Dan Bongino had an on-air meltdown on Fox & Friends this morning after Parler was kicked off the internet over its role in promoting the armed insurrection at the Capitol.
Bongino is a part-owner in Parler, the supposedly “free speech” alternative to Twitter that was a fave among Trump supporters. But over the weekend, Apple and Google removed the app from its app stores and Amazon kicked it off their web service – all because the Capitol riot was partially planned on Parler and the site had not done enough to police posts that encourage crime and violence.
But as John Amato at Crooks and Liars noted, Bongino showed no remorse for his site’s role in the violence which has left at least five dead. He only seemed to care about the loss of his investment and the right to the “free speech” that plotted crime and violence.
The three Fox & Friends cohosts were fine with that. Cohost and self-proclaimed Super Duper Christian Ainsley Earhardt uttered not a word about the violence. She misleadingly introduced the subject by saying, “They’re silencing what’s being posted up there.”
Let me pause to say a few things. One, I, myself am very uncomfortable with the power of the tech giants and NewsHounds has been forced to delete content over some ridiculous objections (See the Blog Roll entry under “Feministing,” e.g.).
But Bongino is no free speech champion. He’s the guy who sued The Daily Beast for $15 million because an article initially reported that his NRATV show was canceled rather than noting that, according to Bongino, he had decided not to renew (the case was laughed out of court). As for Fox News, they impose their own requirements if you want to post on their site (see the end of this post for details).
Fox & Friends seemed all in on Bongino as Conservative Victim. They said nothing as Bongino called Apple, Amazon and Google “tech totalitarians” and “communists” and sided with his grievance-filled rants.
BONGINO: You understand, we were wiped out! Listen to me, America. We were wiped out! … I have not slept all weekend. They have effectively tried to bankrupt me and my investors on Parler. And you know what? They won.
Bongino went on to insist he’s engaging in a First Amendment fight despite the fact that all the companies that turned against Parler are private. “They wiped a company from the face of the earth this morning and liberals and the media are celebrating,” he said. As if giving cause for celebration to the liberals and the media are part of the “crime.”
But before long, Bongino indicated "they" had not won.
BONGINO: Parler will be back. So, just so the audience understands. I will go bankrupt and destitute before I let this happen … Parler will be back. We’ll be back by the end of the week, Parler. And I’m begging you all to please support us. It’s not about the money. It’s not about anything. If Parler goes down, everyone else will be next.
Cohost Brian Kilmeade did his part:
KILMEADE: Don't be surprised if they come for Fox next. They might not like what's coming out of Fox. They might not like a show –
BONGINO: Yes! Brian they're coming for Fox now!
BONGINO: They're coming -- CNN, Oliver Darcy, who used to pretend to be a conservative to grift for a paycheck from Campus Reform, this loser piece of garbage is calling for cable companies to de-platform Fox. What, are we going to talk by carrier pigeon? You think this is going to help? You worried about radicals, like everyone is on this network, including me, you think this isn't gonna -- you think this is going to de-radicalize everyone? Pushing them underground? To have to meet in speakeasies? You think this is helping? What planet do you live on, man? You're doing this radicalization.
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You can watch Bongino’s meltdown below, from the January 11, 2021 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.
(H/T reader Eric Jefferson)
Sadly, in this crowd, it’s weaponization of everything over facts.
Dennis Prager said in a recent interview that the Democrats will use “the events at the Capitol” against Republicans in the same way Hitler used the Reichstag fire as an excuse to kill communists. Prager attempted to sanitize his analysis by saying “I’m not calling them [the Democrats] Nazis, I’m calling them totalitarians”, as though the latter malicious smear was totally appropriate. Prager didn’t bother to nix the implication that the Democrats plan to kill Republicans.
Prager suggested that every one of the viewers should read “a brief synopsis” of the history of the Reichstag fire. It would appear that a very, very brief synopsis is all Prager himself has read, otherwise he wouldn’t have made such an outrageous analogy. For starters, the Reichstag fire was set at night in secret, no one to this day knows for sure who started it, no one is known to have incited it, and no one died in the fire. In contrast, “the events at the Capitol” (this seems to be the approved Fox News term for the insurrection—it notably excludes the rally leading up to those events) were live streamed, as were the instances of incitement by the Trumps and Giuliani. In spite of Fox’s attempt to blame the mayhem on ANTIFA, it’s crystal clear who the perps were: overwhelmingly Trump supporters (very likely including some neo-Nazis). Furthermore, the Reichstag fire happened just before, not after, an election, and it was followed by massive suspension of all civil liberties and baseless arrests, not a mere permanent suspension of Trump and a few of his crap-chucking cronies from Twitter.
If one must use an analogy from 1933 Germany for the Capitol insurrection, it would be a month after the Reichstag fire (and almost a month after an election in Germany), when Nazi goons physically intimidated the parliament (meeting in the Kroll Opera House) into passing the Enabling Act, formally ending the rule of law in Germany. In this analogy, the politically-motivated blaming of the Reichstag fire on the communists was parallel to blaming election fraud on the Democrats. In contrast to Prager, I’ll own up to imperfections in this analogy: unlike the fire, significant election fraud was not a real event, and luckily physical intimidation did not succeed last week in the Capitol.
Footnote 1: Apparently attempting to one-up his fellow victimologists on Fox, Prager said we’re witnessing “the first threat to free speech of any substance in American history.” Really!? How about the Espionage Act of 1917 (among other examples of government—not merely private company—censorship), Mr. plays-a-historian-on-TV?
Footnote 2: While it is supposedly unacceptably pompous for Jill Biden to use the title “Dr.”, Prager was introduced as “the founder of Prager University”, even though he has no graduate degree and his “university” is nothing of the sort.
For the record (but not necessarily for viewing), here is the video:
Too bad that his investment in morons went bad. Who could have foreseen that happening?