Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson said the NY Times and other corporate news outlets have dedicated significant resources to finding people who express viewpoints that go against the mainstream orthodoxy.
These news outlets and “other elite media outlets” have reporters who “spend significant amounts of time looking for people, public figures … who have said things [or] words they consider bad or spouted ideas they consider bad, and try to flog people publicly,” Berenson remarked.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, Berenson was a journalist for the NY Times for about a decade before becoming an author of novels and other books. During the CCP virus pandemic, he frequently stated that masks and lockdowns don’t work, which has drawn condemnation from scientists.
Reporters with mainstream outlets are now “frustrated” because they cannot “control the debate as completely as they would like” and that 75 million people voted for former President Donald Trump.
In recent years, these outlets have increased their negative coverage of Big Tech firms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon, which some commentators have said is a bid to force these companies into censoring and de-platforming conservatives and other figures who don’t share their views.
Some Democratic lawmakers have appeared to join the effort, holding a hearing this week claiming that Facebook, Twitter, and Google allowed for “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud” to spread, suggesting that these firms should restrict users’ abilities to deal with the “rise of misinformation and disinformation,” while a recent NY Times editorial called for the United States to establish a “reality czar.”
Berenson, in his speech, said that mainstream news companies have “‘asked’ and beat on those places,” referring to Big Tech firms, to “help them censor” dissenting viewpoints.
“It is amazing to see journalists asking technology companies for help in censorship, but that’s happening,” he said. “And tech has agreed to this—partly out of ideology and partly because it’s in their interest, it seems.”
Examples include Facebook’s recent decision to ban groups “it doesn’t like,” and YouTube restricting the uploading of videos with certain content about the COVID-19 pandemic, Berenson said. Amazon, meanwhile, chose to restrict the sales of certain books, including Berenson’s own book about the pandemic—and recently banned a book that criticized transgender ideologies.
“Journalists, the people who should be speaking out against this, are cheering it on,” Berenson said, referring to Big Tech’s move to censor and de-platform.
CPAC is scheduled to run three days ending on Sunday, Feb. 28. Trump is scheduled to speak on Sunday.