Conservative Review’s Michelle Malkin joined SiriusXM host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Sam Sorbo for a Friday interview on Breitbart News Tonight to discuss political censorship via technology companies. She dismissed “purist anti-regulation tendencies” while describing companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter as “quasi-monopolies” and “trusts that need to be busted.”
Malkin said the technology companies she discussed cannot be trusted to abstain from implementing political censorship.
“This is very interesting because I think there is a parallel between the ideological food fights over, say, trade policy and immigration, and we’re seeing the same sorts of cleavages,” said Malkin. “There are very wise and smart people who understand that because the playing field is rigged, yes, you have to sacrifice your purist anti-regulation tendencies and realize that these companies act, in essence, as trusts that need to be busted. The dominance in their area makes them more like quasi-monopolies than it does as some, like, fair-level playing field in the market. Yes, it is absolutely time.”
Malkin advised listeners to read Victor Davis Hanson’s recent essay contemplating legislative measures to “make sure that these companies do not abuse their enormous powers of surveillance and data acquisition, vast wealth, and monopolistic control of how we write, think, shop, and communicate.”
In 2006, Google-owned YouTube pulled a two-minute video Malkin uploaded, entitled “First, They Came.” Malkin described the video as “spotlight[ing] authors, editors, politicians, and other targets of Islamic intolerance and violence”:
Malkin reflected on the history of left-wing political censorship online. “I was at the vanguard of conservatives who realized they had to establish a foothold, a beachhead, in these Silicon Valley-founded companies, and I was among the first to experience this kind of censorship, and I fought back, and that was a long time ago. In 2006, I posted a two-minute video called ‘First, They Came,’ and it was my little commentary on the violence that so many brave people around the world had faced, whether it was death threats and fatwas or actually assassinations because of speaking up against radical Islam. YouTube unceremoniously, without any kind of warning, took it down, and then I started complaining publicly about it on my blog, and I think that was the point of establishing whether it was my own independent blog that was immune from the tentacles of a Facebook or a YouTube, that I was in complete control of the content of that and could get the word out. This was pre-Twitter. I called attention to the fact that the community guidelines that they said that I was violating were, in fact, violated by all of the presence of online jihadists who are having free reign at that time. So I pointed out the double standard and embarrassed them, and they eventually restored that video.”
Malkin continued, “I had another video that was critical of an R&B artist who had molested a teenager at a concert. Somebody had taken video of it. I used three seconds of it as fair use, and they claimed some sort of copyright infringement, and I actually had a left-wing group, called the Electronic Frontier Foundation, that pro bono represented me and challenged their abuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and we forced them to restore the video. These were sort of the first skirmishes in what is now like a full-on War War III by these Silicon Valley companies against conservatives online.”
Malkin praised the late Andrew Breitbart as an Internet pioneer who recognized the need for dissidents to enter the online political battlespace.
“There’s always been strength in numbers, and that’s something that Andrew Breitbart encouraged citizen bloggers [and] citizen journalists who were using these platforms in ideological jiu-jitsu to fight back against them,” said Malkin. “We always realized that you couldn’t just sort of separate and segregate yourself physically or on a virtual platform. You had to play on their playing fields and overwhelm them in numbers, and I think that’s exactly what’s happened.”
Malkin added, “It’s amazing to see this new generation, whether it was Diamond and Silk in front of the congressional committee, and like a new generation of online warriors who are really the heirs, they are the ideological heirs of Andrew Breitbart, carrying on his legacy, and I don’t think that Silicon Valley’s going to get away with it.”
Malkin said, “This current generation of free-thinking conservative quote-unquote people of color” are “stand[ing] on the shoulders of political antecedents such as Andrew Breitbart who had blazed an online trail for them to follow.”
“They want to make sure that 2016 never happens again,” said Mansour. “We beat them at their own game this time. Conservative media grew so much from the seeds that you planted and that Andrew planted, that Drudge planted, that all these people planted. We grew so big that we finally are taking out the conventional corporate media.”
Mansour added, “We helped get President Trump elected, helped get the truth out there, and now, they’re basically saying, ‘Never again. We’ve got to shut this whole thing down.’ … They’re basically propping up the corporate old guard media sites, the establishment media, and trying to shut down sites like Breitbart, Conservative Review, and all the other sites to stamp out our voice.”
Malkin spoke of Twitter’s censorious measures against her. “Twitter is the swamp and milieu where I really established an early foothold,” she said. “I saw early on the importance of being where all the echo chamber is on the left and the media. That’s where I’ve seen the active shadow-banning, the throttling of my follower count. I just look at those metrics every day, and I know that someone’s monkeying around with the algorithm.”
Malkin praised James O’Keefe and Project Veritas’s undercover investigators “who have put it [Twitter’s conduct] out there on tape and on record,” describing their operations as “very useful in forcing [Twitter] to confront that.”
Malkin added, “This is a threat to their power that we have figured out social media online jiu-jitsu.”
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.