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Unlike every other White House correspondent, Fox News’s Peter Doocy is actually seeking to hold the Biden administration accountable over its bombshell admission that it’s been working with social media giants to censor the American people.
And so, during Friday’s White House briefing, Doocy cut directly to the chase by bluntly asking White House press secretary Jen Psaki how long the Biden administration has been “spying on” the American people.
“Speaking of misinformation and the announcement from yesterday, for how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?” he asked.
A day earlier, Psaki had openly admitted that the administration has been working in tandem with social media networks like Facebook to censor so-called “misinformation,” i.e., COVID information that it disputes.
“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” she’d said, thus admitting that the administration is surveilling — or “spying” on, rather — the content that Americans post to their private social media accounts.
But when pressed about this bombshell admission Friday, she tried to play coy.
First, she claimed Doocy’s question was “loaded and inaccurate,” to which he replied by asking, “Inaccurate how?” Psaki responded by claiming the so-called COVID “misinformation” has been posted publicly.
“This is publicly open information — people sharing information online — just as you are all reporting information on your news stations,” she said.
Doocy followed up by asking whether the people they’ve surveilling have at least been informed that the government has its eyes on them.
“Do they know that somebody at the surgeon general’s office is going through their profile?” he asked.
But Psaki dismissed the question, arguing that preventing Americans from seeing COVID information that the administration disputes is more important than respecting privacy rights.
“Our biggest concern here — and I, frankly, think it should be your biggest concern — is the number of people who are dying around the country because they’re getting misinformation that is leading them to not take a vaccine,” she said.
Doocy responded by referencing Big Brother, the fictional character and symbol in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”
“The big concern though, I think, for a lot of people on Facebook is that now this is Big Brother watching you,” he said.
The White House press secretary wasn’t convinced.
“They’re more concerned about that than people dying across the country because of a pandemic where misinformation is traveling on social media platforms? That feels unlikely to me. If you have the data to back that up, I’m happy to discuss it,” she said.
Someone would need to conduct a study for there to be any “data.” For the time being, a spate of high-profile figures, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, have warned that what the administration is doing is equivalent to fascism.
Look (*Language warning):
The Biden administration is telling Facebook which posts it regards as “problematic” so that Facebook can remove them.
This is the union of corporate and state power — one of the classic hallmarks of fascism — that the people who spent 5 years babbling about fascism support. https://t.co/U2Ee3DgXJe
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 15, 2021
So many heroes gave their lives fighting for our First Amendment rights. Biden says his violating First Amendment rights on Facebook will save lives. Biden has entirely missed the point of America. What a truly dangerous person to lead it!
— Randy Quaid (@RandyRRQuaid) July 16, 2021
The media said Trump was fascist for having a photo taken of him in front of the White House while recovering from Covid but says nothing when the Biden administration admits to controlling Facebook’s content. https://t.co/wlDL7C6MDr
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) July 17, 2021
This is so completely fucked. Unbelievable https://t.co/dBnoK9XZEG
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) July 15, 2021
Continuing the back-and-forth exchange, Doocy then pivoted the focus to the most notorious peddler of COVID misinformation of them all, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“There are videos of Dr. Fauci from 2020, before anybody had a vaccine, and he’s out there saying there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. So, is the administration going to contact Facebook and ask them to take that down?” he asked.
Indeed, during a CBS News interview around the early part of the pandemic in March of last year, Fauci, a man viewed by the left as the country’s foremost expert on the coronavirus, did claim using a mask was pointless.
“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” he said at the time.
(Video: CBS News)
To this day, the clip above of him spouting what is seen as pure misinformation is still being bandied about on social media.
Psaki replied by trotting out Fauci’s infamous “science evolves” excuse.
“Well, first, I think what Dr. Fauci has said himself — who’s been quite public out there — is that science evolves, information evolves, and we make that available in a public way to the American people,” she said.
She wasn’t wrong. Science does evolve, in the sense that it’s through trial, error and inquiry that scientific hypotheses are proven or disproven. The problem is that the administration only allows for this natural “evolution” when the facts being discussed, tested, or determined fit its preferred narrative.
As an example, Doocy pointed to the lab leak theory, which was dismissed as “disinformation” and “misinformation” for over a year straight.
“Facebook used to block people from posting that COVID may have originated from a lab. That is something this president now admits is a possibility. So is there any concern that the things you’re trying to block or have taken down might someday turn out to be true?” he asked.
But again Psaki refused to be straight with him.
“We don’t take anything down. We don’t block anything. Facebook and any private-sector company makes decisions about what information should be on their platform,” she said.
It this true, though? After all, Psaki admitted Thursday that the administration is “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”
They didn’t just “flag” the posts they want removed. Psaki said FB “needs to move quickly” to take them down. The Exec Branch has vast regulatory power over these companies. Congress is vowing punishment if they don’t censor more. So yes, it’s way beyond flagging: highly coercive
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 16, 2021
During another portion of Friday’s briefing, she straight-up called for people who’ve been banned from one from platform for spreading “misinformation” to be banned from ALL platforms.
Regardless, she concluded the back-and-forth exchange with a lecture about the “responsibility” everybody has to accept a Big Brother government that controls the flow of information for the plebians’ own good.
“Our point is that there is information that is leading to people not taking the vaccine, and people are dying as a result. And we have a responsibility, as a public health matter, to raise that issue. The responsibility we all have — the government, media platforms, public messengers — to give accurate information,” she said.
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