- The Washington Times - Monday, August 6, 2018

Things move very quickly in the media realm, and in quirky ways. Despite the fact that Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify banned controversial broadcast host and “Infowars” creator Alex Jones, he still led the national trends on Twitter throughout Monday. Such is the irony of social media. Certain content producers are banished from busy sites for violating “community rules” about the nature and tone of content — then the public can’t wait to talk about them. And talk they did.

All that aside, the Texas-based Mr. Jones bypassed both traditional news and social media sites and immediately produced a “world exclusive” outlining his response from “being banned from the internet,” then streamed the statement from his own website, and on Twitter, where he still has a presence.

Though they may not agree with Mr. Jones’ work or philosophy, many observers are troubled by the banning.

“It is a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets,” said Media Research Center founder and veteran media analyst Brent Bozell.

“This is part of a disturbing trend. In recent months top conservative congressmen have been shadowbanned on Twitter. Pro-life and pro-gun posts and videos are often removed on several platforms. Liberal journalists even objected to one conservative outlet attending a meeting with Facebook. Several conservative organizations like Live Action, the NRA and even the Christian satire site Babylon Bee have complained they had posts removed or censored,” Mr. Bozell continued.

“Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like,” he said, warning in his statement that the ban on Mr. Jones is “just the beginning.”

On Monday the Drudge Report led with Mr. Jones’ story — which is a monster-sized mention. The proverbial Drudge “hit” yields huge readership. Consider that in the last 24 hours alone, 29 million people visited Drudge, which is formatted like straightforward, old-school news. There are terse, pertinent headlines — lots of them — and all are immediately accessible, the provided links leading to the original content.

Some heavy thinkers also stepped forward to have a say on Twitter, some characterizing Mr. Jones’ experiences as something right out of communist nation of yore.

“Whether you like @RealAlexJones and Infowars or not, he is undeniably the victim today of collusion by the big tech giants. What price free speech?” asked British broadcaster and political analyst Nigel Farage.

“Alex Jones is now an unperson, straight out of the plot of George Orwell’s 1984. Regardless what you think of him and Infowars, this is the equivalent of digital book burning and sets a horrifying precedent for mass censorship by Big Tech,” tweeted Mark Dice, an author and independent media analyst.


The New York-based nonprofit Conference Board reported Monday that their monthly “Employment Trends Index” is on the upswing. This complicated measurement is based on eight specific labor-market indicators which range from hard numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve Board and the Labor Department; manufacturing; consumer conference surveys; and claims for unemployment insurance.

The index now stands at 109.89, up from 108.72 in June. The change represents a 5.4 percent gain in the index compared to a year ago.

“The growth in the Employment Trends Index remains strong, supported by positive contributions from all of its components,” says Gad Levanon, the group’s chief economist for North America. “We expect economic activity to remain strong in the coming months, and the rapid expansion of employment should continue despite the very tight labor market.”


The special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District near Columbus on Tuesday has drawn keen media attention for observers that believe the bout between Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson and Democratic challenger Danny O’Connor is a bellwether of things to come. A review of headlines tells the emerging story:

“Win or lose, Democrats are already celebrating Tuesday’s election” (Washington Post); “Columbus, Ohio is America’s test market” (National Review); “What the Ohio election can tells us — and what it can’t” (CNN); “Trump-era GOP faces a test in Ohio” (Washington Examiner); “Democrats surging on eve of special election” (Politico); and “Danny O’Connor tries to do the impossible” (Daily Beast).


The University of California, Los Angeles has hired 18 students at $13 per hour to combat “social injustices” and “privilege and oppression” reports Toni Airaksinen, a contributor to Campus Reform, a watchdog group which monitors interesting cultural trends at American universities and colleges.

The “Diversity Peer Leaders” will take part in a yearlong internship, working 30 to 45 hours a semester organizing workshops on social justice issues in exchange for leadership training and compensation from their university. The program is funded though the schools student services fee, which is $1,128 per year from every student.

“The cost of the program alone could have gone to multiple scholarships, and potentially given a disadvantaged student a full ride through college. Instead the money goes to luncheons and echo-chamber sessions, in which participants attempt to out-victimize each other and not actually solve any problems, observed Arik Schneider, a UCLA student, and chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter.


45 percent of Americans agree with Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ recent observation that America has become “less hospitable to people of faith.”

74 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents, and 30 percent of Democrats agree.

42 percent of women and 48 percent of men agree.

37 percent of Americans overall disagree with Mr. Sessions’ statement; 15 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats disagree.

36 percent of women and 38 percent of men disagree.

18 percent overall are not sure about the Sessions statement; 11 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of independents, and 19 percent of Democrats are unsure.

22 percent of women and 14 percent of men aren’t sure.

Source: A YouGov Omnibus Poll of 7,461 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 1.

• Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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