Republicans had an opportunity at yesterday’s hearings with the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Amazon to address their monopolistic power. They didn’t, Tucker Carlson indicated on his show last evening.
Rep. Jim Jordan put his questions around the lesser question of partisan censorship instead of its relationship to the overarching and easily provable monopoly and the immense power they have over Americans.
If they weren’t going to do that, they needed to come armed with better, factual questions about specific acts of censorship or unbridled power.
Some of Jim Jordan’s questions and detailed evidence were excellent.
Jordan, who has taken donations from Google, went after Google’s CEO Pichai as one who is censoring the right-wing. He focused on only the right when Google’s power is over everyone. Google can swing elections by millions and that is the larger issue.
He asked for assurances as opposed to grilling with incisive questions.
Retiring Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner asked the CEO of Facebook why Twitter suspended Donald Trump Jr. — embarrassing.
At one point, Sensenbrenner asked Jeff Bezos if consumers are helped by Amazon being broken up. Bezos said it doesn’t help them.
Any time Republicans complain about partisan censorship, the left and the tech CEOs will say it isn’t so, although it is. They should have stuck with the obvious — the monopoly factor — or asked better questions with more facts than they had at hand.
The power of monopolies was evident in the causes of The Great Depression and they have become a major issue since the ’90s. It’s always dangerous when too few exercise complete control over the rest of us. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Monopolies have gone mainstream even though they are anathema to a capitalist society. They are a perversion and a threat. There is a DOJ probe of possible violations of anti-trust laws, but Republicans didn’t go after it yesterday.
THEY GET PAID
Saagar Enjeti, The Hill opinion editor, and a media fellow with the Hudson Institute told Tucker that Republicans are getting donations from Google and even TikTok, the corrupt Chinese company, suggesting they and the Democrats were bought off.
Hopefully, that’s not true, although one must wonder. We don’t think Jim Jordan is corrupt, however.
There are two avenues of attack against the tech giants currently in play. One is Section 230 and the other is anti-trust laws.
Republicans don’t have power in the House and can’t do anything about Section 230 which has given tech giants power over the rest of the country. Section 230 is a congressional decision that protects platforms from lawsuits over what their posters write. They are not responsible for what commenters write. All platforms were equally protected in their sphere. All platforms benefit from it equally, say in the business sector. However, the tech platforms are different in that they are unequal in their treatment of other political actors.
Whether it can be adjusted to protect platforms while curbing monopolistic power to censor is unclear.
Regulatory laws were established before these new monopolies. It’s not only Big Tech, it’s the news media in general. Six companies own almost all of the news media.
It is the tech giants’ power and the power of companies that own all the news outlets that is the threat to the capitalist system, the foundation of our government.