I’ve gone after Josh Hawley on a number of different occasions. This has caused some people to wonder why exactly this one Senator annoys me so much. To put it simply, because he’s the Republican AOC. A “fresh face” who’s considered by many to be a populist while not actually having a single clue about economics. The truth is, if Hawley was a Democrat the media would be praising him 24/7, instead they’re just ignoring him, which may be more dangerous.
One of Hawley’s favorite smears against anyone who is against his big government views is that they’re all just funded by “big tech” companies.
Americans are tired of Big Tech censorship. Time to listen to them, not the Big Tech-funded apologists-7/11/2019
Although he’s done this millions of times, Hawley’s recent attack against New York Times writer Sarah Jeong is being hailed as some big advancement.
On 7/26/2019, Sarah Jeong published an article for the New York Times called “Politicians Want to Change The Internet’s Most Important Law. They Should Read This First.” The piece goes after Senators like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for intentionally misrepresenting what Section 230 said in order to pass an anti-property rights legislation.
The piece actually does a great job explaining what Section 230 is, what it was intended for, and why Josh Hawley’s claims are nonsense. Here are some quotes:
[Ted Cruz] was referring to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a limited liability shield that internet platforms have benefited from since 1996. His words had little bearing on the actual text of the law. Things only snowballed from there.
. . .
Section 230 of the C.D.A. is neither long nor particularly inscrutable. It clocks in at under 1,000 words, and it makes clear that the law does not premise protection on political neutrality. Neither does it force tech companies to assume either the role of “publisher” or “platform.” And it states that C.D.A. 230 has no bearing on federal criminal law — or on intellectual property law, for that matter.
The reason C.D.A. 230 exists is simple: internet platforms are not the same as internet users. This holds true for giants like YouTube and the comments section of obscure vegan cooking blogs. Posting in the comments section of The New York Times is not the same as writing for The New York Times.
The piece then goes own to say that there are issues with section 230, however, Hawley and Cruz are not addressing these problems because doing so would involve actually talking about the real legislation, not there made up one. As well as pointing out how this anti-freedom platform has actually hurt people who use to be on the side of the RNC:
But there can be no honest debate over a version of C.D.A. 230 that doesn’t exist. Political neutrality has never been part of C.D.A. 230, and to make it so would require a complete overhaul of the law. Senator Hawley’s bill calls for government regulation of the internet on an unprecedented scale. The Federal Communications Commission used to enforce the Fairness Doctrine on the airwaves, a policy under which broadcasters were required to air balanced opinions on controversial issues — balanced from the F.C.C.’s perspective, that is. It’s already perilous to have a government regulator decide what is fair and balanced. It makes even less sense when applied to the internet. In 1969, the Supreme Court upheld the F.C.C.’s power to enforce the Fairness Doctrine on the grounds that the airwaves are an inherently limited resource. But the sea of internet postings is boundless.
The Republican Party’s new obsession with “political neutrality” has left former allies reeling. Berin Szòka, the president of the libertarian-leaning think tank TechFreedom, said in an interview that Republicans were once his natural allies on a wide range of issues, but have now “betrayed their most fundamental principles, principles they spent decades fighting about — to keep the government out of meddling in broadcast media, fighting against the Fairness Doctrine. And now they want exactly that but on steroids for the internet.”
The article ends, in my opinion perfectly, by stating:
Perhaps the discourse will be improved if we all take a moment to actually read the text of C.D.A. 230, but Mr. Szòka is not optimistic. Senators Cruz and Hawley, he said, are totally aware of what the statute says and what the case law around it actually is. “They’re smart lawyers. And they absolutely know what they’re talking about is a warping of Section 230.”
Hawley was angered by this piece. He responded to this on Twitter by saying the following:
The Left has come to love the corporate C-suite (and not just Big Tech) because the C-suite agrees with the Left and advances the Left’s priorities
He also sent her an NBC article called “After Years Of Big Spending, Tech’s Political Machine Turns To High Gear,” from 7/3/2019. This article was primarily about backlash from tech companies towards Josh Hawley’s plan to destroy them. Yes, I said destroy them, and not regulate them.
It seems Josh Hawley wants us to forget about an article called “‘Should These Platforms Exist At All?’: One GOP Senator’s Crusade To Rein In — And Rethink — Big Tech,” from about a month earlier.
Here is the line the author of that article was quoting from:
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has more than a little in common with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., one of the body’s most liberal members, when it comes to addressing the size and power of social media and tech giants.
But Hawley also posed a more existential question about advertising-based tech companies during a recent interview with NBC News: “Should these platforms exist at all?”
Here are some more Hawley lines from that article:
“We should have a discussion about the business model of the social media platforms as they have evolved as an ad-supported business model that is pushing addiction and rewarding addiction,” Hawley said.
“If we broke Facebook up into 50 Facebooks who all pursued the same business model, would our lives, our economy, our society be measurably improved?” he continued. “I don’t know that they would.”
Both this article and the article Hawley links were written by NBC reporter Allan Smith. Smith only links the article I’m quoting from once when saying “[Josh Hawley is] a first-term senator who has made battling big tech core to his brand.”
As for the “key ‘expert’” Hawley mentioned that was paid by Google, I think (because he doesn’t actually say who he’s talking about) he’s referring to is Berin Szòka, the president of Tech Freedom.
After doing some digging, I was able to find there tax returns from 2011. Google is not once mentioned. Hawley is making this up.
Even the NBC article Hawley links calls TechFreedom “ a tech-focused Washington nonprofit.” So where are those donations from Google going towards? Non-partisan research?
The most annoying aspect about this is Hawley is not as neutral as he likes to pretend. On the side of tech vs. government, Hawley literally has a seat in the Senate, making him one of the 535 most powerful people in the country.
As a Senator, he makes $174,000 a year. After the end of his first (and hopefully only) term in the Senate, he will have made, bare minimum $1,044,000. Hawley also spent two years as Missouri Attorney General. That gives him a salary for $107,746, meaning he made $215,492 over the course of him term. This means by 2025, Hawley will have made bare minimum $1,259,492 from the state.
But that’s not all, Hawley has also taken more money from private enterprise than he would to admit. Over the course of the 2018 Senate Election Hawley raised $11,853,151. Of those, donations of $200 or less only made up 13.14% of what Hawley raised. Large Individual Contributions made up 65.44% of what he raised, or $7,757,052. PAC’s gave him another $1,120,241, or another 9.4% of his campaign funding.
By the way, his opponent, former Senator Claire McCaskill got 30.56% of her donations from small individual contributions. 17.42% more than Senator Hawley. Yet Hawley dares to call himself the man of the working class.
Hawley has received nearly $300,000 from the Club for Growth, a conservative organization founded by the four millionaires Harlan Crow, Stephen Moore, Thomas Rhodes, and Richard Gilder. He took $50,000 from the multinational corporation Emerson Electric. He also took $500,000 from various Real Estate industries.
But he’s not bought and sold? How?
Hawley is simply getting funds from the other side, the fact that he’s pretending the side he’s on isn’t bought and sold is the most dishonest thing a human could do. The fact the mainstream media has not exposed this is proof the media is broken.