SocraticGadfly: Trump's Twitter ban & First Amendment idiots & hypocrites

January 11, 2021

Trump's Twitter ban & First Amendment idiots & hypocrites

I hadn't originally planned to blog about the idiocy of the likes of Glenn Greenwald, having figured that calling him out on Twitter for his First Amendment idiocy over Twitter's ban of President Trump was enough.

While I'm here, though, let me note that I threw Michael Tracey under the bus, too:

The real problem, though, arose Monday, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated she found the ban "problematic."

My thoughts there in this Tweet:

That should say it all.

So, let's tackle all three — Greenwald and Tracey together as symptoms of a certain class of journos. 

Is Merkel more hypocrite or idiot? It's true that Trump's blather has not risen to the level of neo-Nazi statements that are banned in Germany. On the other hand, he had in the past tweeted about such things as how the Proud Boys should "stand by." So, primarily, she's a hypocrite. 

Greenwald and Tracey — and assuming the likes of Taibbi are saying similar — are also hypocrites. It would be charitable to just call them idiots, but way too charitable.

To expand on what I told Greenwald, and an email group that was formed to address a couple of Green Party issues but has largely been hijacked by a couple of ardent horseshoe theory practitioners, Glenn either knows better and is a hypocrite, or should know better, and being in a position to know better, is also a hypocrite. Plus, since this is a sort of First Amendment quasi-absolutism in reverse, he's being hoist by his own petard.

Twitter's actions would be just like me telling someone:

We have run a number of your letters to the editor that have come close to libel of local officials. We have flagged some of them with our editorial comments at the bottom. We delayed one letter for publication by a week. The only effect this seems to have had is to have been a red flag to a bull. Therefore, we are banning you from running any more letters to the editor.

As a newspaper editor or publisher, I would have EVERY First Amendment right to do that.

but, what about monopolism, which Glennwald has raised elsewhere?

First, that's not a First Amendment issue.

Second, Twitter isn't a monopoly. Both Parler and Gab exist, even if Parler is scrambling to find its own hosting servers.

Third? Glennwald (though not Merkel) also talked about Facebook's ban. Facebook IS a monopoly, essentially. And? Lots of us have talked about it being a monopoly, and about things like its deceptive trade practices, long before this, and other effects those things have had. Glennwald the not-a-leftist though he tries to play one occasionally on Twitter has pretty much been silent about that.

I'm more than all for breaking up Facebook for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with a misinterpretation of the First Amendment. 

Also, were I the president of these United States, I would get rid of the official POTUS Twitter account. As in, delete it per normal Twitter protocol. I'd have the US government sue Jack Dorsey if he tried to stop that. I'd have all federal agencies and their PIO staff kill their respective Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and replace them with good old RSS feeds on White House and agency websites.

I haven't included Glennwald fellow travelers and quasi-travelers such as Media Myth Alert's W. Joseph Campbell, who in multiple posts last year appeared to accept #StartTheSteal claims and remains unrepentant, TV talking head lawyer Jonathan Turley, and surely whatever Matt Taibbi has said on this.


As for Jan. 6 and what we should say about what actually happened? Trump's "come to the Capitol" Tweet in isolation arguably was an incitement to nothing. But Green Party members who make that argument are full of shit. Somebody inside his White House (ie, Gorka, Miller), even if not Trump himself, likely had an inkling of wingnut social media being used to organize this and probably encouraged Trump to tweet his invitation. 

Let's also not forget Trumpian Twitter context. This is the same president who, when asked last summer to disavow the Proud Boys, instead tweeted about how they should "stand by."
Angela Merkel may not know, or think of, the context. Glennwald certainly can if he so chooses. He has chosen not to.

Calling it a coup attempt might (or might not) be too harsh. Calling it an insurrection is not.

Nor is calling it sedition.

Just in case you're wondering? The federal criminal definition of sedition very much fits the action of leading actors on Jan. 6, specifically bullet points 2 and 3. This is why, contra the admins of the official Green Party Facebook group and people like Charles Keener here, it's important to know what percentage of self-identified Greens are conspiracy-thinking enough to consider this a "psyops." 

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