The White House continues to try to “play dumb” regarding what many consider to be scandalous revelations about its influence on, or even collusion with, some of the biggest social media platforms – those whose reach and power allows them to shape public opinion.
Federal Judge Terry Doughty on Tuesday gave the Biden administration three weeks to submit all emails sent to Big Tech by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the administration’s House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The subject of this communication is reported to be to directly “coordinate” the way the state and private corporations treat what either of them deems to be disinformation and misinformation, regarding Covid – but also free speech in general.
When quizzed about the judge’s order during a press briefing on Wednesday, Jean-Pierre preferred evasive tactics instead of a straight answer to a pretty simple question: “What are those emails going to show?”
Jean-Pierre first justifiably declined to comment on “ongoing litigation,” noting that she had been asked the same question the previous week – and directing the reporter to the Justice Department (DoJ).
And yet, even after saying she could not comment, the White House press secretary went on to – offer some comments.
“A couple of things that I would say, just as a general matter on this, as we said over and over again: since the beginning of the administration in our battle against Covid-19, it has been crucial for the American people to have access to factual, accurate, science-based information and ensuring that any media platforms have access to the latest information on a once-in-a-generation pandemic, is something that has been done since the earliest days of the pandemic beginning under the former president,” she said.
The intent of her statement appears to be two-fold: to paint the collaboration between the Biden administration as strictly a narrow matter of advancing the nation’s health during a pandemic by making sure “factual, accurate, science based” content made it through; and by remarking that the tendency allegedly started during the previous administration.
The response, however, does not make it at all clear if the press secretary is asserting that just “the battle against Covid” was what the two administrations share – or if President Trump’s White House also emailed Twitter and Facebook to directly flag posts they would like removed?
Asked if those “communications” were ongoing and how frequent they might be to this day, Jean-Pierre again tried to shift onto – or at least share the blame with the previous administration, by deflecting such as, “there has been ongoing work dating to the Trump administration to provide accurate Covid information where folks get their news.”
Yes – but has there been “ongoing work” to regularly email with Silicon Valley’s social media giants? And is the Biden administration still doing it?
Sadly, no useful answer from Jean-Pierre.
“Again, this is litigation that is ongoing and is currently happening, clearly that’s why it’s ongoing, and so I would defer to Department of Justice on that,” she said, closing the (vicious) circle of political spin.