WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wrote a hot mess of a Aug. 7 column, in which he attempted to intertwine his usual conspiracy theories with the news of the day, the removal of hateful conspiracy-monger Alex Jones from several social-media outlets. After invoking Martin Niemoller (hence his headline "First, they came for Alex Jones...") Farah fully engaged in said hot mess:
I’m going to defend Alex Jones’ right to say what he wants – even if I sometimes, or even often, find myself in disagreement with him. And I’m going to condemn this cabal of bloated mega-corporations imposing their ideology on America’s most vital public square – the digital media.
Maybe you say, “Well, Farah, don’t these corporations have the absolute right to approve and disapprove of the viewpoints they carry – just like you do?” The answer may be surprising: No, they don’t. None of these conglomerates are publishers, content producers, part of the “press.” They are more akin to “utilities” – like the telephone companies of old or the electricity producers who have a public obligation to be fair and neutral in offering the services they provide to all, without regard to race, religion and ideology. They don’t have to like Alex Jones. They don’t have to listen to Alex Jones. But if they are going to have privileged positions making money distributing all manner of content, data, information, they dare not think of themselves as “gatekeepers” against offensive political speech. And they better not designate the partisan hacks of the SPLC as their content cops, which is what they have done – all of them!
I know I sound like a broken record on this theme, but I’m going to keep pounding on it until the public catches on to the threat these trillion-dollar monopolies pose to America’s precious institutions of free speech, the free press and freedom of religion. We need congressional hearings. We need action in Washington. We need President Trump to recognize who the biggest purveyors of fake news really are. It’s not just CNN and the Huffington Post. It’s their distribution arms – Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon – the Digital Cartel.
It’s time to throw down the gauntlet, draw a marker in the sand, file class-action lawsuits, summon our leaders to action.
Treating internet companies like public utilities? Isn't that what net neutrality is all about? Pretty much -- and Farah and WND oppose it.
In November 2017, WND published an interview its Greg Corombos did with FCC commissioner Brendan Carr, who asserted that net neutrality rules, in Corombos' words, "badly misapplied laws designed to address telephone service and actually wound up with the federal government micromanaging the Internet and its providers" -- in other words, the utility rule Farah wants to apply to Google. And in a June column, Farah complained that net neutrality was one issue with which "Google became aligned with progressive politics."
Oh, and as for Farah's assertion about "who the biggest purveyors of fake news really are"? We know -- as Farah surely does but will never admit -- it's WND.
Farah concluded by ranting:
I’ve been telling you how they have attacked WND relentlessly and ruthlessly through its politically and religiously discriminatory algorithms. I’ve told you how they have been coming after the independent media, especially since the 2016 election that so disappointed all of them.
Do you really want to talk about supposed Russian interference in our free society when this powerful monolithic cartel is setting the rules of debate for Americans out in plain sight – openly censoring voices they don’t like while systematically elevating those they do like? What a sick joke!
As for me, I will defend the voices of dissent, and even controversy, as long as I have a soapbox upon which to stand. I know they are coming after me and the first independent online news company I founded 21 years ago. Once, again, I ask you to stand with me or find yourself living in a country you won’t long recognize. No privacy. No freedom.
Oh, he adds, and send him money so he can publish more fake news.