GLENN GREENWALD—In a January Wall Street Journal op-ed, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Yale Law School’s constitutional scholar Jed Rubenfeld warned that Congress is rapidly approaching this constitutional boundary if it has not already transgressed it. “Using a combination of statutory inducements and regulatory threats,” the duo wrote, “Congress has co-opted Silicon Valley to do through the back door what government cannot directly accomplish under the Constitution.” Added: Deleted: That article compiled just a small sample of case law making clear that efforts to coerce private actors to censor speech implicate core First Amendment free speech guarantees.
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NYTimes warns readers against critical thinking lest they realize the ‘paper of record’ is feeding them lies
HELEN BUYNISKI—Charlie Warzel, a Times columnist who styles himself an expert in “online radicalization,” has implored his readers not to “go down the rabbit hole,” in a Thursday op-ed luridly depicting the dangers of evaluating new information, questing out into the internet armed with nothing but one’s own mind. Thinking critically can lead to giving away one’s precious attention to dastardly conspiracy theorists whose only apparent goal is to dupe you, he warns, as opposed to the friendly narrative managers at the New York Times, who just want to make sure your brain is quivering with the required fear quota – of viruses, Russians, your neighbors, terrorists, white people or, now, the capacity for believing wrongthink lurking within your own brain.
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Many people around the world, and now, the goverments of Russia, China and Iran, are also claiming that Covid-19 probably originated in a US bioweapons lab. This is a legitimate news, says Kim Iversen, a respected commetator on world affairs. The story was even carried by Western news services, but in her case Big Tech decided to censor her. Why? Apparently because she is not a dependable conduit for the official narative, which seeks to pin blame on foreign state actors, chiefly China.
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JAMES TRACY—Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis. CIA publicists and journalists alike will assert they have few, if any, relationships, yet the seldom acknowledged history of their intimate collaboration indicates a far different story–indeed, one that media historians are reluctant to examine.
When seriously practiced, the journalistic profession involves gathering information concerning individuals, locales, events, and issues. In theory such information informs people about their world, thereby strengthening “democracy.” This is exactly the reason why news organizations and individual journalists are tapped as assets by intelligence agencies and, as the experiences of German journalist Udo Ulfkotte (entry 47 below) suggest, this practice is at least as widespread today as it was at the height of the Cold War.
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PATRICE GREANVILLE—China is clearly a civilization on the march. Bathed in optimism about the future, as America itself once was; fueled by a genuine fraternal and egalitarian philosophy, it continues to set new records for human accomplishment in innumerable areas. But its new ascendancy to global power status, which it enjoyed once for many centuries, instead of harming humanity, benefits it. The images below illustrate why she is feared by those whose own squalid thinking prevents them from believing peaceful coexistence is not only possible but imperative in the 21st century.