The Stunning Hypocrisy of Senator Thune
Senator John Thune is outraged - OUTRAGED - at the thought that Facebook might be biased against conservative viewpoints, so much so that he is calling for Congressional hearings over it.
“If there’s any level of subjectivity associated with it, or if, as reports have suggested that there might have been, an attempt to suppress conservative stories or keep them from trending and get other stories out there, I think it’s important for people to know that,” Mr. Thune told reporters on Tuesday. “That’s just a matter of transparency and honesty, and there shouldn’t be any attempt to mislead the American public.”
The slight problem is here is that one of Thune’s most vehement over government regulating speech in the free market is, you guessed it, John Thune.
John Thune in 2007:
“I advise every American to be hesitant when government officials offer to regulate the media to ensure fairness.”
John Thune, again from 2007:
For over 150 years our nation understood that freedom of speech was best achieved by keeping the government out of the business of regulating “fairness.”
Since 1987 we have seen even greater growth in how we get news and information including the rise of talk radio, internet news sites, and blogs, yet some critics on the left are calling for the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine. The efforts of these critics, who are especially offended by the success of conservative talk radio, should be rejected. Our support for freedom of conscience and freedom of speech means that we must support the rights granted to even those with whom we disagree. Giving power to a few to regulate fairness in the media is a recipe for disaster on the scale that George Orwell so aptly envisioned.
John Thune in 2009:
I believe that diversity of opinion today is stronger than ever as new mediums for expression are made available. Traditional media such as television, radio, magazines, and newspapers are still important outlets for news and opinion, but the rise of the Internet has given Americans, and people all over the world, a new forum for self-expression and debate.
There are some members of Congress who have called for the reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine for talk radio and even some who want it applied to the Internet. I believe that the marketplace of ideas only operates for the benefit of citizens if it is just that: a true marketplace. People have the opportunity to seek out what radio programs they want to listen to, just as they have the freedom to read particular newspapers and magazines, watch particular news television programs, and increasingly, seek out news and opinion on the Internet.
I believe it is dangerous for Congress and federal regulators to wade into the public airwaves to determine what opinions should be expressed and what kind of speech is “fair.” This undercuts every American’s freedom of speech, and I urge my colleagues to reject any renewed institution of the Fairness Doctrine, which is nothing more than government controlled censorship.
More: Protecting Free Speech
So, when facing criticism over right wing talking heads making their biased pronouncements all over talk radio and Fox News, Thune thought it was worth fighting tooth and nail to keep government out of the conversation. Now, at the mere suggestion that Facebook, a free market titan, might choose as an editorial policy not to promote RWNJ nonsense, Thune wants to call for Congressional hearings?
Maybe John Thune should consider that the reason why Conservative topics don’t trend more on Facebook is that not enough people are interested in them.