The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

First Amendment guardrails should curtail falsehoods

 

September 16, 2021



To The Eagle:

Texas Governor Greg “heartbeat” Abbott has signed another mendacious bill aiming to stop social media companies from banning users or nixing posts based solely on political opinions, claiming these tech giants are censoring conservative user’s views.

“These sites are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely, but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.” he said.

Abbot has good reason to fear having deceitful right-wing propaganda, camouflaged as “opinions,” culled from the public forum. Lies are his party’s stock in trade.

First Amendment guardrails should aggressively curtail the falsehoods, fabrications, deceptions and trumped-up innuendos polluting the public infosphere, such as Donald Trump's incessant lies about the 2020 election that he and his allies relentlessly pushed -- that Democrats could not possibly beat him in an election that wasn't "rigged." Many Republican voters are now suspicious, for no good reason, about the integrity of American elections in general.

In a Newsmax television interview, serial liar Trump declared California’s recent gubernatorial recall election "probably rigged." His supposed evidence? The fact that every active registered California voter is being sent a mail-in ballot. There is no evidence of widespread fraud involving mail-in ballots, or any other ballots.

Right-wing Newsmax commentators baselessly proclaimed "the only thing that will save Governor Newsom is voter fraud. They're gonna cheat to win. The mail-in ballot scheme is rigged." The FCC should pull Newsmax’s broadcasting license. That’d be cleaning up on-air pollution, not censorship.

Our neighborhood opinion troll* wrote in the Aug. 19th issue “we can repair the damage the Democrat party has done to our voting system.” What damage might that be, sir? Can you provide us with factual examples, instead of more fabrication and fiction?

*a person who intentionally tries to instigate conflict, hostility, or arguments in a community. Trolls often use inflammatory messages to provoke emotional responses, disrupting otherwise civil discussion.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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