Topic: Media Research Center
In April, the Media Research Center started a campaign to get its fellow right-wing nonprofit organizations to get them to refuse donations from "big tech" companies, with chief Brent Bozell claiming that "Silicon Valley’s money is toxic and it’s poisoning our society. ... We must act together to end Silicon Valley’s corrupt grip over Washington and our public discourse.” In that letter, Bozell had praised the Heritage Foundation for having "turned down two six-figure contributions from Google and Facebook." The next month, the MRC praised Heritage again for officially signing Bozell's pledge "so long as the platforms suppress conservative viewpoints." That's a bogus argument, of course; the MRC has never proven that "big tech" companies "suppress" conservative viewpoints exclusively.
So it was a little strange to see a May 28 post by Autumn Johnson complaining that Facebook wasn't donating money to conservatives:
Facebook has decided to resume political donations — excluding conservative Republican members of Congress like Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Josh Hawley, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Rep. Steve Scalise.
The social media giant says it will no longer give donations to political candidates who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election. The news comes after Google and Amazon announced that they would pause donations to these political candidates as well.
Facebook paused all political donations after the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“As a result of our review, the FBPAC Board has decided to resume contributions, but not to any members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election following the events at the Capitol on January 6,” Facebook Public Policy Director Brian Rice told employees. “While a contribution to a candidate for office does not mean that we agree with every policy or position that a candidate may espouse, we believe this decision is appropriate given the unprecedented events in January.”
If conservatives weren't supposed to take Facebook's money due to the MRC's arm-twisting, why is it now upset that Facebook won't donate to them anyway?
Johnson went on to tout how Republican Sen. Ted Cruz "announced that he will no longer accept donations from Facebook." But she didn't explicitly state that Cruz favored rejecting presidential election results from two states with the intent of throwing the election results into chaos.
Then, in a June 3 post listing this as an example of the "WORST Censorship" that month -- despite the fact no rational person thinks not giving a political donation to someone equates to "censorship" -- Casey Ryan complained further about this situation by suggesting that Trump's bogus attacks on the election were somehow legitimate:
Trump and elected officials had concerns regarding the integrity of the last election, but rather than at least listen to their concerns, Facebook is punishing them.
Politicians should not rely on Big Tech contributions considering that Silicon Valley has appeared to have no respect for the First Amendment. But Facebook has exposed its blatant bias by choosing to punish primarily Republican officials who were elected by the American people. Forbes reported that a majority of Republican voters “believe Trump’s claims that Biden’s win was due to widespread voter fraud.” Facebook has now planned to punish the politicians who share the concerns of their constituents over the integrity of last year’s election.
Ryan surely knows that no Trump- or Republican-promoted attack on the election has advanced in any court, or even that they have held up under the most cursory scrutiny. That means these Republicans weren't concerned about "election integrity" -- they were enabling a lie. No candidate who enables lies so egregious that they threaten to undermine American democracy deserves political support, and Ryan doesn't make the case for why they do.