Topic: Media Research Center
Right-wing financier Vivek Ramaswamy recently announced his presidential campaign -- but he had a head start in building name recognition thanks to helep from the Media Research Center. He first popped up at the MRC in a June 2021 post by Gabriela Pariseau:
Philanthropy Roundtable board member and author Vivek Ramaswamy gave Big Tech an ultimatum for its Section 230 protections: Uphold the First Amendment or lose immunity privileges.
Ramaswamy, founder of Roivant Sciences and a Philanthropy Roundtable board member, tweeted: “It’s time to amend Section 230. Either you operate like a normal company, without the federal blanket of immunity, or you agree to abide by the First Amendment in return for that immunity. Tech companies can’t have it both ways.”
He has pushed back against Big Tech censorship multiple times leading to the release of his forthcoming book, Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam.
In addition to quoting him in several posts, the MRC continued to promote Ramaswamy's pontifications:
- Philanthropy Roundtable Board Member Insists Big Tech Censorship Is Unconstitutional
- ‘Trump Can Win’: WSJ Op-Ed Says There’s a ‘Strong Case’ Against Big Tech
When Elon Musk started showing interest in Twitter, Alexander Hall made sure to get a comment from Ramaswamy, and he weas later given a post to gush further over Musk:"Vivek Ramaswamy Praises Musk on Fox News: He Paved Way for Shareholders to Fight Twitter Censorship."When ESG became mandated for right-wingers to rage against, Ramaswamy give the MRC plenty of content:
- WATCH: Glenn Beck Guest Says ESG ‘Would Make Our Founding Fathers Shudder’
- Bloomberg Columnist Smacks ‘Apostles’ of Woke ESG Movement (Ramaswamy is not the columnist but is quoted)
- WATCH: Environmental, Social, Governance Standards and the Radical Left’s Anti-American Agenda
- ‘CCP’S Boot on Your Neck’: Vivek Ramaswamy Slams Woke BlackRock, ESGs
- WATCH: Vivek Ramaswamy Blasts Climate Extremist ‘Religion’ and ESG Movement in Corporate America
In October, the MRC hyped Ramaswamy reacting to its bogus research purporting to show pro-Democratic Google search bias:
Woke Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy reacted to a new MRC Free Speech America study by ripping Big Tech giant Google for manipulating search results to favor Democrats in highly contested senate races.
The Strive Asset Management executive chairman unleashed on Google during the Oct. 26 edition of Fox Business Tonight: “We hear alot about the threats to our democracy. Well, guess what! I think this is a big threat to our democracy,” he said. To give “one autocratic actor the chance to tilt the scales of what the public can and cannot see about the candidates that they’re asked to vote for in November” is a "threat to democracy.”
A Nov. 3 post by Jeffrey Clark gushed over Ramaswamy spouting his talking points on CNBC:
Woke Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy crushed CNBC hosts for railing against freedom of speech in what turned out to be a heated debate — even a two-on-one cage match — over a basic Constitutional right.
Ramaswamy unleashed an onslaught of arguments in defense of free speech and free markets on the Nov. 3 edition of Squawk Box. “First rule of the road is no viewpoint-based discrimination,” Ramaswamy said. “Spam, porn content, moderate that — get it out of the feeds. But that means no viewpoint discrimination and here’s the rub, that means hates speech goes away as a category, because as heinous as it may be, hate speech is just someone else’s opinion.”
Ramaswamy continued on to school the CNBC hosts for using “misinformation” as an excuse to censor Americans. “If you’re going to take down false speech, I believe a cardinal rule is that the company bears the obligation to prove that the speech was false before removing it, and then if in doubt, here’s a tiebreaker, give the power back to the user,” he said. “Let the user decide what protocols they opt into and not.”
More Ramaswamy worship followed under the gushy headline "Vivek Ramaswamy Rips Centralized Digital Currency as 'Cancer' Symptom of 'New World Order'." But interestingly, the day Ramaswamy's candidacy was announced, Feb. 21, was also the day a post by Pariseau touted a "three-part series" of interviews between Ramaswamy and her boss, Brent Bozell, in which tjhey "discussed how anti-Americanism has infected American society and plagued American institutions including Big Tech." But nowhere in Pariseau's post did she mention that Ramaswamy was a presidential candidate -- instead, there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the accompanying video: "The Media Research Center is a 501c(3) non-profit and does not endorse any candidates or campaigns. This video was recorded on 2/16/2023."
A March 3 post touted an interview Ramasway did with MRC podcaster Paiten Iselin -- part 2 of the series -- in which they "discussed the question: 'Is there hope for America?'" Again, there was no disclosure in the post, just a disclaimer at the beginning of the video but changing the interview date to Feb. 17. Renata Kiss touted what was apparently part 23 in a March 8 post:
In an exclusive interview with MRC Business Vice President Dan Schneider, Woke, Inc. author Vivek Ramaswamy condemned ESG efforts and offered a free market alternative based “exclusively on an excellence centric vision.”
Ramaswamy warned the public of how companies that subscribe to woke environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards use American citizens’ money to try to push “one-sided political agendas,” and “correct” so-called societal “injustices.” He also explained why the need for alternative solutions motivated him to create Strive Asset Management.
Once again, the post did not disclose Ramaswamy's candidacy but stuck a disclaimer at the beginning of the video. That disclaimer is disingenuous, of course -- it's unlikely that the MRC didn't know Ramaswamy would announcehis candidacy a few days after the interviews, and the first video appearing on the day of the announcement was no coincidence. It is indisputably coordinated promotion of his candidacy and looks more than a little shady. Someone should probably alert the Federal Election Commission about this.