Tech giant Twitter’s use of a disclaimer on a tweet about vote-by-mail from President Donald Trump earlier this week spurred a wide array of reactions, including some from the mainstream media defending the tactic seen as censorship. Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson criticized the mainstream press for its reactions, which in some cases included defending the move by Twitter.
“Traditionally, that role, the role of pushing back hard against censorship was reserved for reporters,” Carlson said. “Their job was to safeguard the First Amendment, which is designed to protect the weak, not the strong, the weak are protected by the freedom of speech and journalists are supposed to care about the weak, about the public — their readers and viewers. They weren’t supposed to be simply thugs hired to protect the powerful, but that’s what they become.”
Carlson offered a clip from CNN host Don Lemon accusing Twitter of hiding behind the First Amendment for not being more proactive in its approach to responding to Trump’s tweets.
“‘Stop hiding behind the First Amendment,’ says Don Lemon,” he said. “In the annals of cable news that must be the most unintentionally hilarious line ever uttered by a script reader, as if exercising your God-given inborn right to speech and thought and conscience is somehow wrong. It’s immoral. Don Lemon demands that you stop thinking for yourself, fall in line, get on board, obey. Tow the party line, or we will hurt you. That’s his message. And it’s the mirror image of what journalists should be saying. The only reason we have a free press, there’s only one, and that’s to fight back against authoritarian power structures that demand we read from approved scripts.”
“And now CNN is writing those scripts,” Carlson continued. “It’s terrifying. And all of a sudden, it’s everywhere. Throughout April and May, YouTube, part of Google took down any video that, quote, ‘explicitly disputes the efficacy of global or local health authority recommended guidance.’ If you dared to question the decrees of the politicians, some of whom are impressive and wise, many of whom are dumb and making it up as they go along. But if you criticize them, you are censored, and many were censored for doing that.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor