Opinion

Tucker Carlson alleges conservative think-tanks cooperating with liberal Big Tech

He's not going to be getting a lot of cocktail party invitations from the cream of the Beltway conservative establishment anymore.
Mon Dec 23, 2019 - 9:01 pm EST
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Tucker Carlson.

December 23, 2019 (American Thinker) — I was frankly shocked by Tucker Carson's courage Friday night; he's not going to be getting a lot of cocktail party invitations from the cream of the Beltway conservative establishment anymore.  If you missed Carlson's epic denunciation of the big D.C. establishment think-tanks — the likes of the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Competitive Enterprise Institute — do yourself a favor and spend the next six and a half minutes watching the video embedded below.  He points out that Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the others are all enjoying special legal protection that enables them to get away with censoring conservatives, and that the biggest and richest conservative think-tanks support continuing this legal protection, and coincidentally, they receive donations from Google and other tech titans.

Here's the rush transcript via Grabien, but I urge you to take the time to watch Carlson's trademark delivery of his scathing criticism.

Tucker: We told you a lot on the show the past two years how Google, Facebook, and Twitter work in secret to impose a left-wing political agenda on this country. In 2016 for example, Google employees worked behind the scenes to boost Hillary Clinton's voter turnout. They seem to despond that when they couldn't stop Donald Trump from winning. Google as you well know regular lease of John suppresses conservative videos on YouTube. At one point, Twitter, meanwhile — and you know this well, often bands users entirely for the crime of disagreeing with the left. At this point, it is very clear that Big Tech it's conservatives and works assiduously to harm them. Republican voters are starting to figure this out. A Harris poll from last year found that 83% of Republicans understand that tech is biased against conservatives. Another poll this summer found that 42% of all voters, not just conservatives, believe the Trump Administration should take action to push back against the tech Monopoly's political bias. So far, that's not happening but no one in Washington is doing anything to bring these companies in. But it doesn't have to be that way for there are a lot of things you could do if you wanted to. For example, tech companies have thrived under a special immunity from Congress that protects them from lawsuits over what people say on the platform. It's an exemption that Fox News, for example, does not have. Why does Google have it? Senator Josh Hawley would like to know the answer. Has proposed stripping that community from tech companies and treating them like everyone else unless they can maintain neutral platforms for all views, which of course was the original deal they struck. That's a great idea, but it hasn't happened. Another idea is breaking up major tech companies so that a handful of monopolies don't have effective veto power over the First Amendment, which is where we are today. It's another great idea. But again, it has not happened. Why all the inaction on these questions? Well, a big part of the problem is that conservative nonprofits here in Washington, the ones that are supposed to be looking out for you, aren't actually looking out for you. They are looking out for Big Tech. A new report from the campaign for account ability obtained by this show highlights how conservative organizations in D.C. Have colluded with Big Tech Emma to shield left-wing monopolies from any oversight at all. It's an amazing story and it's happening now. This October for example, Americans for Prosperity, that's a purportedly conservative group controlled by the billionaire Koch family supported and add supporting Facebook and Google. The ads they ran targeted state attorney generals, Republican and Democrat, leading antitrust investigations into those two companies. In March, Americans for Prosperity ran digital ads urging members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, any effort of antitrust laws to break up America's innovative tech companies. In all, the Koch network spend $10 million defending Silicon Valley companies that worked to silence conservatives. The richest companies in the world being defended by a conservative nonprofit as they attacked conservatives. Why are they doing this? As one former Koch employee told they show off the record, I know for a fact they take money from social media companies to do their bidding. It turns out, he was right. Google has given money to at least 22 write leading institutions that is also funded by the Koch network, those include the American Conservative Union, the American enterprise institute, the National Review institute. The competitive enterprise institute, The Heritage Foundation, and the mercator center. Google, for example, the single largest donor to the annual dinner a few years back. What does all this money buy, exactly? You know the answer. In September of 2018, the competitive enterprise institute and three other groups that had been funded by Google and the kochs sent a joint letter to Attorney general Jeff Sessions at the time over the doj's plans whether search engines and social media were hurting competition and stifling speech. Here's how it works. Big Tech companies silence conservatives. Conservatives' nonprofits try to prevent the government from doing anything about it. Makes sense. Then there is The Heritage Foundation. May be the biggest and best funded think tank in Washington. Half the conservatives in the city have seemed to work there at one time or another, 30 years ago I did for example. To this day there are nice and well-meaning people at heritage. As an organization, heritage no longer represents the interests of conservatives. At least on the question of tech. A recent paper by heritage entitled "Free enterprise is the best remedy for online biased concerns" defends the special privileges that Congress has given to a left-wing Silicon Valley monopolies. And if conservatives don't like it, heritage says, they can go start their own Google. The paper could've been written by tech lobbyists. In fact, it may have been written by tech lobbyists. A trade association represents Silicon Valley called the liability exemption that Googles enjoys, quote the most important Lawton tech. Well, the paper repeats that line verbatim. Word for word. Along with many other lines that the lobbyist wrote. It's embarrassing. But heritage isn't embarrassing. None of the so-called conservative nonprofits in Washington are embarrassed. They make deals with people who hate you. They secretly sell out your interests. They may beg you to tithe like it's the medieval church for that's the system we've had for decades. And maybe that's why no matter how much money you send him nothing gets more conservative. Just the opposite. You wonder how much longer the system can continue.

Updates: The Heritage Foundation characterizes Carlson's claims as "false and misleading."  Rob Bluey of The Daily Signal writes (hat tip: Scott Johnson):

In a segment that aired Friday night, Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson made several false, outrageous, and unfounded accusations against The Heritage Foundation. (snip)

It was, therefore, incredibly disappointing to hear Tucker Carlson, whom we hold in high regard, mislead his viewers about Heritage's work on the topics of big tech and censorship. Carlson is a former employee of Heritage who last year received our prestigious Salvatori Prize and who regularly features Heritage experts as guests on his Fox News program. In other words, he knows Heritage, our people, and our principles.

Unfortunately, Carlson did not contact Heritage in advance of his segment or provide Heritage with an opportunity to respond to his accusations. Rather than engage in a substantive policy debate, he chose instead to make ad hominem attacks and question our integrity. We are disappointed this came from someone whom we admire and respect.

Carlson's claims began with an attack on a recent Heritage report about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He claimed the report's author repeated lines verbatim from a trade association. This is false. In fact, the 13-page Heritage report contained 22 footnotes, all of which were properly quoted and attributed to sources. The report went through a thorough and lengthy process of vetting and review by Heritage scholars to ensure accuracy and agreement among all Heritage analysts involved in technology and social media policy.

The conclusions of Heritage's report were based on the principles that guide all of our policy recommendations — principles Carlson seems curiously less interested in defending. Instead, he made an unfounded assertion against Heritage and outrageous smear of one of our scholars. It is disappointing that Carlson would deceive his viewers with such patently false information.

It should come as no surprise that Heritage supports empowering consumers rather than government. We are, and have always been, champions of the free market and critics of government intervention. That's why we are forcefully pushing back on the few outspoken individuals who seem to prefer an expedient answer rather than a principled solution.

Carlson also failed to acknowledge Heritage experts' consistent criticism of technology companies, including Google's decision to withdraw from the Department of Defense's Project Maven and its work with communist China on a censored search engine

He apparently missed Heritage President Kay C. James' Washington Post op-ed blasting Google for caving to the radical left and disbanding its AI board simply because she, a prominent conservative leader, was asked to join it.

And he made no mention of Google-owned YouTube censoring a video produced by The Daily Signal, Heritage's multimedia news outlet. On our public platforms and in a private meeting with YouTube's CEO, we made our position abundantly clear: We will not tolerate this type of censorship and will stand side by side with other conservatives experiencing similar challenges.

Heritage and its team of dedicated scholars are committed to pursuing public policies that make life better for all Americans. Heritage is the largest public policy organization in America, with more than 500,000 members, and has the No. 1 ranking from the University of Pennsylvania for impact on public policy.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute responds:

Since its founding in 1984, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has opposed government regulations that interfere with property rights, free flowing prices, and consumer choices in the market.  The characteristics of economic regulation include protection for incumbents against innovators and new entrants and misallocated resources. More often than not, economic regulation disproportionately hurts consumers. We have consistently opposed regulations both supported and opposed by industry, including large technology companies. On so-called Net Neutrality regulations, CEI opposed government interference into technology that was supported by big tech and social media companies because we believe those regulations would harm competitiveness, innovation and, ultimately, consumers.  The regulations would obviate property right for millions of shareholders in the massive capital investments made to build communications networks and ultimately put power in the hands of government proctors to decide what we see, hear, read, and share on those networks.

For more than 35 years, CEI has advocated against antitrust regulation and advocated free markets rooted in consumer sovereignty. 'Truly competitive markets are inherently free markets, unrestrained by antitrust regulators second-guessing valid business decisions,' CEI senior policy analyst Jule R. Herbert Jr. wrote in a Wall Street Journal oped titled An Antitrust Route to Re-regulation, on July 26, 1985. CEI's consistent opposition to antitrust predates many companies that may seem dominant today. A simple search for 'antitrust' on cei.org shows hundreds of publications, commentaries, and media citations criticizing antitrust.  It is a legitimate and widely held position undeserving of drive-by smears. Two years before CEI was established in 1984, CEI's founder, Fred L. Smith, Jr., wrote a lengthy analysis titled Why Not Abolish Antitrust?, building a persuasive case against antitrust law.

CEI has always sought reform of our nation's regulatory system to promote economic liberty, opportunity, and prosperity and is directed independently by our policy experts and managers, not by outside interests. We proudly seek out allies who share our values and policy priorities, and that includes individuals, businesses, and foundations. And we do not change our positions on public policy issues to suit the politics of the day or please the occupants of powerful offices whose whims can have profound negative effects on American families.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

Related Breitbart report: CEI Defend Big Tech Support After Tucker Carlson Exposé


  big tech, competitive enterprise institute, fox news, google, heritage foundation, tucker carlson, youtube

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