“What we found, and what the whistleblowers found, was that the government and the White House were directly communicating with Big Tech on stories and information they either wanted to promote or suppress,” says Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
On a recent episode of EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders,” host Jan Jekielek and Landry discuss assaults on the First Amendment by government and Big Tech. One of the most assertive attorneys general in the country, Landry has filed a number of lawsuits against the Biden administration over Big Tech censorship, the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Board, COVID-19 mandates, illegal immigration, and election integrity.
That’s exactly why the First Amendment was established under our Bill of Rights. That’s exactly the kind of conduct the Founders in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights wanted to prevent. They didn’t want the government censoring information.
That’s why you saw attorneys general, like myself, go after the government the minute they announced this, saying, “This is an incorrect use of federal authority.”
So, Schmitt and I filed the lawsuit in Louisiana. Three to five weeks later, some whistleblowers basically said: “They’re censoring information. The government is colluding with Big Tech and telling them this is the information we want you to put out, and this is the information we want you to suppress,” which was the basis for our lawsuit. It was surprising to many, but it was affirming to us.
Then, they have to go before a judge and say, “Judge, under these conditions, this is the information we have.” Then the judge says, “OK, this is enough for a warrant to be granted.” That’s a Fourth Amendment protection.
The police can’t say: “We don’t want to go to a judge. We’ll get your neighbors to go into your house, because we know that you invite your neighbors into your house. We will tell them what to find, and then tell us if it’s in your house.”
That’s illegal. That’s the government short-circuiting the Fourth Amendment. It’s the same thing with speech, and that’s what our lawsuit says about Big Tech and government. If we find this collusion to be true, then those platforms will be liable for violating citizens’ rights.
We have a treasure trove of information that should come out shortly. The good news is that the judge in our case granted our motion for discovery, so the subpoenas have gone out. Dr. Anthony Fauci got served, along with other members of the president’s Cabinet. They have to send us the communications between them and the platforms. We believe we’ll find communications telling the platforms what they should and shouldn’t put out.
Think about how the federal government spied on a presidential campaign. The basis for which they did so was a false document, the dossier. Again, when the evidence showing that dossier as fictitious tried to come out, that information was suppressed.
We have this technology that can create big narratives of information and can change in a moment’s notice. With the information landscape changing so much, people are arguing that new rules are required to balance these capabilities with freedom. We wouldn’t want the wrong information to capture everyone’s mind in an instant. Things like that have happened.
And we used to have a physical public square. And in that physical public square, the press was welcome. People were free to debate and say things in that public square. But the internet created a virtual public square, which at first seemed great. It was going to be a marketplace for ideas and connect more people. It was going to expand the physical public square. If you wanted to go and talk in New York, now you could do it through the internet and not have to travel to New York.
Unfortunately, the virtual public square is now controlled by just a handful of private corporations—Big Tech, as we’ve labeled them. Instead of the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment being the gateway of that information, Big Tech now controls what goes in and out of the virtual public square. And when the government joins them, they are absolutely violating the First Amendment when it comes to information.
That’s where we are right now. What has happened is a collision of antitrust law, the monopolistic power of Big Tech, and what people believe and appreciate about the First Amendment.
What you’re seeing right now are attorneys general either trying to bring the federal government in check or trying to expand it, based upon their ideology.