Constitutional Law Attorney, Senior Legal Adviser to the Trump Campaign, and Counsel to the President Jenna Ellis emphasized the need for Congress to act and fast to tackle big tech censorship, during Thursday’s episode of “The Sara Carter Show.” Ellis explained to host Sara A. Carter that social media companies have gone too far and act as publishers by censoring users, such as the President and prominent media outlets and reporters.
The only way to fix the problem, Ellis said, is to have the U.S. government intervene and fix Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
In recent months, just ahead of the November 2020 presidential election, social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have censored users. For example, it seems like every time the President tweets about mail-in voting being fraudulent, Twitter issues a warning or clarification to his tweets.
“What needs to happen is that Congress absolutely has to act, they need to get off their butts, they need to do something about this,” she told Carter. “And they need to make sure that section 230 whether or not it’s repealed, does not apply. And that’s where there has to be a whether it’s you know, it’s a class action or whether you know, it’s an individual plaintiff, who will actually go into court and say, Judge, look, they are acting like a publisher in this regard, because their term their use and Terms of Service are not being applied.”
The New York Post’s recent reporting on Hunter Biden’s alleged shady foreign business dealings has been censored by the platform as well. In fact, many accounts that shared the reports including that of the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s were suspended.
The issue pushed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to issue subpoenas to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.
Ellis added of Twitter’s actions, “It’s discriminatory enforcement. And it has a chilling effect on speech because they are acting as a publisher, not a platform. And so big tech is going to have to choose Do you want censorship like you can with a publisher? Or do you want section 230 immunity? You should not be able to have both under the law.”
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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