Friday, August 12, 2022


Here's a headline that appeared at Gateway Pundit yesterday:
Announcement: The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft Elevated to Lead Plaintiff in State of Missouri and State of Louisiana Lawsuit vs. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. et al.
From the announcement:
Jim Hoft of The Gateway Pundit is a key plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the State of Missouri. State of Missouri ex rel. Schmitt, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al., 3:22-cv-01213. The lawsuit alleges that the public statements, emails, and recently released documents, establish that the President of the United States and other senior officials in the Biden Administration violated the First Amendment by directing social-media companies to censor viewpoints that conflict with the government’s messaging on Covid-19 and election integrity concerns relating to the 2020 general election, and is a direct assault on the First Amendment....

The collusion of the Biden administration, in coordination with multiple departments within the United States government and big tech, has led to the censorship, silencing and de-platforming of individuals and organizations and it is a direct assault of the First Amendment.
This lawsuit was originally filed in May by Attorney General Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Attorney General Jeff Landry of Louisiana. Schmitt, who recently won the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Missouri, has now amended the filing to add several plaintiffs, one of whom is Jim Hoft, Missouri's most successful living right-wing disinformationist.

Keep in mind that Schmitt is probably the next U.S. senator from Missouri -- he has led Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine in two polls of the race, in a state Donald Trump won by 15 points in 2020. It seemed to be a good thing that Schmitt beat domestic abuser and sex criminal Eric Greitens in that primary, but if Schmitt is working hand in glove with Hoft, then it's clear that he's going to be one of the worst people in the Senate.

This is a ridiculous lawsuit. In May, Techdirt's Mike Masnick wrote about the original filing:
... the crux of the complaint — ... I must remind you that it is against many parts of the Biden administration — is that they somehow colluded with private social media companies to censor speech, even though they weren’t even the government at that time.

... What content are real life Attorneys General Jeff Landry and Eric Schmitt suing over?

The Hunter Biden laptop story in the NY Post.
Perhaps most notoriously, social-media platforms aggressively censored an October 14, 2020 New York Post exposé about the contents of the laptop of (then-Candidate Biden’s son) Hunter Biden, which had been abandoned in a Delaware repair shop and contained compromising photos and email communications about corrupt foreign business deals.
... the Biden administration did not exist at the time of the Hunter Biden laptop story. So there is no way that the Biden administration could have violated the 1st Amendment into pressuring social media not to carry that story.

... it takes an incredible lack of shame to argue that Twitter (a private company) using its existing “hacked materials” policy to block a single link to a single story, is a 1st Amendment violation, because the Biden administration, which did not exist for another three months, was pressuring the company to block it.

And it gets worse.

The second example used in the lawsuit is social media companies limiting discussions of the whole “lab leak” theory… in early 2020. Also, efforts by social media companies to pull down disinformation about mail-in ballots. All of these things happened under the Trump administration, and not because of government pressure, but because the companies didn’t want to have their platforms abused by malicious actors.

... The entire lawsuit reads more like something we read from trolls in our comments, not a lawsuit filed by two actual, honest-to-goodness state Attorneys General. But, kudos, Jeff Landry and Eric Schmitt, you’ve truly outdone yourselves in stupid, performative, nonsense lawsuits.
And now Hoft has been added as a plaintiff, presumably to get Schmitt some positive coverage at Hoft's regrettably influential site. This is the Republican Party in 2022.

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