Comedian Jon Stewart has finally found a topic that anti-free speech Apple can’t stomach.
The New York Times reported on Oct. 19 that Stewart and Big Tech giant Apple, which hosts Stewart’s show The Problem with Jon Stewart, had irreconcilable differences over Stewart’s plans to discuss topics critical of artificial intelligence (AI) and China on his show. Stewart reportedly quit due to pressure to echo the company line on issues related to China. Free speech about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is potentially expensive for Apple, which allegedly signed a secret $275 billion agreement with the CCP in 2016 to allow Apple to sell iPhones in China. Apple reportedly made $74 billion from selling iPhones in China and Taiwan in 2022.
Since the $275 billion agreement, Apple has a demonstrated track record of silence and collaboration in the face of CCP abuses. Before attempting to muzzle Stewart to protect their investment, Apple also bowed to Chinese government pressure to remove an app used by Hong Kong protestors from their App Store. Also, according to Business Insider, “7 Apple suppliers in China have links to forced labor programs, including the use of Uyghur Muslims from Xinjiang.”
In an Oct. 20 post, Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham responded to Stewart’s departure by noting the compromises American corporations have made to appease the CCP. Ingraham wrote, “Jon Stewart was right to want to speak the truth about China. This shows you how much power the CCP has in ‘American’ corporations that do business there.”
Jon Stewart was right to want to speak the truth about China. This shows you how much power the CCP has in “American” corporations that do business there. https://t.co/OroVXukzN7— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) October 20, 2023
Over the course of two seasons, Apple tolerated Stewart berating liberal author Andrew Sullivan on “systemic racism” and pushing for the genital mutilation and chemical castration of children, but drew a firm line in the sand when Stewart’s behavior might impact their relationship with the CCP.
However, Apple doesn’t merely censor people and apps that threaten their business interests. In 2019, Apple banned Pro-Life news website LifeSiteNews from Apple News for “intolerance.” Apple also banned social media website Parler from its app store in January 2021. Apple has also censored Ethics and Public Policy Center President Ryan T. Anderson and The Glenn Beck Program.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representative and demand Congress investigate Apple’s business dealings in China.