Et Tu, C-SPAN? Steve Scully Suspended For Claiming Tweet Was Hack

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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35 Responses

  1. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Seems unsurprisingly appropriate.

    Also proves that news media types are still human afterall.Report

  2. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    The headline here is a curious one. CSPAN as an institution has done nothing wrong. If anything, they handled this properly: taking action as soon as they were made aware of the problem. Scully is the problem. And, yes, he is employed by CSPAN. But employers can’t take responsibility for every thing every employee ever says.

    While this feels like a nitpicky comment to make, I think it is an important one. Because, if it hasn’t happened already, we’re soon going to hear how this is evidence that CSPAN is out to get Trump. When, in fact, it is just the opposite. It may be evidence that a CSPAN employee had it out for Trump or was otherwise unable to treat/cover him fairly. But this incident shows that CSPAN as a company will take action when one of its employees does something wrong, seemingly regardless of the target of the act.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve been trying to come up with an X-files joke for ages but I have nothing.Report

  4. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    In other news about Tweets, the FCC says it will regulate social media under Trump’s executive order. Maybe blocking all those Hunter Biden stories wasn’t such a good idea.

    CNN – FCC section 230Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
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      says:

      So the party that rails against cancel culture and the like wants the government to regulate how private businesses enforce speech policies? Cool.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Yep. They’re interfering in the 2020 election a thousand times more than the Russians were even accused of doing. At this point they’ve likely rendered the entire election invalid, acting like Tass, Pravda, or the Stasi to make sure nobody knows about a massive political corruption scandal, silencing anyone who dares to even bring it up.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          They’re a website. Start a different website if you don’t like them.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Could I get a hundred million or so people to switch websites in the couple weeks before the election, or just write 2020 off as rigged?Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              Private actors having opinions isn’t rigging anything. It’s Democracy. If 100M like Twitter enough to use it and no one likes your website, that is the market in action.Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s a reasonable argument that these companies are effectively monopolies…just like Ma Bell was. Frankly, I support full uncensored opinion on all internets. It’s the virtual soapbox in the town square. But if one company owns the only soap box, which he obtained through buying up a lot of smaller companies, AND the corporation and many of it’s employees have stated / taken action in clearly biased ways, I’m ok with some level of regulation.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        You’d think that the party that sees Citizens United as a travesty would invite this!Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Lets pin these comments and revisit them around January 21, 2021.

          For posterity, I think having the government regulate social media is probably a terrible idea regardless of who is doing it.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          So, you are in favor of the government regulating what private companies do with regards to speech on their platforms?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            I was more pulling the “I thought you were a fan of this tangentially related thing that happened a decade ago!” argumentation tactic.

            Do you see how “I thought you’d like this sort of thing!” does more to communicate misunderstanding the other’s position than to communicate understanding it?

            In any case, I do see a distinction between publisher and platform and think that if we have a system where protections are extended to the latter and not the former, when the entity that had been acting as the latter starts acting like the former, I am not surprised for a second that those protections are revoked.

            Even if I think that the government should be hands off.

            (That said, this is not a First Amendment Government thing, as I see it. It’s a Freedom Of Speech as Cultural Value thing and when the corporation doesn’t have it, appealing to the government that they should have it is disingenuous at best, even if there is a First Amendment. The important thing is the value, not the Constitution. And everybody is going to learn that good and hard.)Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              There’s an interesting line of case law applying the 1st amendment to private actors where they perform a state function (goes back to when there were company towns). I believe the tree has been barked up a few times in more modern situations where there is private ownership of something of a public square. So far it hasn’t gone anywhere but I wonder if a time won’t come where that changes.

              Another angle will be when the government starts requiring these companies to take certain actions on its behalf. The Chinese are giving them plenty of examples of what can be done that I’m sure has law enforcement and other assorted government riff raff drooling.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              I support the CU decision.

              More importantly, you’re comparing potentially hypocritical stances separated by a decade to [checks notes] issues that could appear in the same daily paper.

              So, again, are you cool with the Feds regulating Twitter based on speech content?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess if I had an opinion, it would be that I see a distinction between publisher and platform and think that if we have a system where protections are extended to the latter and not the former, when the entity that had been acting as the latter starts acting like the former, I am not surprised for a second that those protections are revoked.

                Even if I think that the government should be hands off.

                My own personal focus would be that this is not a First Amendment Government thing but a Freedom Of Speech as Cultural Value thing and when the corporation doesn’t have it, appealing to the government that they should have it is disingenuous at best, even if there is a First Amendment. The important thing is the value, not the Constitution. And everybody is going to learn that good and hard.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So you’re okay with the government regulating platforms based on what they choose to allow based on the content of the speech?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                The only people who are opposed to government regulation of speech in its entirety are White Supremacists.

                The questions remaining for those who agree that they’re not White Supremacists are “what kind?” and “how much?”

                For the record, I am not opposed to protections being granted to platforms that are not extended to publishers. “Hey, we’re just here. If someone else posts something in our public square, that’s on them. It’s not on us. We have 4 million posts being posted a minute. We can’t keep up. We’re not going to pretend to try.” is an attitude that makes sense to me.

                “We’re going to moderate very heavily but only intermittently!” is one that I have a lot less sympathy for and it leads to the question “How come you moderated *THIS* but you didn’t moderate *THAT*?” as night follows day.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So you don’t want to answer the question. Moving on…Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not a question of government regulation because the government “regulation” is whether to treat them as a publisher, a utility (common carrier), or a private club, or what.

                The question is what legal protections the companies will have when you sue them in court for cutting your access. Note that the phone companies cannot deny you phone service because they don’t like what you say to your friends.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I did answer the question?

                I acknowledged the distinction between being a platform and being a publisher?

                And I said that I was not surprised that when a platform started acting like a publisher that the protections extended to platforms ceased to be extended to them?

                And if it came to how I felt personally, I said a couple of times that I didn’t cease to be surprised by this even if I think that the government should be hands off?

                And the distinction between Publisher and Platform is so much more interesting than how I feel personally about any given thing, let alone whether I mouth “Yay! Enlightenment Values!” platitudes in response to a backlash to post-post-Enlightenment Values?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Indeed!

                That was a helpful post.

                I know that *I* thought that section 230 means that if Twitter takes down tweets that defame Jane but don’t take down posts that defame John then John can sue Twitter.

                If that is not true, then I have been misled.

                That said, if Twitter wants to argue that it has the power to moderate when it deletes tweets about Jane but argues that it can’t be expected to moderate when John gives them a call, there’s going to be bad blood on John’s part.

                Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Was that the case where Citizens United was sanctioned for not making a film about McCain’s kid with the black hooker?Report

  5. Avatar InMD
    Ignored
    says:

    I have no idea why any remotely public person is on that medium. Whatever negligible capacity for good it may theoretically have is negated a thousand times over by the ability to instantaneously make an ass of oneself to the entire world.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Not that I know anything about Steve Scully, but this looks like:

    Trump and his claque bullied the guy mercilessly.
    He panicked and did something dumb.
    He denied the dumb thing, which was even dumber.
    As a result, he got suspended.
    Trump declared victory.

    Nobody looks good, do they?Report

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