On Saturday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America’s News HQ,” FNC host Howard Kurtz stated that while Twitter might have had a case to temporarily suspend President Donald Trump’s account during the Capitol riot, a permanent ban “seems like pure political payback” and said that many journalists aren’t considering “the free speech implications” of the move.
Kurtz said, “Twitter claims it’s about the glorification of violence, but maybe you could make a case for a 12-hour suspension while the Capitol riot was going on and President Trump was tweeting about a stolen election, although he told people to go home. But for Twitter to make this a permanent ban, to continue while Donald Trump is a private citizen seems like pure political payback against a president who fought very hard to strip legal immunity from Twitter and Facebook and other social media giants, and more importantly, it’s a finger in the eye to his 88 million Twitter followers who signed up to see what he has to say.”
He added, “[T]he tweet, or one of them that triggered this permanent ban, Griff, had to do with the president just simply saying he’s not going to go to Joe Biden’s inauguration. It seems like a relatively innocuous measure. Twitter claims that this has been perceived by some of the president’s followers and prompted them somehow to start tweeting threats about a second insurrection at the Capitol next week. I don’t know how you pin that on, I’m not going to the inauguration.”
Kurtz further stated, “This feels like kicking him on the way out the door, when he’s not quite as viable a franchise, or won’t be as a former president. And there’s a celebratory mood among many journalists online and elsewhere, who think, oh, this is great, and not even pausing to consider the free speech implications and how they would react if it was somebody on the left who was suddenly being kicked off this incredibly important platform that all journalists read.”
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