Former President Donald Trump, caught in a rare candid moment speaking with his inner circle, warned of the dangers of federal censorship marching in step with a corrupt and closed media.
Trump, speaking to his former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, declared there has never in the nation’s history been a time like the present. The media, he said, is “shut, closed, not free, corrupt as can be, and probably scared.”
What this means, the former president explained, is that you cannot “get the word out unless you’re really good.”
🚨DHS and social media companies work together to silence free speech.
This blatant censorship WILL NOT be tolerated.
I am drafting legislation to impose harsh criminal penalties on government officials who violate Americans’ 1st amendment rights.https://t.co/d2Iyz6BSFZ pic.twitter.com/VVoJpgSRJz
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) November 1, 2022
The conversation was part of a new documentary called “My Dinner with Trump.” It features the former president speaking with a group of key advisers at a golf club after his presidency.
The video was made during the summer of last year. Trump had been banned by social media platforms and faced daily accusations from the mainstream media that he purposefully ignited the Jan. 6 Capitol incident.
He referred to the glaring double standard of the legacy media as it pertained to his presidency. “If you do something spectacular,” he said, “they don’t talk about it.
On the other hand, something not so good is immediately a travesty. This is in direct opposition to the media’s treatment of Democrats, where something “really bad” that is done will never be seen.
Trump noted that the media has never been as corrupt as today, and that is evidence of something far more dangerous.
Carson then added that many in the country do not realize how free speech rights can disappear even without government intervention. He warned that big tech and the media can have the same effect as long as the government is complicit.
As a prime example, recent reports reveal an ominous partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a private group called the Election Integrity Partnership.
It amounts to an outsourcing of censorship of social media. The private group includes the Stanford Internet Observatory, the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, and other partners.
This private sector network coordinates with DHS officials to inform social media platforms of what they consider to be “election misinformation,” and about a third of the time the offending material is taken down.
Efforts like this public-private partnership to censor free speech are exactly what Trump and Carson warned of. A willing government with a compliant big tech and social media platforms can stifle expression in a number of destructive ways, as they are doing right at this moment.