Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry revealed a top White House staffer sent an email to Facebook flagged a post by Fox News Tucker Carlson about the lack of effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and tried to get the company to censor the post.
The email was sent in 2021 by Rob Flaherty, who works as the White House's director of Digital Strategy, where he chastised the social media giant by question if they were actually taking steps to restrict the reach of those stating the COVID-19 vaccine not working as originally advertised, pointing to a post by Fox News contributor Tomi Lehren the previous day about the same thing was also number one.
"Since we've been on the phone — the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don't work. Yesterday was Tomi Lehren saying she won't take one," Flaherty wrote. "This is exactly why I want to know what "Reduction" actually looks like — if "reduction" means 'pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn't work' then...I'm not sure it's reduction!"
"Thanks—I saw the same thing when we hung up. Running this down now," the person from Facebook replied.
"Later, Facebook informed the White House that Tucker Carlson’s video did not qualify for removal; but the video was labeled with a pointer to 'authoritative' (White House approved) information, the video was not 'recommended' to others, and it was demoted on Facebook," Landry explained. "The White House then demanded to know why the Tucker Carlson video did not violate Facebook policy and was not removed. A follow-up email by the White House condescendingly reiterates that their demand for answers was not rhetorical."
Landry said when Facebook would not respond to their emails, the White House invoked the riot at the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.
"Not for nothing but the last time we did this dance, it ended in an insurrection," the email said.
Facebook eventually caved in to the White House's demands and slapped a 50 percent demotion pending a 7-day fact checking period, even though no fact checking actually occurred.