MRC’s Brent Bozell to Social Media Outlets: ‘Just Embrace the First Amendment’

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on FBN’s Varney and Co., Tuesday, to decry the attempts from social media giants to quash free speech. Asked for the solution to all this, Bozell offered four suggestions to Twitter and Facebook: “First, clarity. What do they mean by hate speech? That's the center of all this.” 

He added: “Two, transparency. This is something that they're not doing. They are talking about it, but no one is being transparent about these algorithms and how they are rating people. And why is it that someone like a Congressman Jim Jordan or Devin Nunes are being censored the way they are being censored? What’s going on?” 

 

 

Hitting his final two points on free speech and social media, Bozell declared: 

Thirdly, conservatives should get, not a seat at the table, but an equal seat at the table. We outnumber liberals. If they want to reflect public opinion, give us equal footing in making these decisions. And number four, just embrace the First Amendment and freedom of speech the way everybody else does with the limitations that everyone else has to face and I think we would be fine. 

A transcript is below. 

Varney and Co.
8/21/18
10:46am ET

STUART VARNEY: President Trump going after social media companies for censoring conservatives. Trump says too many voices are being destroyed. He wants free speech on social media. Come on in Brent Bozell, Media Research Center president. Is that what you want? I mean, do we want absolute, flat-out free speech? You're on Facebook, say what you like, you're on Twitter, say what you like? You want that? 

BRENT BOZELL: No. I think there are limitations, Stuart. There always have been. You can't cry fire in a movie theater. You can't drop an f-bomb on your license plate. There are certain things you can't do, same rules should apply to the internet. Now, that leaves the other social media, that leaves the other 99.99 percent of expressions allowable, I think that the media, social media would do well to resolve all of these problems simply by wrapping itself around the First Amendment and enjoy the same freedoms that everybody does and we would be fine. 

VARNEY: But, they can't because they are the censors. Somebody has to sit and look at all those billions of Facebook posts and say that's okay and that's not and that is censorship. And it is inevitable that they will be a political angle to that censorship. 

BOZELL: Well, especially when you have algorithms that rate things as hate speech, hate speech being defined as things you don't like. Jack Dorsey of Twitter made the statement over the weekend yes, it's left-leaning but they don't have a liberal agenda. Well, of course they do. And you know they do because it continues where one organization and one individual after another who is a conservative is being censored. I mean, they can't all be making it up. 

VARNEY: What's your solution to this problem? 

BOZELL: Four fold. Number one, there has to be transparency. First clarity. What do they mean by hate speech? That's the center of all this. They come on the definitions based on the word hatred. Define hatred and the way you see it defined by some of these social media outlets is outrageous. Two, transparency. This is something that they're not doing, they are talking about it but no one is being transparent about these algorithms and how they are rating people and why is it that someone like a Congressman Jim Jordan or Devin Nunes are being censored the way they are being censored. What’s going on?  

Thirdly, conservatives should get, not a seat at the table, but an equal seat at the table. We outnumber liberals. If they want to reflect public opinion, give us equal footing in making these decisions. And number four, just embrace the First Amendment and freedom of speech the way everybody else does with the limitations that everyone else has to face and I think we would be fine. 

VARNEY: Last one. Before we got to you this morning I was saying that the rally in the stock market, the growth in the economy, the return to prosperity is probably of the most important story that's going untold in some of the media, am I right? 

BOZELL: Oh, absolutely right. It's been going on since the beginning of this administration whether it's jobs figures, stock market, whether it's unemployment, these numbers aren't just regularly ignored. Look, this is good news. There's just no way that they are going to report good news where Donald Trump is concerned, period. 

VARNEY: It's true, isn't it? If it's good for Trump it's not going to be on the same page. 

BOZELL: This is not hyperbole. If it's good for Trump, it's not reported, if it's possibly in the realm of possibilities, somehow, maybe, possible bad for Trump, front page. 

VARNEY: You got it right, yet again. Brent, you’re all right. Thanks for joining us. 

NB Daily Video Brent Bozell Stuart Varney

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