If the blatant mainstream media bias we’ve seen in 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that independent reporting and news outlets are essential to get any real understanding of events in the United States. Yet leftist journalists in mainstream media are calling for unelected, big tech companies to deplatform independent journalists.
Among those being nominated for cancellation are Andy Ngo, editor-at-large for The Post Millennial (where I’m also an editor); The Blaze’s Elijah Schaffer; Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist; and Dan Bongino. Schaffer was removed from Facebook and Instagram and Bongino was yanked from Twitter. The move to an alternative social media platform, Parler, has been hindered by Google and Apple app stores refusing to carry the app, and by Amazon nuking Parler’s servers.
The mob of leftist journalists demanding the ouster of other journalists is a horrifying trend, but it’s all in the name of social justice. Many demanded the removal of President Donald Trump’s accounts from Twitter, and now that Twitter has banned him permanently, they rejoice in the squashing of free speech. As Ngo told me, “Left-wing journalists see an ally in Twitter and now feel emboldened to make more demands of censorship.”
The corporate media narrative throughout the summer of 2020 was clear: any action taken in the name of social justice was acceptable. They barely showed the violence and destruction, and when they did, they glossed it over, changing the language to make it palatable.
If it weren’t for the work of independent journalists and outlets, we would not have seen the violence that came with these protests, understood who was committing the violence, or gotten any insight into these disruptive movements under the surface of American culture. These journalists are now under threat of erasure by social media companies, and by those who are asking social media to target them.
Ngo has come under fire from those he has exposed. Having worked to cover the Antifa-led protest movement in his home town of Portland, Ore., he has long been a target to those who would like anonymity as they attempt to disrupt the social and political order of the country.
Many corporate reporters didn’t believe Ngo when he dragged these bad actors into the light, showing mug shots of their arrests, digging into their social accounts to expose their motivations. Even after Ngo was brought to testify before the House and Senate on Antifa’s involvement in riot activity across the country, Joe Biden called Antifa an “idea, not an organization.”
Antifa-affiliated social media accounts have been trying to discredit Ngo for years, and now that big tech companies are on their side, they see an opening to try to get him, and his reporting, taken down for good. Among those calling for his ouster is Sarah Jeong, a New York Times writer whose racist vitriol was not an issue for the Times either when they hired her or when she repeated it while on staff. Jeong wrote on Twitter, “I wonder when Twitter is going to ban A*dy N*o,” then shared a slew of articles criticizing his reporting.
To be clear, this is a writer for The New York Times, which is basically the premiere U.S. legacy outlet, calling for a journalist to be banned. Jeong had written previously “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.” This was fine to say, apparently, but to Jeong reporting on rampant crime and the criminals who undertake it in one’s own home town is a reason for banishment.
Donavan Farley of Vice started the call for Ngo’s removal on Jan. 8, claiming that Ngo, whose family has been threatened as part of the attempts to silence his reporting, is a liar, without proof. Farley tried to link Ngo to far-right propagandists who bolstered Trump conspiracy theories. Again, this is both circumstantial and a serious stretch. Farley is another journalist asking for unelected big tech companies to silence the free press.
Schaffer of The Blaze was instrumental in covering the riots and demonstrations during the 2020 summer of destruction and rage. He, like Ngo, was attacked by the bad actors he exposed. In each of these cases, those committing crimes for their own political or avaricious ends would rather shut up the reporter than be exposed.
Schaffer’s accounts were removed from both Facebook and Instagram. “Reporting the truth is now illegal,” Schaffer wrote on Twitter. Schaffer revealed that the social justice narrative was being used as a cover for some seriously criminal activity, and that the altruism mainstream media assumed as the basis for Black Lives Matter protests was not altogether accurate.
Coverage of the protests and riots on CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and the Washington Post, to name a few, praised those who broke lockdown orders and coronavirus restrictions to express their anger in the streets. Anyone who opposed those actions, or wanted to break the restrictions for any other reason was selfish, and sometimes a racist. They did not cover that those who back those protests and riots are pushing not for a return to normalcy but the complete disruption of the social and political order.
Corporate media bias brought us the phrase “mostly peaceful” during the 2020 summer of outrage. As more than 7,750 protests were staged in 2,400 locations across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25, violent demonstrations erupted in 220 of those locations, some of which were sustained for more than 100 days, as in Portland, Ore. While corporate outlets covered the events from the edges, giving nothing but snapshot visuals and chyrons, it was the cadre of independent journalists who covered what was going on from the inside out.
We’re hearing from big tech companies and their allies in mainstream media that only one perspective is valid, and that if you’re a journalist who fights for truth, even at the risk of your own safety, you are at risk of banishment. This is not simply a threat against these journalists or the independent outlets that back them, but an assault on truth, reality, and our free press.
Correction: A previous version of this story inaccurately reported the hosts of “Red Scare” were kicked off Twitter. Host Anna Khachiyan clarified she “preemptively self-ejected” after the podcast’s inactive official account was “banned” over a rule violation.