Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's hero worship over Elon Musk buying Twitter continued on its merry way. Tim Graham began his Nov. 30 column by whining:
Anyone who thinks the First Amendment is best represented by the “news” media is not paying attention to the way they wage war on freedom of speech for the conservative “rabble” on social media platforms.
Imagine if the media had attacked new media owners Jeff Bezos or David Zaslav with the kind of venom that they’re using on Twitter owner Elon Musk. No one would suggest it’s important for the government to monitor The Washington Post or CNN as potential sources of misinformation. Their brands are supposed to be synonymous with “trustworthy,” even though public opinion would offer a harsh reality check.
In recent weeks, Musk has taken the place of Rupert Murdoch on the information-supervillain beat. Outlets like CNN and the Post are actively rooting for Twitter to fail, chronicling that a third of Twitter advertisers haven’t appeared in the last several weeks.
But Graham's comparison is highly flawed. Unlike Zaslav's CNN or Bezos' Post, Twitter is not a media organziation that does original reporting -- it's a social media site with user-generated content, a big difference. He went on to stupidly huff that "The problem here is which privileged people are allowed to define what is 'misinformation' and what is 'hate'" -- as if the MRC doesn't exercise taht same privilege in attacking its political enemies.
Joseph Vazquez lashed out at the Post again later that day:
That The Washington Post can claim with a straight face that there was “no proof” of Twitter censoring conservatives when the Media Research Center has been documenting individual cases of censorship for over two years is simply ridiculous.
A Nov. 27 Post article written by three reporters brazenly claimed “[t]he right wing and conservatives for years have accused Twitter of censorship with no proof.”
That’s despite the fact that Twitter owner Elon Musk stated unequivocally days before the article’s publication that it was “correct” when conservative podcaster Dinesh D’Souza said that Twitter “[c]ensorship has been deployed as a one-way operation against conservatives.”
The Post glossed over Musk’s affirmation of Twitter censorship by teasing that he “agreed with right-wing figures on the site who accuse Twitter’s previous management of being biased against conservatives,” but only as a way of making it seem like the billionaire is misleading when “he says he’s a political moderate.”
Vazquez offered no reason why Musk's words should be trusted at face value or why a convicted felon and documented liar like D'Souza should be trusted at all. Instead, he felt he needed to shill for his employer:
MRC Free Speech America would also like to introduce The Post to its CensorTrack.org database, which was launched in September 2020 to specifically show the proof of the extent of Big Tech censorship of conservatives. It’s pretty convenient for the liberal rag to treat this database as though it didn’t exist. MRC Free Speech America researchers have logged 4,714 documented cases of Big Tech censorship across platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and others. Twitter alone accounted for 55 percent (2,583) of the total number of cases logged in CensorTrack.
The MRC’s exclusive database was so influential that an MRC Free Speech America study based on CensorTrack data was cited in an ongoing lawsuit from Missouri and Louisiana against the Biden administration for allegedly colluding with Big Tech to censor Americans. What’s ironic is that The Post has reported on the same lawsuit against Biden that cited CensorTrack data. One Oct. 25 story was headlined: “Cyber officials may have to testify about alleged social media collusion.”
Another MRC Free Speech America study released in 2021 showed that Big Tech overwhelmingly censored Republican members of Congress by a rate of 54-to-1 compared to congressional Democrats. But “[n]o proof,” right Washington Post?
The CensorTrack database is not proof of anything -- it's a political tool designed to push the partisan right-wing narrative of conservative "censorship" that completely ignores any other "censorship" claim and makes no distinction between a social media site enforcing its terms of service and actual censorship of a mainstream conservative view.
Vazquez played the Soros boogeyman card in another Nov. 30 post complaining that "A group funded by liberal billionaire George Soros is pressuring the federal government to investigate the world’s richest man simply because he now owns Twitter."Autumn Johnson followed with a couple of hero-worship articles:
- Elizabeth Warren Slams Elon Musk’s Pro-Free Speech Changes at Twitter ("Elon Musk is working to make Twitter a bastion of free speech–and Elizabeth Warren just isn’t having it")
- Mike Pence Praises Elon Musk’s Plan to Release Censorship Files ("Former Vice President Mike Pence praised Twitter owner Elon Musk’s decision to release internal Twitter files related to censorship on the platform")
When Musk released those "censorship files," the MRC really went crazy. More soon.