The new WAR against independent media

It’s been coming for a long time – this war against the independent media.

At first, no one heard our pleas for aid. Now they are resonating more clearly. Now it’s out in the open. The battle lines are drawn.

The social media giants and the big search engines are out to extinguish, decapitate and kill off the independent media that helped fuel the Donald Trump revolution in 2016.

The political, cultural and digital corporate cartel is not only out to get Trump, it’s out to get US, the independent media, starting with WND – which has survive in this environment for 25 years.

There’s a war on for the nation’s heart, soul and mind, and the manipulation by the corporate titans of the internet are at the forefront. They are the new gatekeepers, and they are conducting a scorched-earth economic war against WND and our friends in the independent media.

How it’s played:

They set the rules on who gets traffic and revenue. When we play by the rules effectively, they change them to deprive us of both. Those rule changes favor the sites they like – mostly the legacy media.

WND was on the internet before any of them – Google, Facebook, Twitter, you name it. We’ve been here and, despite under-capitalization, never really had a problem surviving. Now things have changed for all independent media, because the titans are coming in for the kill shot.

I’m not exaggerating.

One of the big threats is a new version of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act. As you would expect, the proposed law actually does the opposite. It allows mainstream, legacy and left-wing media to form exclusionary media cartels and then empowers them with extraordinary collective-bargaining power to collude with Big Tech companies. The amendments serve only to spell out in greater specificity how to exclude conservative and anti-establishment media from any alleged benefits.

Specifically, the new JCPA contains a provision that allows “eligible” media companies forming a cartel to “create admission criteria for membership unrelated to the size of an eligible digital journalism provider or the views expressed by its content, including criteria to limit membership to only eligible publishers or only eligible broadcasters.”

But these self-appointed mainstream and left-wing media cartels are allowed to exclude participation based on the usual, totally subjective factors they always do, such as: “trustworthiness,” “fake news, “extremism,” “misinformation,” “hate speech,” “conspiracy,” “correction policy,” “expertise,” “authoritativeness,” etc.

So, here we go again.

Then the “media watchdogs,” like NewsGuard, and the fact checkers and content moderators of Big Tech inevitably end up targeting just one side of the political spectrum. It is easy to imagine a news cartel pointing to NewsGuard criteria – or the criteria of any organization presenting itself as an “independent watchdog” – as an allegedly viewpoint-neutral excuse with a polar opposite worldview of most Americans.

Once again, it’s another scam.

All politicians are doing by supporting this amended bill is rewarding mainstream, legacy and left-wing publishers and Big Tech by allowing them to exclude whomever they deem not part of the club.

But several important voices are speaking up against the lobbyist-fueled JCPA. Numerous witnesses have testified to the bill’s failings before the Senate and House, including award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, former local journalist Dan Gainor and former federal antitrust enforcer Dr. Daniel Francis.

The GOP leadership in the House of Representatives has condemned the bill, with GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy calling it the “antithesis of conservatism,” and Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, warning it will be used to suppress competition. In the Senate, the bill has been condemned by a growing number of Republicans, including Marsha Blackburn, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton and Mike Lee.

That’s one front in the new war on independent media. There’s another.

A developing lawsuit that now is embroiled in arguments over what “discovery” is to be allowed has uncovered a long list of federal bureaucracies whose officials have been actively involved in telling social media companies what speech to censor.

It was just revealed in recent days that the FBI contacted Facebook and warned of “Russian disinformation,” causing the social media giant to suppress accurate reporting from the New York Post about the Biden family’s international business schemes that may have involved America’s enemies – and provided profit to Joe Biden.

A poll revealed 80% of Americans believe that actually changed the winner in the 2020 president race, and that without that censorship, President Donald Trump would be in the White House now.

All of which prompted Margot Cleveland, a senior legal correspondent for The Federalist, to warn, “It was the FBI and not social media that stole the election from Donald Trump.”

Now details in a lawsuit being handled by the New Civil Rights Alliance, which is challenging government influence over free speech, confirm that a long list of bureaucracies in the federal government have been contacting social media corporations for the purpose of telling them what to censor.

The case, the NCLA said, “blows the lid off a sprawling federal censorship regime that will shock the conscience of Americans.”

A joint statement of discovery disputes in the case “reveals scores of federal officials across at least 11 federal agencies have secretly communicated with social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech federal officials disfavor. This unlawful enterprise has been wildly successful,” the NCLA said.

“Under the First Amendment, the federal government may not police private speech nor pick winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. But that is precisely what the government has done – and is still doing – on a massive scale not previously divulged. Multiple agencies’ communications demonstrate that the federal government has exerted tremendous pressure on social media companies – pressure to which companies have repeatedly bowed,” the organization said.

Among the bureaucracies that have been identified in the case so far include the White House, Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control, the CISA, NIAID, the office of the Surgeon General, the Census Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration, the FBI, State, Treasury and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

“Communications show these federal officials are fully aware that the pressure they exert is an effective and necessary way to induce social-media platforms to increase censorship. The head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency even griped about the need to overcome social-media companies’ ‘hesitation’ to work with the government,” the NCLA said.

“If there was ever any doubt the federal government was behind censorship of Americans who dared to dissent from official COVID messaging, that doubt has been erased,” explained Jenin Younes, NCLA litigation counsel.

“The shocking extent of the government’s involvement in silencing Americans, through coercing social-media companies, has now been revealed. These bureaucrats continue to resist efforts to expose the degree of their unconstitutional actions every step of the way.”

John J. Vecchione, senior litigation counsel, added, “The incredible extent of government interference with the speech rights of Americans must be seen to be believed. Yet, even with all that this case has revealed, the government defendants are still resisting their obligation to disclose the names of all the public servants who were involved in this unlawful scheme.”

The NCLA explained, “These actions have precipitated an unprecedented rise in censorship and suppression of free speech – including core political speech – on social-media platforms. Many viewpoints and speakers have been unlawfully and unconstitutionally silenced or suppressed in the modern public square. This unlawful government interference violates the fundamental right of free speech for all Americans, whether or not they are on social media. More discovery is needed to uncover the full extent of this regime – i.e., the identities of other White House and agency officials involved and the nature and content of their communications with social-media companies.”

The issue pending right now before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana is whether to grant the government’s demands for protection from even being questioned about what has been going on.

Court documents reveal that the censorship campaign across the Biden administration actually was confirmed by one of his appointees.

“Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas of DHS commented that the federal government’s efforts to police private speech on social media are occurring ‘across the federal enterprise,'” the legal filing explains. “It turns out that this statement is true, on a scale beyond what plaintiffs could ever have anticipated.”

It charges the “Censorship Enterprise” includes “dozens of federal officials across at least 11 federal agencies and components identified, so far, who community with social-media platforms about misinformation, disinformation, and the suppression of private speech on social media – all with the intent and effect of pressuring social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech that federal officials disfavor.”

The impact of such censorship can be, literally, nation-changing.

WND long has reported that there’s little question Mark Zuckerberg’s $420 million handed out to leftist elections officials to recruit Democrat voters influenced the 2020 presidential race.

And that states routinely violated their own state laws regarding ballots.

But the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop reporting, again, according to a poll, left eight of 10 Americans with the opinion that the scheme changed the results of the 2020 election.

Cleveland said the polling “confirmed what many conservatives had thought – that by censoring the laptop story and the Biden family’s pay-to-play scandal, Big Tech stole the election from Donald Trump.”

But actually, since Zuckerberg admitted the FBI influenced his decision to make sure fewer people saw the accurate information, she blames the FBI for the election theft.

Zuckerberg, in an interview, had confessed that the FBI told his company that “we thought there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election” and that “we have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump similar to that so just be vigilant.”

So Zuckerberg arranged for the laptop reporting from the New York Post, which was documented and accurate, to be suppressed.

Of course, that’s just one example of many. Google can literally strangle the readership of stories on a daily of hourly basis.

These are two of the new giant challenges we here at WND face, once again.

We have two just hopes that can pull us through as the first avowedly Christian news site – God and you!

We’re praying that you support us.

Here’s how:

Please prayerfully consider making a generous tax-deductible donation to the Christian nonprofit charity, the WND News Center. You can make either a one-time donation or a monthly recurring donation. Either way is enormously appreciated.

You may also mail your tax-deductible contribution by making your check out to “WND News Center” and mailing it to: WND News Center, P.O. Box 100, 580 E Street, Hawthorne, NV 89415-0100.

For other ways to help, please check out HELP WND.

Thank you very much for caring, and for helping us out, during this time of all-out attack on your favorite news site.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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