“Suppression of conservative speech, yeah,” sung a joyful voice leading into Larry Wilmore’s coverage of the suppression of speech by Facebook on Wednesday’s Nightly Show. Wilmore was quick to mock the offense saying, “That’s awful. I mean, I thought the only thing Facebook suppressed was any sense of self-control.” Wilmore barely took the issue seriously and ridiculed the Senate inquiry before twisting it to bash them for the crisis in Flint.
“All right, suppressing CPAC and Mitt Romney that’s not fair, but Glenn Beck that mother [bleep] is crazy,” Wilmore exclaimed. “I’ve got to give you some up-here’s twenty something liberal Ivy League leftists,” he stated while waving his hand around looking for a high five from the Facebook speech suppressors.
The host found amusement in the fact that Gizmodo, the tech site that broke the story, was more interested in how Facebook lied about the existence of their algorithm. He also voiced more disapproval for how the Gizmodo representative on CBS’s This Morning said the word algorithm, than the offense of suppression conservative speech.
Wilmore then turned his sights to the Senate and the Commerce Committee’s inquiry into the matter. “Let me just give you a little status update on the country,” he whispered to the Senate, “Flint still needs some [bleep] clean water!” He then went on to blame the Senate for not acting to help the people of Flint, Michigan. He let loose:
“So Senate, you are telling me you can't find enough energy to help people choking on lead in Flint but you have time to dick around the news feed on Facebook, which isn't really even a fucking news feed all right! You know, if only we could get those brainy 20 something Ivy Leaguers to create an algorithm to get the senate to stop suppressing issues that are actually important to America!”
Partial transcript below:
The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
May 11, 2016
11:35:08 PM Eastern
LARRY WILMORE: All right, on to our top story, the suppression of conservative speech.
VOICEOVER: Suppression of conservative speech, yeah!
WILMORE: Feels kind of too happy for what the title is, you guys. Now suppressing speech is never a good thing. Okay, what's going on?
NORAH O’DONNELL: Facebook this morning is defending itself against accusations of political bias. An article posted Monday on the tech news site Gizmodo said Facebook workers suppressed conservative leaning news stories in its trending section.
WILMORE: That's awful. I mean, I thought the only thing Facebook suppressed was any sense of self-control. [Phone goes off] Oh. Carol liked my post about how much I liked cherry blossoms. Oh, what? Sorry, Facebook freak-out. But Facebook promotes trending topics. And the internet today is all about getting clicks, so there was no way Facebook was curating somebody's news with sophisticated political agenda.
CBS REPORT: A select group of 20 journalists, young, twenty somethings, often Ivy League educated, or from private east coast schools, are the ones that are sorting through the news feed and determining is-- what people are able to see and more importantly what they are not able to see.
WILMORE: All right, I don't know. You are making a bit of a leap here. Just because the twenty somethings are Ivy League educated and from the east coast doesn't mean their views are going to swing left-- yes, yes, they probably do. They probably do. Okay, so this could be pretty serious. Let's see what these liberals suppressed.
FOX BUSINESS REPORT: Trending topics such as, some examples, CPAC, Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck were some of the examples were given as issues that were suppressed.
WILMORE: All right, suppressing CPAC and Mitt Romney that’s not fair, but Glenn Beck that mother [bleep] is crazy. I’ve got to give you some up-here’s twenty something liberal Ivy League leftists. [waves for a high five] Come on man, come on. I know you out there somewhere, there you go. There you go.
Now another interesting-- thank you very much. We have a couple here tonight. But another interesting aspect of the story isn't so much that Gizmodo is concerned about the suppression of political speech, they are concerned that these trending topics are being curated by people and not by complicated equations the way it was claimed to be done.
WILMORE: But this issue isn’t just bothering smart people. Congress is getting involved.
CNN REPORT: The senate commerce committee is investigating these accusations I initiated by former Facebook staffers. This is all from a story by Gizmodo.
WILMORE: You have to be kidding me. The senate is getting involved with this Facebook thing? Senate, can I have a word please. I know this Facebook thing feels very trending right now. You know, feels like something you may want the senate to poke at. I know your relationship with American people right now feels a little complicated. Let me just give you a little status update on the country.
Flint still needs some [bleep] clean water! (Cheers and applause) Okay. Here's the thing. The senate had an opportunity to pass a bipartisan energy bill with ties to funding for the residents of Flint, Michigan, but that bill was blocked by Senator Mike Lee of Utah. He did not like it, if you will. So Senate, you are telling me you can't find enough energy to help people choking on lead in Flint but you have time to dick around the news feed on Facebook, which isn't really even a fucking news feed all right!
You know, if only we could get those brainy 20 something Ivy Leaguers to create an algorithm to get the senate to stop suppressing issues that are actually important to America! No, not the damn beer, the country. But I think I need one of those right now anyways. We'll be right back.