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Saturday, October 07, 2017

What Byron York missed about the Russian ads

When it comes to analyzing America, few are as cool and calm as Byron York of the Washington Examiner. He got Trump before Scott Adams did.

His "Taking Donald Trump seriously" column on May 10, 2015, is a great read that came five weeks before Trump officially entered the race.

And his was not an old David Broder cover-all my bases column.

York really took Trump seriously.
Donald Trump is the third party candidate running for the Republican nomination. It's been clear for quite a while that some conservative voters are so disgusted with the GOP that they would entertain the notion of a third party. If he pursues a race seriously, Trump could win the support of those I've-had-it-up-to-my-eyeballs voters. Their concerns aren't a joke. If Trump doesn't address them, somebody else will.
York is a logical guy.

Which is why he is missing the whole point of the Facebook Russian ads.

Congress wants to regulate political ads and content on social media because Congress is run by a bunch of well-dressed fascists. You keep telling yourself Maxine Waters is a one-off. But she's as mainstream in our Congress as anyone.

They want power. They have power. They want to keep their power forever.

So they are using the excuse of Fake News -- what we once called rumors -- and a few thousand bucks worth of ads to gain control of Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else they can get their grubby paws on.

York's "10 reasons to stay calm about those Russia Facebook ads" unlocks every argument made for Congress taking over Facebook:
1) Of the group of 3,000 ads turned over to Congress by Facebook, a majority of the impressions came after the election, not before. Indeed, in a news release Monday, Facebook said 56 percent of the ads’ impressions came after the 2016 vote.
2) Twenty-five percent of the ads were never seen by anybody. (Facebook also revealed that Monday.)
3) Most of the ads, which Facebook estimates were seen by a total of 10 million people in the United States, never mentioned the election or any candidate. “The vast majority of ads run by these accounts didn’t specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or a particular candidate,” Facebook said in a Sept. 6 news release.
4) A relatively small number of the ads — again, about 25 percent — were geographically targeted. (Facebook also revealed that on September 6.)
And so on and so forth.

Doesn't matter.

Congress is an elephant. Facebook is a mouse. And Congress is afraid of Facebook because Congress does not understand that no one takes Facebook serious. It is where you post pictures of your grandchildren, people talk about high school, and everyone bonds over the latest TV show. I think the show is called Game of Zombies.

So now Congress is calling for transparency.

Sounds lofty. Everything a communist or a Nazi did sounded lofty.

Transparency means not protecting private citizens.

Facebook will rat out all its advertisers. Facebook is not about to risk a billion-dollar monopoly over something as small as civil rights.

Congress will then demand a list of all who donated to pay for the ads.

Woe be to anybody foolish enough to give a thou to a pro-Trump group. It will cost you your job later. Ask former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich how that works.

So facts be damned. Democrats lit a Reichstag fire over Russia. Republicans will go along to get along. Social media will be regulated by Washington.

Yes, the Supreme Court justices may eventually get around to enforcing the First Amendment, but only if someone is brave enough to go Citizens United on them.

York is a smart man. I look forward to his column pointing out how Congress will not let the facts get in the way of regulating Facebook -- and how dangerous that will be.


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  1. I never would've imagined Byron York could look cool. Leave it to Don to dig up the pic!

  2. Don;

    I think you're missing the impact of Facebook - as well as Google. It's not the ads....

    Well over 50% of Americans get their news from Facebook and/or Google today. Both have trending-type pages the same way Drudge does - headlines that link to stories. Many readers that have the concentration of an ameba click a link, read the first 2-3 paragraphs of a loaded article, and think they are up to date. They augment that with what they see on TV news, and maybe cuddle up late at thing to have the “comedians” further confirm their manufactured beliefs.

    I have middle-age friends and relatives that believe they are totally up on the news that do not know the following:

    1. That a sitting US Senator (a Democrat) has been on trial for over a week for taking contributions and favors from a Florida doctor to bilk Medicare out of $100 million.

    2. That Steve Bannon (and other Trump advisers) believe that as long as Democrats keep bringing up racial issues, it helps President Trump politically. Rather, they believe the spin (as Maxie Waters said recently) that Bannon believes that as long as Republicans bring up race, it helps President Trump - so Republicans keep doing it to dog whistle their supporters and divide the county.

    You may find it interesting that 2 of the people I'm referring to hold elected local office in American cities as Democrats. They, their families and friends are avid Facebook followers – they think Zuckerberg walks on water.

    - Ken

  3. Don, I disagree on one point. I do NOT think Facebook is trivial. It has the potential to do great harm, and does so on a regular basis. Is that cause for gubment intervention? Not in my book, but then I thought smoking bans were overly intrusive.

  4. I always liked reading Byron York. (I like the Washington Examiner, too, but I don't like the Washington Examiner paywall.) Sine President Trump was elected Mr. York has outshone most of the so-called conservative pundits.

    Thw Democrats, in true fascist fashion, will do anything and everything they can to control the narrative, any optics and the First Amendment be damned. - Elric

  5. Compared to Congress, Facebook may be a mouse. But not compared to the individual.

    Facebook, Google, YouTube, they're all abusing individual conservatives and groups of conservatives. In this new era, they are akin to public utilites. What if your phone company or power company cut off you service because of your political opinions. Schlichter is right. If they don't want to be neutral anymore, neither should we. Freedom is indivisible.

    No Freedom of Speech, No Free Enterprise.

  6. The US has been broadcasting radio shows to the eastern bloc for 68 years.

  7. "Donald Trump is the third party candidate running for the Republican nomination. It's been clear for quite a while that some conservative voters are so disgusted with the GOP that they would entertain the notion of a third party."

    In other words, winning is everything regardless of principles, ethics and political beliefs. So if Byron York was right, Republicans voted for him for the wrong reason. So-called Conservatives turned off base beliefs to procure a win because of a media idea that there was a perceived need to throw out the elites who ran the the government by electing a self-loving elitist who spent his life sucking off the government teat, while at the same time, screwing his employees, investors, vendors and stockholders - but the underworld liked him as did the unthinking voters who apparently thought it was time to live off the dole.

    So now we have the largest budget proposal ever made from any party and liberal democrats within the cabinet proposing tax changes to help only the rich.

    Rescinding Obamacare is off the table and the dangerous games with our economy and WW III are yet to become clear but Trump showed the NFL!

    Can America survive three more years?