A delegation of Establishment conservative types descended on Silicon Valley today to make Facebook look good.
I have some thoughts about it. This is going to be a long column, so strap yourselves in.
I’m sure it wasn’t these conservative figures’ intent merely to assist in Facebook’s marketing efforts, but at this point, if maliciousness is ruled out as a motivation, extreme stupidity is the only possible remaining explanation.
That, and perhaps a touch of pathetic egotism. I think many of those invited are a little starstruck by Zuck. After all, he’s the millennial billionaire CEO of the largest social network on the planet, and has spent the last decade making old media irrelevant, a point made plain by the amount of “I’m on my way!!!!!!” Facebook posts posted by attendees today.
It’s hard to imagine Truman posting selfies on the way to Potsdam, or really any serious person about to engage in an endeavour that might affect the course of the national election. But hey, it’s current year, and all bets are off.
Eric Bolling let this attitude slip on Monday’s broadcast of The Five, where he congratulated Fox pundit Dana Perino on the “fantastic honor” of being invited to the meeting.
A meeting where Facebook refuses to admit they did anything wrong, held purely to make the company look good? I’m not sure, but I can’t remember the last time it was an “honor” to be invited as window-dressing by a corporation’s public relations department. Cucked by Zuck. How embarrassing!
— Jenny Beth Martin (@jennybethm) May 18, 2016
It just goes to show how far the media has fallen. I’ve written for years about how craven and credulous the tech press is. But I never imagined that the great and good of conservative media would be just as eager to pay obeisance to private companies. Sad!
The problem for Facebook is: nobody’s buying it. Here’s the thing, Zuck — you’ve spent a year trying to out-do Jack Dorsey with your barking-mad progressive proclamations (America should “follow Germany’s lead on immigration,” messages in support of All Lives Matter are “deeply hurtful”).
Conservatives — by which I mean the people at home — are not dumb. They know what the political priorities of your company are, and they want to see truth and transparency or they will simply leave the platform.
Zuckerberg’s staff aren’t prone to hiding their biases, which doesn’t help public relations efforts. In April, we learned that a number of Facebook’s staff voted to ask the CEO what the company was doing to stop Donald Trump becoming President. In other words, there are people at Facebook who want the social network to influence elections, and aren’t afraid of wearing that opinion on their sleeves. And they’re most likely in the majority.
We don’t know if Zuckerberg ever responded to the call for anti-Trump bias as an official policy. We do, however, know that the Facebook CEO is at least as anti-Trump as his employees, recently condemning “fearful voices calling for building walls.”
Another Facebook employee who wears their progressivism on their sleeve is COO Sheryl Sandberg. Everyone knows about Lean In, the career-feminist book subject to relentless adulation in the progressive media, but even that book is moderate compared to the wacky feminist thesis she wrote during her time at Harvard, which Breitbart exclusively obtained and published this weekend.
Most damningly, there’s Zuckerberg’s appetite for government diktat, such as the authoritarian stance of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, towards her own people’s justified concerns about immigration. At the height of the refugee crisis, Facebook and other social networks openly teamed up with the Germany government to quash critics of the country’s open-door policies.
Well, congratulations on the spread of ravaging rapefugees, Mark. Zuckerberg felt emboldened to do the same with the U.S. election but is quickly learning that Americans are cut from a different cloth. It is very dangerous to drink your own Kool-Aid and think you’re the smartest man in the room. Just ask Glenn Beck!
When Facebook can’t suppress critics of open-door immigration outright, they can still hamper the growth of their communities. Earlier today, we published an exclusive account of the difficulties critics of immigration have faced on the platform.
In one case, an anti-amnesty filmmaker saw 4,000 “likes” artificially removed from his page, only to have them restored after he made legal threats against Facebook. One sales rep at the social network allegedly told him he had “never seen” a business account treated the same way.
Despite all this, Facebook believes that a feel-good PR-controlled photo op with Beck, a couple of think-tank directors and a few talking heads is going to dispel perceptions that the company is biased against conservatives. Pull the other one.
The meeting took place at Menlo Park — named after Thomas Edison’s experimental laboratory village. Edison, of course, was known for stealing the ideas of others, and using onerous restrictions to try to control parts of the media. So nothing at all in common with Zuckerberg, then.
The meeting has clearly succeeded in making some of the terminally uncool delegation seem important and relevant again — a feeling some of them probably haven’t enjoyed for years. Perhaps that’s why there are so many selfies spilling out.
And who’s going to the meeting, anyway? Naturally, Breitbart turned down the offer, but who accepted?
First there’s the Cheetos-encrusted Glenn Beck, the crazy grand-daddy of the cuckservative tendency and the only adult white male to wear problem glasses. In true man-of-the-people style, Beck arrived on the West Coast in a private jet, just weeks after laying off 40 of his own employees. You have to admire the chutzpah.
Whether it’s threatening suicide or posting videos with chips stuck to his face, it’s long been apparent that Cheetos-encrusted Glenn has lost the plot. Considering the rate he’s been laying off staff from his various ventures, he might be angling to have his own firm’s articles be the “one true conservative source” that Zuckerberg allows to trend.
If that doesn’t work out, he’ll just have to try another venture. Crazy Glenn Doritos, perhaps? One thing’s for sure: they’d be salty and bitter as Hell.
Glenn Beck said he wanted to “look Mark Zuckerberg in the eye and get a gauge of him as a man.” Spoiler alert Glenn: if you’re going to their house and not the other way around, they’re the bigger man. He didn’t go to visit you, you went to his temple and shook the hand of the money changers.
Me, I prefer to flip the tables.
Paying tribute to the boy-king, Glenn Beck is begging Zuckerberg for permission to be popular. Meanwhile, Breitbart is still #15 on the network even with a handicap — our readers share our articles because they can’t get writing like this anywhere else, so we don’t have to beg Zuckerberg for shares.
I alone get a million impressions on my public Facebook fan page, and hundreds of shares just from that. My articles get anywhere from 1,000 to 30,000 shares on Facebook, despite Facebook’s liberal biases. That’s why I’m not laying down my arms and begging for Mark to get a free photo-op with me, even if I adore taking photos with ugly people to make myself look even more gorgeous.
I don’t need a platform to boost me. Beck has to beg gatekeepers for an audience, while I bash down the gates and deliver my stories like a flaming arrow to the village inside. It spreads from there. By contrast, it seems “The Blaze” can’t catch any heat.
Next up on the list there’s former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino, from the occasionally schizophrenic Fox news channel. Her channel can’t make up its mind if it likes ratings or repeating anti-Trump rhetoric, so they do both!
Also originally from Fox but now with CNN is S.E. Cupp, who was busy posting airplane selfies on social media this morning. Perhaps the S.E. should stand for social engineering? I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the movers and shakers at the meeting were sliding into her DMs via smartphone at the same time they pretend to agree with her vapid statements on how social media can shape elections.
She’s about as relevant to Millennials as Google Plus, as my favourite columnist (me) wrote yesterday.
Zuckerberg also invited Zac Moffatt, who is lucky that most conservatives don’t know who he is. He was the digital director of Mitt Romney’s campaign. What better way to get Facebook to play fair by bringing out big guns like the guy who snatched defeat from the jaws of Republican victory in 2012?
Rumors continue to swirl about Mitt getting back into the race. Perhaps Zac is hoping to pick up some tips from Zuck about how to sabotage the Republican campaign a second time.
Arthur Brooks, President of the illustrious American Enterprise Institute, certainly sounds like an impressive choice by Facebook. But that’s all establishment conservatives are good for, isn’t it? Sounding impressive. In reality, Brooks has spent much of the past year demonstrating his irrelevance in the face of the changing direction of the conservative movement.
Brooks authored a piece for the famously conservative New York Times during the primary season in which he compared the rise of Donald Trump to a “zombie apocalypse” sweeping America. Well, it is a zombie apocalypse — it’s just that the Republican establishment are the zombies and they’re the ones facing apocalypse.
I’m not sure if everyone at the meeting today has been bitten, but we should probably lock some of them in a room until we’re sure.
Talk about a motley crew. Barely any of these people have relevance to conservatives under 50. It’s a ship of fools with kooky Glenn Beck at the helm, slamming his face into junk food and threatening suicide every few days.
I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the day they’ve formed a Church Of Latter-Day Cucks, promising to end it all if they don’t get 500 comments and 1,000 likes on every dim-witted Facebook screed about what a bastard Donald Trump is.
Zuckerberg has displayed tremendous hubris in thinking that this ragtag bunch can dispel deep concerns the public have about his political biases and those of the network he runs. Facing me down in a live debate, as I asked him to, would have been much smarter.
But you know what: it doesn’t even need to be a debate. Ten minutes of interview — of real conversation, broadcast live on his own platform — would have been just fine. And the offer is still open!
Zuckerberg believes that his world is a game of Clash of Clans, or one of the other highly lucrative Facebook games. His army is beefed up through big spending. He feels he is at least five moves ahead of his conservative opponents and if you look at the CVs of some of the people at this summit, it certainly looks like he’s right.
But the real power on the right stayed miles away and is keeping its powder dry for the social network’s next slip-up. Zuck is going to learn that in real life, pride comes before a fall. Also: the dangerous choice is the one with the greatest potential rewards.
The only really non-cucked member of the delegation today was Trump staffer Barry Bennett. But of course the Republican frontrunner had to send someone, and of course Facebook had no option but to reach out to them.
That doesn’t say anything about the wider composition of the delegation. In fact, with the possible exception of Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, everyone else at this meeting considers Trump — the most popular conservative candidate in decades — as the antichrist.
It’s deluded to think that anything will come of this much-hyped meeting. Facebook doesn’t want a real debate on the issue. To avoid regulation, they’ll avoid the perception that they’re biased for as long as possible, while quietly influencing the flow of information wherever they can.
I’ll say it again: the so-called conservatives who are sitting down with Mark Zuckerberg today should consider exactly who they’re breaking bread with. This is a man who marches in lock-step with Angela Merkel and who sat by as she hired an ex-Stasi agent to monitor his platform for “xenophobic” comments.
He’s a man who will cut deals with the Chinese government to expand his user base, while engaging in creepy, Huxleyesque experiments on his own users. Yet the conservatives meeting with Facebook today really believe that a man with as few apparent scruples as Zuckerberg will act in good faith when it comes to a few limp-wristed American Republicans.
Politico, hardly known for their ardent conservatism, can see Zuckerberg’s PR stunt for what it is:
Despite calls for more transparency about how Facebook handles news, however, the social network has not announced any plans to live-stream the proceedings or open it to outside media — a move that’s only further riled its critics.
Facebook puts a lot of pressure [on users] to be transparent, to be social, to be open to be using video,” said Vincent Harris, a top GOP strategist, in an interview this week. Stressing that the company could be “using their wonderful new Facebook Live feature,” he added: “Why are we having a closed door meeting about this?”
But we all know why it’s a closed door meeting, don’t we. Because that’s where cowards make their deals when they’re afraid of the public. Transparency just messes things up.
I gave Zuckerberg the opportunity of a transparent, live-streamed discussion, but of course he declined to respond, telling ABC News that he’d received the offer but “not responded”. The shady bitch!
But I guess, why would he, when he could line up obedient conservative lapdogs for a photo-op instead.
Today’s meeting won’t fix censorship, and it won’t fix the suppression of conservative media. I have my doubts as to whether the establishment conservatives in attendance have the backbone or competence to raise these points and demand any kind of substantial solution.
Certainly, their dreary and meaningless statements after the meeting don’t inspire anyone with confidence. I wonder, incidentally, what kind of NDAs they had to sign.
Instead they’ll have had a tour of Facebook’s snazzy offices, shaken Zuck’s hand, smiled into the camera and effectively done the CEO’s bidding. And maybe, if they’re lucky, they might avoid censorship on Facebook themselves — if they’ve been good enough little charges.
It’s redolent of the way establishment conservatives lost the culture war in the first place, by bowing to the opposition, allowing others to play them for fools, and contenting themselves with the occasional scraps thrown to them by progressive elites. I said “cucked by Zuck” earlier, but in reality, they were cucked a long time ago and by their enemies in the Democratic Party and liberal media.
If conservatives really want to pressure Facebook, nothing but hellfire will suffice. The left knows how to do it — when feminist activists wanted to pressure Facebook in 2013, they went after its advertisers. With their meal ticket on the line, the company quickly folded. Conservatives should fight fire with fire.
My advice to real conservatives is the same as it was six months ago, when I explained why I’m winning despite the anti-conservative bias in Silicon Valley. Establish presences on multiple platforms. Beyond not having to worry if Cuckerberg has put me on his whitelist, they know if they boot me off one platform, I’m just as strong on five more and I’ll come back at them from there.
When I declared war on social justice earlier this year, I didn’t say, “I declare war with Mark Zuckerberg’s kind permission.” This train brakes for no-one. Anyone who wants to stand in front of the lulz with censoriousness and bias, I encourage to do so. I like seeing train-splats!
As for the cuckservatives, well, if they don’t have enough coal in their engine to break a Facebook blockade on their own terms, it’s probably smart for them to render unto Caesar. To quote Mark Zuckerberg, speaking about his own users: dumb fucks.
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