Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, July 20, 2023
The years 2020-2023 resembled a dream sequence from George Orwell’s surreal novel, “1984”. Many Americans are sleeping but for those paying attention, collapsing confidence in election security and blatant weaponization of federal agencies is a nightmare scenario.
Leftists have put together a powerful conglomerate of politicians, deep state operatives, Big Tech, and Big Media to push their narrative and suppress contrary evidence and perspectives.
As powerful and well-funded as the Left’s “Ministry of Truth” is, however, it is finding that the First Amendment has survived in the DNA of the American body politic if not in its institutions.
Recent congressional hearings and court rulings have further exposed the Left’s censorship regime and threaten to dismantle the “Ministry of Truth” ahead of an enormously consequential 2024 election.
On Thursday, Breitbart politics editor Emma-Jo Morris testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on the censorship she experienced in 2020 after reporting the initial story on the now-infamous Hunter Biden laptop at the New York Post.
“At the time, I was deputy politics editor at the New York Post and my reporting showed that despite then-candidate Joe Biden’s repeated and furious denials, he was apparently involved in the foreign business deals of his family,” said Morris.
Morris noted that the New York Post published details on how the outlet obtained the information in the report, identified sources, and a federal subpoena showing that the FBI was in possession of the laptop.
“But when the stories appeared on social media that morning, the venue where millions of Americans go to find their news and editors to get their angles, within hours, the reporting was censored on all major platforms on the basis of being called hacked and Russian disinformation,” Morris said, noting that Twitter refused to allow users to share the story even in private messages, and Facebook said it would curb distribution and reach of the story’s links.
Morris noted that two years later, most major news outlets have confirmed the accuracy of her reporting, and that “no one denies that the laptop is real, that the origin story is exactly what I told you it was in the first place.” This after those same outlets, The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CBS and others reported on why they would not report on the laptop. Later, they all had to backtrack and report that it was verified and factual.
“This elaborate censorship conspiracy wasn’t because the information being reported on was false. It was because it was true, and it was a threat to the power centers in this country,” Morris said.
“What this relationship between the U.S. government, officials, and American corporations represent is an unprecedented push to undermine the First Amendment the right to think, right read, say whatever we want, and how we respond will determine whether we see a free press as inalienable or as optional,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, Team Biden continues to fight a judge’s ruling that essentially blocks the Biden team’s ability to collude directly with Big Tech companies to restrict so-called “misinformation.”
Only July 4, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty of Louisiana granted a preliminary injunction in a 2022 lawsuit brought by Attorneys General Jeff Landry and Eric Schmitt of Louisiana and Missouri. Judge Doughty’s order, citing “substantial evidence” that “the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth,’ ” forbids multiple government agencies and Biden administration officials from meeting with or contacting social media companies.
Writing for AMAC on Thursday, Shane Harris noted: “Landry and Schmitt’s lawsuit catalogues a litany of instances where senior Biden administration officials instructed ‘content moderators’ at Twitter and Facebook to throttle or outright ban accounts that contradicted the White House’s narrative on topics such as COVID-19 and the Hunter Biden Laptop scandal – and threatened those companies with antitrust and regulatory action if they did not comply.”
In one example from the lawsuit, employees at Instagram quickly acquiesced to a request from the Biden White House to remove an account critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci. In another, Biden director of digital strategy Ron Flaherty demanded that Facebook take down a Tucker Carlson video even after Facebook employees told him it “doesn’t qualify for removal.”
The Biden Department of Justice quickly filed a request to pause the July 4 order banning contact with social media companies. But in a 13-page ruling on July 10, Judge Doughty denied the motion to stay his preliminary injunction.
One line from Judge Doughty’s ruling in particular stands out. In response to an argument by the DOJ that the injunction would “prohibit [the Biden administration] from engaging in a vast range of lawful conduct,” Doughty says that the preliminary injunction “only prohibits what the Defendants have no right to do—urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech on social-media platforms.”
“In other words,” Doughty writes, “the only effect of staying the preliminary injunction would be to free Defendants to urge, encourage, pressure, or induce the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech on social media platforms.”
Despite the rebukes from Judge Doughty, the Biden administration received temporary relief late last week from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which placed a hold on Doughty’s injunction. A panel of three judges – two of whom were appointed by Democrat presidents – ruled that Doughty’s order is void until the court can issue a full decision on the merits of his ruling.
Harris noted: ‘The more Democrats and the mainstream media rail against rules prohibiting collusion between the government and Big Tech, the more they reveal that ‘combating misinformation’ really means silencing anything that differs from the left’s approved narrative. Even if conservatives don’t win every courtroom battle, the public is beginning to see through the charade.”
In another First Amendment case, a Texas judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a couple there suing Delaware conservative activist Lauren Witzke after she slammed two men who posted about the birth of their surrogate twins on social media for engaging in human trafficking and pedophilia.
Claiming Texas Courts’ “lack personal jurisdiction” over Witzke, District Court Judge Tanya Garrison on July 12 dismissed the civil lawsuit filed by Eric Vaughn — the owner of a Houston hair salon. A court’s lacking of personal jurisdiction means a judge does not have the power or authority to make decisions that affect a person.
Vaughn had shared a video on social media in late February showing him and his husband holding their 32-week-old “preemie twins.”
Witzke reposted Vaughn’s video to her Twitter account on March 15, saying: “A new fetish with pedophiles consists of robbing babies from their mothers straight out of the womb. This is human trafficking and would be illegal in a sane society.”
Vaughn filed a defamation lawsuit against Witzke on March 20 in Texas’ District Court of Harris County, where most of Houston is located. He sought $75,000 in damages.
“While I’m pleased by the dismissal, I am dismayed with the abuse of litigation and with the weaponization of the U.S. Judicial System,” Witzke told Delaware Online/The News Journal in a statement.
Witzke’s attorney, Mark Ivanyo, said in court documents the Witzke is a Christian conservative political commentator who on March 15 “expressed her disagreement” with Vaughn’s lifestyle and decisions — which he said is allowed and protected by the First Amendment.
Witzke said she plans to take action against Vaughn’s attorney, Tony Buzbee.
“I intend to pursue Mr. Buzbee and his law firm for costs, sanctions, and attorney’s fees, and I will pursue him all the way to the Texas Supreme Court,” she said. “It appears Mr. Buzbee’s $5,000 recent political donation to the judge did not reap a reward in this case.”
Buzbee has donated $7,500 to Garrison’s campaign, according to Transparency USA: $5,000 was donated to the Democrat judge in 2022 and another $2,500 this year, according to the website’s most recent numbers for 2023.
Delaware Online wrote a 3 page spread in my hometown newspaper about a homosexual Tik Tok Couple who were suing me over my comments about homosexual surrogacy.
What Delaware Online DIDN’T tell you is that they said that they would drop the lawsuit if I just apologized,… pic.twitter.com/AzaaqW7VGY
— Lauren Witzke (@LaurenWitzkeDE) July 18, 2023
BREAKING: Journalist Emma-Jo Morris (@EmmaJoNYC), who broke the Hunter Biden laptop story for @NYPost but was immediately censored by the state on social media in an attempt to influence the 2020 election, just delivered a mind-boggling testimony on the extent of censorship in… pic.twitter.com/FSBuQ5tfwW
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) July 20, 2023