“The mother of all bad ideas”
The Trump administration is drafting an executive order that would regulate the largest social media platforms and “Big Tech” companies in the country, from Google to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest. President Trump’s goal apparently is to make these critical platforms extra-friendly to conservatives, who falsely have been claiming there’s an anti-conservative bias in the way Silicon Valley operates in the public realm.
While multiple reports say the executive order is not finalized, TechCrunch and CNN on Friday report the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would be charged with regulating Big Tech and social media platforms. The FCC is headed by a Trump loyalist who opposes net neutrality,
The executive order, currently titled “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship,” is a direct response to both right wing activists’ false claims of censorship and left-wing bias among social media platform operators, and an invitation-only White House meeting last month, labeled a “social media summit” that included mostly just “right wing extremists.”
On Friday, CNN reported the draft Trump executive order “could lead to a significant reinterpretation of a law that, its authors have insisted, was meant to give tech companies broad freedom to handle content as they see fit.”
It would “significantly narrow the protections afforded to companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.”
It also “would reflect a significant escalation by President Trump in his frequent attacks against social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms.”
Justice staff writer Melissa Gira Grant at The New Republic tweeted, “if this reporting is accurate, Trump has decided to chip away at Section 230 by executive order.”
The Legal Director for Public Knowledge, a D.C.-based nonprofit that says it “promotes freedom of expression, an open internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works,” offered this push-back:
obviously the FCC has no authority to do this, even if the White House told it to, for about a dozen reasons. but even if it did, it would at most open up platforms to more claims from aggrieved users but would do zero to narrow 230(c)(1) https://t.co/CPTSiZqaXq pic.twitter.com/MTqfZQrVzP
— John Bergmayer (@bergmayer) August 9, 2019
NYC-based nonprofit PEN America, which works “to protect free expression,” including press freedom and safety, blasted the proposed order, calling it “an anti-American edict that would empower FCC & FTC to be viewpoint-based arbiters of online speech.”
“Thankfully, 1st Amendment forbids that,” the group adds. “It’s regrettable that this Administration doesn’t seem to know that.”
The Editor-in-Chief of the tech site Lifewire calls it “The mother of all bad ideas.”
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Claiming ‘Radical Left Indoctrination’ Trump Threatens Tax-Exempt Status of Schools and Universities After Two Sue Him
Barely days after at least two top universities announced they are suing him, President Donald Trump on Friday attacked America’s universities and school systems and threatened to revoke their tax-exempt status.
Claiming they are engaging in “Radical Left Indoctrination,” “Propaganda,” and “Act[ing] Against Public Policy,” Trump claimed he would order the Treasury Dept. to “re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status.”
… and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2020
This week Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two venerable institutions of higher learning, announced they are suing the administration after Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced students legally in the U.S. on student visas will be deported if their classes go online and they do not switch to schools that require in-person classroom learning.
Trump’s threat is a transparent attempt to force all schools across the nation to re-open in the fall despite the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday the president claimed “they” don’t want to let schools re-open, which he called an attempt to hurt his re-election chances.
“We have to get our schools open, and stop this political nonsense,” Trump insisted. “And it’s only political nonsense.”
While it’s unlikely Trump can actually revoke their tax-exempt status, both schools, and many others, are awarded government contracts for research, which could be pulled, as the Trump administration has done in the past.
Ethics expert Walter Shaub responded by calling Trump a “would-be dictator” who “wants to withhold funding based on the content of speech. So much for the Constitution.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
‘Should Be Executed’: Bolton Book Exposes Depth of Trump’s Hatred of Reporters
President Donald Trump and his entire administration never waste an opportunity to attack reporters, journalists, the mainstream media, and others who deliver Americans the news.
Trump’s former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, is about to release a new book next week, and in it he reveals exactly how much hatred the President of the United States has for reporters.
Bolton, according to The Washington Post, says Trump called reporters “scumbags” during a 2019 meeting in New Jersey.
Trump, in fact, was willing to unilaterally ignore the First Amendment.
Trump, Bolton alleges, according to the Washington Post, said, “journalists should be jailed so they have to divulge their sources.”
The President, who took an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” the U.S. Constitution, did not stop there.
“These people should be executed,” Trump told his National Security Advisor. “They are scumbags.”
That was not the only attack on the U.S. Constitution Trump made during Bolton’s time in the White House.
“Bolton attributes a litany of shocking statements to the president,” The Post reveals. “Trump said invading Venezuela would be ‘cool’ and that the South American nation was ‘really part of the United States.'”
It is not.
Trump also asked President Xi of China to help him win re-election, an offense so grave it mirrors Trump’s Ukraine quid pro quo for which he was impeached.
And disturbingly, “Trump told Xi that Americans were clamoring for him to change constitutional rules to serve more than two terms,” according to the book.
Americans are not clamoring for Trump to change the U.S. Constitution so he can serve a third term. In fact, according to several polls, Trump is behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by double digits.
‘Wherever You Want Us We Will Go’: Chilling Video of CNN Reporter Being Arrested – Cops Say They Were ‘Restoring Order’
Just after 6 AM ET, while reporting on the protests in Minneapolis CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and three of his crew members were arrested by Minnesota State Police, live, while they were broadcasting on-air. They identified themselves as members of the media and offered to move if they were in the way.
“We can move back to where you’d like. We are live on the air at the moment,” Jimenez told the troopers on camera. “Just put us back where you want us, just let us know, we are getting out of your way.”
“This is the four of us, we are one team. Just put us back where you want us, we are getting out of your way. Just let us know.”
“Wherever you want us we will go,” he repeated. “Just let us know and we got you.”
Jimenez goes back to very calmly reporting what’s been happening, despite being surrounded by at dozens of armed police officers in riot gear.
“You’re under arrest,” he is told by a Minnesota State Police officer.
“OK,” he responds, still live on-air. “Do you mind telling me why I’m under arrest, sir?”
“Why am I under arrest, sir?” he asks again, as he is handcuffed.
He was escorted away.
— New Day (@NewDay) May 29, 2020
In response to growing outrage, the Minnesota State Police posted this tweet, which is clearly false.
In the course of clearing the streets and restoring order at Lake Street and Snelling Avenue, four people were arrested by State Patrol troopers, including three members of a CNN crew. The three were released once they were confirmed to be members of the media.
— MN State Patrol (@MnDPS_MSP) May 29, 2020
It’s also unclear who the fourth person was and why they were not released.
As many noted on Twitter, police have still not arrested the four police officers who are responsible for the on-camera killing of George Floyd.
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