the same time, the government is not as red as the people. It’s very weird situation that we have, whereas in Florida, the government seems to be more red than the people. I mean, we should be out front on these things rather than lagging behind.

Ogles: You look at the lawsuit in Texas not to get us off of this vaccine score thing from Facebook because it’s so important and it needs to be discussed, and we need to be shouting from the rooftops.

But that lawsuit against the government on election integrity. Tennessee, by the time we signed on to the amicus brief, we were like 16th or 17th, the decision had been made. The outcome was predetermined. So, again, we were following instead of leading. And we’re one of the reddest states in the country.

Simon: The politicians here should be in the front because they have nothing to lose. They got the people behind them.

Listen to the full second 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 “Andrew Ogles” by Andrew Ogles and photo “Roger Simon” by Roger Simon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Dirty Bird With Two Corrupt Wings: Diamond and Silk Talk About Congress, Picking a Side, and Their New Social Media Sight Chatdit.com

One Dirty Bird With Two Corrupt Wings: Diamond and Silk Talk About Congress, Picking a Side, and Their New Social Media Sight Chatdit.com

 

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 authors of Uprising, Diamond and Silk to the newsmaker line to weigh in on what’s going on in D.C., their new show on Newsmax, and social media site Chatdit.com

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmakers line by Diamond and Silk! Good morning, Diamond and Silk. How are you doing?

Diamond: Wonderful. We hope you are doing well.

Leahy: Well, the last time we met was about a year and a half ago in Washington, D.C. A lot has happened since then. Give our listeners an update on what Diamond and Silk have been doing lately.

Diamond: Well, what we’ve been doing is calling out the obvious. When we look at everything that’s happening in our country when we look at what’s happening in D.C. You have the military in D.C. You have somebody that says, hey, the President, but we look at him as the resident.

Leahy: That’s a good line.

Diamond: We’re checking all of this out and we’re calling out the obvious. That’s what we’ve been doing. And what we’ve also been doing is telling people to drop the party affiliation and stopped picking a side and get on the same side. Because right now, our freedoms are being dismantled.

Silk: That’s right.

Diamond: Piece by piece and bit by bit and we’re tired of it.

Silk: And when you look at the parties, they’re both the same thing. One dirty bird with two corrupt wings. And with the way that our Republicans, even though they fought for our freedom, during slavery, and they are supposed to be the party of freedoms, they handed our freedoms over to the left, Liberal, white Liberals.

Leahy: Your phrases are really good. One dirty bird with two corrupt wings. I like that one, too. That’s very good.

Diamond: Well, we figured it out after this election. I’ve never seen anything like this here. And I know people don’t want you to talk about the election of 2020, but let me tell you something. There would never be another free and fair election if they don’t straighten out what happened in 2020 because constitutional laws were broken.

Silk: That’s right.

Diamond: We are a Republic government by constitutional law, and there’s no other law that supersedes that. So when you see people breaking the law, when you see the highest court in the land ain’t standing up for the law, where do we go? Where do we turn? What’s happening? We’re not a Banana Republic. We’re the United States of America, and we want to remain that.

Leahy: I’m told and I think this is true that Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook doesn’t like you guys very much.

Diamond: Oh, no, he sure doesn’t. Let me tell you something. They censor us so much it’s pathetic.

Silk: But if you look at it, a lot of them, the one thing that scares a lot of these Liberals is the fact that you have Black women or Black people who are awakening from the Democrat stupor. So they don’t like that regardless.

Leahy: About Facebook, it’s hard for me to keep track of when you’re officially on Facebook when they censor you. What’s your current status? Are you on Facebook today, or are you in the censor mode with them?

Diamond: Okay, we’re on Facebook, but we’re in the censor mode. We have over two million fans and followers. But if we come on live, they’re only going to let a few people be able to see it.

Silk: Right. They are purging our page.

Diamond: Sometimes people can’t like our page. They can’t follow our page, they can’t see our content, they can’t see our videos. These are the games that they play. They do it to a bunch of Conservatives. They do it when you start questioning their motives. They do it when you start questioning things like the vaccine. They want to say you’re a conspiracy theorist. But there ain’t nothing conspiratorial about want to those facts before you tell me to stick something in my arm.

Leahy: Let’s follow up with that on Facebook because we’ve had our own experiences with them. And the question is, you don’t know why. So you’re up on Facebook, but they won’t let all the people that like your page see what you do. When you talk to Facebook, what do they say to you?

Diamond: It’s the same old, same old. We’ll check it out, we’ll get back to you. All you can do is document this stuff because one day I just believe that the chains and fences are going to open up and somebody is going to be able to sue Facebook.

Silk: That’s right. But keep in mind that you can still stay connected to Diamond and Silk on our own social media platform Chatdit.com. What we’re not going to do is just sit back and cry like babies. What we’re going to do is join them if we can’t beat them and that’s what we did.

Leahy: Okay, so give me that detail on your own social media platform. Spell it out again.

Diamond: C-H-A-T-D-I-T.com.

Leahy: I am going there right now, and there you are on Chatdit.com. When did you open up Chatdit? When did you open it up?

Diamond: Actually, it was a year ago, April 26, and it appeared to be the same day that we were on the Hill back in 2018 April 26th. So we utilized that particular day as our day of getting started. So it was April 26, 2020, that we started Chatdit and opened IT up to the world, and we are growing leaps and bounds.

Leahy: How many people are using Chatdit now?

Silk: We have close to over 200,000 and we’re doing it independently. You know, we’re not trying to be like Facebook. We’re trying to be better than Facebook. We want to be honest with everybody, and we want people to come there. You sign up at your own will. And then one thing we do not do, we do not censor you. If there is something on there that you do not like then you can block yourself and seeing that person. This is how we operate.

Diamond: And whenever we put out a live video if we want the public to see it. We like to put it over there because you can’t talk about certain things on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter anymore.

Silk: That’s right.

Diamond: So we put it over there so people can see the full context of the video.

Silk: And the video is on our home page where you can see it without having to log in because we want you to see our content. We want you to see what Diamond and Silk have to say.

Diamond: Right.

Leahy: So what’s the home page again?

Diamond: Chatdit.com.

Leahy: When you say the homepage it’s Chatdit.com. Are you two doing live appearances and speeches, or are you just online these days?

Diamond: Okay, so we are doing live. We were on tour when this pandemic hit. And now that we’re still in the midst of this pandemic, we stopped touring because we didn’t think it was fair to make our people wear masks and have to follow all of these Draconian measures just to come to a show. We do have our new show on Newsmax called Diamond and Silk Crystal Clear that comes on Saturdays at 8:30 pm Eastern at a time. That keeps us busy.

We have a weekly podcast that comes out. You could find it on where you find your podcast. That way you get your podcast that’s weekly and that keeps us busy. And we do have a best-selling book called Uprising: Who the Hell Said You Can’t Ditch and Switch? — The Awakening of Diamond and Silk. And you can get the book at D&SStore.com and a signed autographed copy.

Listen to the full first hour:

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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 “Diamond and Silk” by The Alex Jones Channel CC 3.0.