In the news today comes a story about NBC trying to silence its competition.
NBC was proud of itself yesterday, and reported that it had gotten Google to ban ads from the conservative media outlet The Federalist, and one other media outlet for what NBC claimed was ‘hate speech’.
According to an NBC report, the network glowingly announced that its investigative work had not only found the offenses but had reported them and demanded that Google take action to ban any ads from their competitors, which it claimed Google had done. They reported their victory: “Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the project to its attention.”, referencing a ‘project’ that said that it found The Federalist was promoting ‘hate speech’.
At least two high profile NBC staff members took to their personal Twitter accounts to pat themselves on the back, including NBC News’ Adele-Momoko Fraser, the London-based journalist behind the report, claiming that she took down two ‘far right’ media sites. (‘far right’ being a derogatory term for any conservative, of course. The Federalist is actually fairly mainstream conservative in its editorial stance)
What a convenient way to try to get rid of competition! Give NBC credit. They came up with a plan to cut of advertising for a competitor AND use that also as a way to censor a media outlet they dislike and disagree with. Genius. Of course, we do have to overlook that whole part about where they claim to be in favor of freedom of the press and the whole First Amendment thing, but they change their tune when they can find an advantage for them. NBC is flexible that way. You see, their actions show us that they don’t really believe that stuff, they just use that when they are in trouble.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, there is more to the story. Even if you think people ought to be censored for what they say, Google later issued a statement saying that the NBC report was wrong (so much for their internal fact checking). Google did not stop ads, and also said that the statements in question were in the ‘comment section’ and not in any article.