As the CEOs of the biggest technology companies in history sat for congressional hearings this week, you could be excused for asking out loud: What's the point?
They were summoned to Congress by huffing and puffing politicians who went on cable shows promising to "get to the bottom of this". It can be presumed these tech CEOs are busy men, but they took time out of heir busy schedule sit around all day while politicians, mostly GOP, ranted and raved. Then they went home.
These businesses are unquestionably the largest monopolies in world history. Google has gone from completely dominating internet searches to basically owning the internet, dominating online email and gobbling up other internet giants like YouTube. Facebook is the Coke to Twitter's Pepsi, but Facebook also gobbled up the #3 social media site Instagram. Amazon is the all-time undisputed king of merchandise sales, making owner Jeff Bezos the Richest Man on Earth. Last week, Bezos' net worth jumped $13 billion in a single day. He's worth just shy of $200 billion, or so. Bezos is so rich, his ex-wife is the Richest Woman on Earth, and the source of her wealth is her divorce from Jeff Bezos. His unimaginable wealth is so enormous that his mountain of money is still far-and-away the biggest even after peeling off a huge chunk to make his ex the Richest Woman on Earth. And Bezos is one of the very few Americans whose business is booming due to the never-ending coronavirus shutdowns that are destroying businesses across our country, making his wealth skyrocket by the day in ways never even imagined just six months ago. Amazon is such a retail juggernaut that even the monstrously large Walmart is trying to figure out how to get in on the internet sales and home delivery action.
I could go on, but you get the point. This tiny handful of tech companies aren't just big. They're on a scale never seen in history. Being big, in and of itself, isn't a problem. But the people controlling these companies are doing what powerful people do. They're flexing their power to either buy or crush competitors. Which is ultimately bad for everyone. But they're not just exerting dangerous market dominance, they are using their massive size and power to impose their personal social and political preferences on the public.
In the middle of these hearings, Breitbart News is floundering in a judicial-type appeal of its suspension on Twitter. Breitbart and other accounts were suspended or had their tweets deleted over disagreement with the press conference by 60-some licensed, practicing physicians who publicly touted the effectiveness of hydroxychoriquin as a treatment for coronavirus. This after allowing major news outlets to accuse the President of the United States of being a Russian spy for over three years, not to mention all kinds of other crazy conspiracy theories and false accusations against President Trump and his supporters. Just in the past few days CNN and The Washington Post settled massive lawsuits after publishing horrible, untrue attacks on a teenager from Covington, Kentucky last year who had a Indian beat a drum in his face and black activists shouted racial epithets at him while he waited on the sidewalk for a bus with his classmates. These massive tech companies take every opportunity to silence certain political viewpoints while amplifying others.
While leftists claim this indisputable discrimination is no problem because Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple and the rest are private companies, so they can do whatever they want to whomever they want, their usual claim is "if you don't like it, go make your own website!" Which would be fine, except these giants use their market dominance to crush any alternatives. Andrew Torba founded the social media site Gab a few years ago specifically as a true free speech alternative. It's an impressive platform, and popular with users banned in the multiple purges from Twitter and Facebook that began after President Trump's election in 2016. But Torba and his family have paid a heavy price. Like others trying to get their voices heard, Torba has been 'canceled' by corporate America in a coordinated effort to stomp out dissent. Torba and his family members have been blacklisted by financial institutions and his character assassinated. This is true of several other websites, commentators and ordinary Americans.
Alex Jones was canceled across numerous platforms within a 24 hour period. He even had his LinkedIn account canceled, and that's nothing more than one's resume and professional contacts. These are coordinated, punitive measures taken against one political point of view. And they aren't necessarily even meant to just silence the targeted individual. They act as a warning to anyone who might think of expressing a point of view that differs from official approved viewpoint held by the social justice Masters of the Universe.
A few years ago I wrote about this disturbing trend in my national column at WND. I compared the massive power of the tech giants and their imposition of a single, approved point of view to the telephone company or electric company informing a citizen that the CEO disapproved of the things they were saying and would no longer provide electricity, natural gas or telephone service to your home. Or the CEO of ExxonMobile notifying you that you would no longer be sold gas for your car at any of their gas stations or any station to which they supplied fuel. Last week numerous conservative news outlets, blogs and websites suddenly vanished from Google searches. Daily Caller, Rebel News, Gateway Pundit, Gab, Breitbart and many others no longer appeared, even in specific Google searches. In their place at the top of the search results were Wikipedia and news articles smearing these sites. Google claimed it was a technical glitch and restored the search results within a few hours. But it seems clear it was a trial run for something that's coming. In fact, conservative news outlets have documented their Google traffic all but vanished awhile ago, replaced by search results pointing only to leftwing news sources.
So what's to be done about all this? Congresspeople decided on "hearings". While Democrats have focused on the CEOs' wealth, the GOP has mostly just lobbed stupid softballs at them in an attempt to make their constituents think they're really doing something. This is an old scam, and nobody is better at it than Senator Lindsay Graham, who's always telling the media he's troubled by something and is making preparations to get ready to do the things necessary to look into the matter. He's always getting ready to do something "next week". It's like the old 'free beer tomorrow' sign outside bars. Next week never comes. Congressional Republicans usually avoid actually doing anything about the things their constituents are concerned about (they can't actually rock the boat, right?), so everyone has to be content with having their representative talk about how outraged he is and how he's going to get to the bottom of it. When something is egregious enough that they actually have to have hearings, they walk a tightrope of sounding really, really serious, while not actually doing anything of substance.
The prototype for this was the Hillary Clinton hearings. I actually admire Hillary for physically demonstrating what a sham the entire thing was. It was a waste of time and she sat there looking bored through most of it. She had her head on her hand and showed her disgust with the whole political theater. After it was over, nobody had asked her even a single question of any significance and she stood up and high-fived her staff. Which was in poor taste, considering it was directly in front of the family members of the men killed at Benghazi while working for her when she was Secretary of State. After who knows how many hours of "testimony" at "hearings", not one of the committee even asked her where she was during the 13 hours the American consulate was under attack and security forces repeatedly called for help. The U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans were killed in that attack, the hearings were touted as a huge deal...and nobody asked a question of any significance. Hillary was right to be disgusted. Everyone watching it was disgusted. It was disgusting. But that's all congressional hearings are. Useless political theater.
Fox's Tucker Carlson had Republican Congressman Jim Jordan on his program this week and asked Jordan about the utter uselessness of these hearings. He pointed out Jordan himself had taken campaign money from Google. It was also leaked that Jordan had circulated a memo to other GOP committee members essentially saying not to be too hard on Google and the tech giants in the hearings. Jordan was supposed to be the conservative lion on the committee who was going to really take action. He never was. It was a congressional hearing.
The big tech hearings this past week basically are a rerun of the Hillary hearings. Political theater meant to cover the butts of the politicians by making it look like they're "doing something" while they don't really do or say anything of substance and the witnesses go about doing the things they were doing. It's an inconvenience and an annoyance, but it means nothing and we should expect nothing.