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The FTC Targets Journalists

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03.09.23

First Amendment Strike Force – FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

  • Try to imagine the media reaction if a Republican administration tried to pull this off.

The FTC is going after Elon Musk, regarding Twitter, under the guise of protecting users. This is over rather nebulous "concerns" about privacy issues as a result of the layoffs. But the agency makes some rather disturbing commands. 

The FTC sent demand letters to Musk and Twitter lawyers last November, and they are being released by the new GOP-led committees, revealing a rather pernicious effort to target Musk and Twitter. One of the things Musk is told to turn over is information regarding any journalists working with the company.

  • "In 12 letters sent to Twitter and its lawyers since Mr. Musk's Oct. 27 takeover, the FTC also asked the company to 'identify all journalists' granted access to company records. Mr. Musk…called the FTC's demands for information about journalists 'a serious attack on the Constitution by a federal agency' and 'a shameful case of weaponization of a government agency for political purposes and suppression of the truth!'"

The new Republican leadership of the judiciary committee has lashed out at the agency, explaining that it's severely overstepping authority with the claims it has made.

  • "'There is no logical reason, for example, why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter,' the report said. 'There is no logical reason why the FTC, on the basis of user privacy, needs to analyze all of Twitter's personnel decisions.'"

First Amendment Strike Force – HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

  • They will uphold the Constitution until you write things that make them uncomfortable.

In a related issue, the House has opened up a hearing regarding the release of the Twitter Files, and it called in reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, two names who have been releasing a number of threads exposing the internal documents of the social media platform from the prior ownership. It is rather obvious the Democrats are antagonistic and deeply nervous about the Twitter Files.

Rep. Stacey Plaskett was very antagonistic, acidly calling Taibbi a "so-called journalist." Taibbi handled her insult professionally. (And, I would offer that Plaskett, being from the U.S. Virgin Islands territory and thus a non-voting House member, could be described as a "so-called representative.”)

Her hostility was hardly isolated. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was antagonistic with Taibbi, posing loaded questions to him and then not allowing him to answer. 

Here is Rep. Stephen Lynch pulling the same stunt. 

Then there is the sheer clown show put on by Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas. She spent a significant portion trying to compel Taibbi and Shellenberger to divulge sources, something that journalists would never do. Garcia also displayed abject ignorance about many basic components of the Twitter Files story, which leads to the obvious question – why was she given time to weigh in on topics where she clearly displayed harboring ignorance?

Demo-lition Project – CNN

  • If it were not Women's History Month, just imagine how much worse it would have been!

Monday night, CNN staged a special at 9 pm ET featuring the president's wife, and the result was downright dismal.

Dr. First Lady Mrs. Joe Biden was featured in a primetime special, and the results were anything but special. 

"Jill Biden Abroad" pulled in 368,000 viewers, and in the advertiser demo, a meager 84,000. By comparison, Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow each drew over two million. And, just to exacerbate the pain, this special came in more than -40% below the average in that time slot this year.

Reporting on the Mirror – FOX NEWS

  • There sure was a lot of interest in what journalists called a "non-story."

On the subject of ratings, Tucker Carlson had his first night of delving into the January 6 videos on Tuesday night, and he scored big. Recall all of the media members declaring that to be a bust and not a big deal. His show rolled in well over four million viewers that night.

Anti-Social Media – WSVN 7 NEWS, MIAMI

DATELINE: Fort Lauderdale, FL – A dire case of vandalism has taken place where security cameras have captured video of a resident defacing a gay pride flag! Police are investigating the matter and looking to locate the perpetrator, while the city is facing upwards of $1,000 or more to repair the damage.

This is all over a flag that was painted on the street and now has tire marks on it. A day later, kids on bicycles were caught also leaving marks on the painted banner.

Presentation Paradox – MSNBC

The network's legal affairs advisor, Joyce Vance, is not very happy with Tucker Carlson. See, he got these videos from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and there were all kinds of bad things he did with them! Like what, you may ask?

Well, he's misusing the video McCarthy gave him! By…showing the videos. But Joyce Vance wrote about what was so wrong with this, promising to tell us, "It's everything bad we expected!" And what exactly was so bad about what Tucker did with these recordings?

We cannot really say. All Ms. Vance manages to do in her entire piece is complain that Kevin McCarthy gave Tucker the tapes.


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