Jonathan Turley Sets Obama Straight: Censorship a ‘Far Greater Danger’ Than ‘Damaging Stories’

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley has set former President Barack Obama straight about the dangers of censorship and state-controlled propaganda.

Turley fired back after Obama made a comment about the media that suggested renewed censorship efforts are on the way.

Obama told CBS: “The thing that I’m most worried about is the degree to which we’ve now had a divided conversation, in part because we have a divided media.”

Turley quickly set Obama straight: “Actually, we have seen that the far greater danger is an effective state media that shields the government and bars damaging stories.

“This is not the first time Obama has called for a unified media front to protect citizens from dangerous perspectives.”

Turley linked to a column he wrote last year where he said: “Tennessee Williams once lamented, ‘If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.’

“That fear came to mind this week when former President Barack Obama called upon ‘our better angels’ at the ironically named ‘Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy’ conference at the University of Chicago.

“The conference was a confab of media and political elite, gathered to discuss how to defeat their common demons: Republicans, Fox News, and apparently half of the electorate and most television viewers.

“In fact, the conference offered a chilling display of not just disinformation but delusion in dealing with current controversies.

“It proved fascinating as the media and political elite openly worked through intractable problems like the backlash over burying the Hunter Biden scandal before the election.

“For that reason, it was particularly ironic that the conference was sponsored by The Atlantic magazine, which has been a source of some of the most criticized coverage.

“One of the figures in special counsel John Durham’s ongoing investigation is Atlantic staff writer Franklin Foer, who has been identified as ‘Reporter-2’ in Durham’s investigation of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann.

“Foer allegedly sent an early draft of the article for review by operatives working with the Clinton campaign, according to Durham, and the campaign later used the article to spread a false story involving Russia’s Alfa Bank and the Trump campaign.

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“Atlantic’s editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, declared this week that ‘only one party in the American system has currently given itself over so comprehensively to fantasists.’

“He further denounced ‘social media-Big Data’ for not censoring such views.

“Apparently, the extensive censorship of conservatives by Big Tech is not sufficient because any access to such forums ‘makes it easier and easier to inject falsehoods into political discourse.’

“The Chicago conference resembled a mainstream-media version of a car show, featuring new political-narrative models for eager buyers.

“One came from Atlantic writer Anne Applebaum, who joined CNN figures in denouncing conservative media.

“That’s when University of Chicago student Daniel Schmidt delivered a haymaker question:

“A poll, later after that, found that if voters knew about the content of the [Hunter Biden] laptop, 16 percent of Joe Biden voters would have acted differently.

“Do you think the media acted inappropriately when they instantly dismissed Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation, and what can we learn from that in ensuring that what we label as disinformation is truly disinformation, and not reality?

“Applebaum responded by saying that she really did not care if the laptop was legitimate because she did not find it ‘interesting’: ‘My problem with Hunter Biden’s laptop is I think it’s totally irrelevant. I mean, it’s not whether it’s disinformation … I didn’t think Hunter Biden’s business relationships have anything to do with who should be president of the United States.’

“It appears that laptop is no longer Russian disinformation.

“It is now just uninteresting or irrelevant, even though the president’s son may soon be indicted on this evidence.

“Applebaum was one of those pushing the Russian disinformation claims in calling for censorship by Big Tech of conservatives.

“Back then, the Hunter Biden scandal was ‘relevant’ as Russian disinformation.”

READ MORE: Elise Stefanik Accuses Obama of ‘Criminal Abuse of Power,’ Vows ‘Those Involved’ Will Be ‘Held Accountable, Face Prosecution’

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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