Matt Taibbi continues his Twitter reporting on what he calls the CENSORSHIP-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. His report yesterday on the Aspen Institute’s activities caught my eye. As he put it:
14. The Woodstock of the Censorship-Industrial Complex came when the Aspen Institute – which receives millions a year from both the State Department and USAID – held a star-studded confab in Aspen in August 2021 to release its final report on “Information Disorder.”
15. The report was co-authored by Katie Couric and Chris Krebs, the founder of the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Yoel Roth of Twitter and Nathaniel Gleicher of Facebook were technical advisors. Prince Harry joined Couric as a Commissioner.
16. Their taxpayer-backed conclusions: the state should have total access to data to make searching speech easier, speech offenders should be put in a “holding area,” and government should probably restrict disinformation, “even if it means losing some freedom.”
In other words, a group of extremely wealthy, privileged, half-educated, self-important people assemble in North America’s swankiest mountain retreat, at an institution heavily financed by taxpayer money, to discuss censoring and correcting the plebs’ “information disorder.” A naive outsider might wonder if this sort of activity was conceived as an intentional insult of the middle class, taxpaying citizenry.
The mental habits of the participants are perhaps best expressed by their choice of Prince Harry—a descendent of King George III, who once publicly characterized the U.S. First Amendment protection of free speech as “bonkers”—as a Commissioner. How strange that a young man who seems unable to manage his personal and family affairs was commissioned with making recommendations to U.S. policymakers about governing the American people.
Matt Taibbi’s Twitter reporting on censorship is very interesting and illuminating.
Correction: In my initial post, I described Prince Harry as a “direct descendent” of King George III. In fact, the direct lineage was broken with Victoria, who was the niece of George IV. Victoria’s grandson was George V, who was the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II. Since George I of Hannover, the British Royal Family has been almost entirely of German ancestry, and was called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha until 1917, when the Great War with Germany prompted the family to change its name to Windsor.