Turning Point Jeff Landry Meeting

Attorney General of Louisiana Jeff Landry speaks to the room on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in the Student Union in Baton Rouge, La.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in an October speech at LSU that a lawsuit in a U.S. district court in Louisiana would be one of the most important of our time. I figured he was another politician speaking hyperbolically and shrugged.

But Landry was right.

Over the past two years, the scope and scale of the social media crackdown on misinformation and disinformation has been expanding. At times, it has seemed coordinated, and it has seemed one-sided and biased against conservatives. 

Conspiracy theories explaining why ranged from woke employees of social media companies hating conservatives to a vast interconnected network of government agents policing speech or so-called misinformation and disinformation, much like George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth from his dystopian novel “1984.”

Much of the so-called misinformation and disinformation censored by social media companies has turned out to be neither.

There's emerging evidence that the COVID-19 virus may have originated from laboratory in Wuhan, China, and the U.S. government is now investigating this, according to the New York Times. You were smeared as a conspiracy theorist if you said this earlier in the pandemic.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, was suspended from YouTube for posting a video claiming that cloth masks are ineffective against COVID-19 based on information from two peer-reviewed studies, according to the New York Times. Four months later, the Centers for Disease Control admitted this was true.

Then there was the Hunter Biden laptop story. The New York Post reported that President Joe Biden’s son left a laptop at a Delaware computer repair shop with sensitive information about the Biden family on it. The publication was subsequently suspended from an array of social media platforms. A letter was signed by 50 former intelligence analysts saying the laptop story sounded like Russian disinformation, according to The Hill.

It wasn’t and was later verified by the New York Times. 

Many of us knew these things to be true initially but were continually censored and labeled conspiracy theorists and misinformation spreaders.

So, what’s going on here?

A lawsuit filed by Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt argues that the U.S. government has been colluding with social media companies to censor and take down information related to COVID-19, racial justice, U.S. support of Ukraine and much more.  

Much of the information in this lawsuit was revealed by a recent Intercept report titled “Truth Cops.”

The Biden administration and Department of Homeland Security have been in contact with multiple major social media sites and have been suggesting these social media sites to take down “misinformation” and “disinformation” about COVID-19, according to documents revealed by the Landry lawsuit. 

Facebook has a portal set up where government agents can go and submit so-called misinformation for review. That portal is still up.

This is a massive First Amendment violation.

In principle, the government cannot use private corporations to do what it cannot do. But more importantly, according to Supreme Court precedent, the government is constitutionally barred from doing this.

How many times have congressman, senators and the Biden Administration called for Big Tech regulation? Always seemingly after bouts of so-called COVID-19 misinformation, much of which turned out to be true. The lawsuit by Landry lays out many incidents like this.

In a recent opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, he noted that in the 1982 Blum v. Yaretsky decision, it was established that the government cannot perform actions through private entities if that action is unconstitutional.

The government’s appropriate role in the minds of our founding fathers was to first govern the citizens but secondly to govern itself, according to Federalist #51, one of the papers written by James Madison in defense of the Constitution. Our founding fathers were aware of the capacity for the government to run out of control, and our Bill of Rights was written in order to check that possibility.

Our freedom of speech is indeed under attack in America. The marketplace of ideas is being illegally fixed by the greatest information cartel that has ever existed: the government. Landry’s lawsuit aims to combat this for the citizens of Louisiana, standing upon the principles of free speech.

The freedom to express yourself, to figure out who you really are, to praise God or not to praise God and to be happy are ensured by the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights. These freedoms, once fully incorporated, allowed for the flourishing of ideas in America and led to our country being one of the most tolerant nations on the planet.

Landry’s lawsuit is a full-throated defense of the right to free speech that rightfully goes after those in the federal government who have sought to violate our most sacred rights—the rights that make America great. 

Brandon Poulter is a 27-year-old political science and psychology major from Baton Rouge.

Load comments