Sean Hannity had another attack of amnesia Monday night as he “forgot” how much he hates the squelching of free speech and provided Trumper Devin Nunes with a friendly venue to promote his multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Twitter and some tweeters who have said mean things about him.
It’s easy to laugh about Nunes’ suit – and, indeed, it should be a joke that Nunes has such thin skin he is suing an account called Devin Nunes’ Cow because it tweeted comments such as, “Devin’s boots are full of manure. He’s udder-ly worthless and its pasture time to move him to prison.”
But what Nunes is up to is not at all funny. The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake noted that the suit may very well be “just about exacting financial pain on outspoken opponents and making Twitter and others who would dare to run afoul of Nunes think twice.” If a parody account can be sued for $250 million, “then what about someone using their own voice and identity to attack Nunes or other Republicans?” In other words, a chilling effect to go with the actual squelching.
“The legal merits of the case appear highly questionable at best,” Blake pointed out, but its “potential impact, not so much legally as from personal behavioral standpoint, shouldn’t be so casually dismissed.”
Yet Nunes had the unmitigated gall to go on Hannity and pretend that his suit is designed to protect the First Amendment - even as he threatened more such suits to come: “This is the first of many,” Nunes said. “We’re actually going after Twitter first,” he added, suggesting that anyone who disses him anywhere is a potential target.
“We have to hold all of these people accountable, because if we don't, our First Amendment rights are at stake here,” Nunes said with a straight face. Meaning, apparently, his widdle feewings might be too sensitive to speak if people are allowed to continue to criticize him. He also pretended to be acting in service to Americans of all political persuasions: “This is more than just conservatives. Every American should care about this if they care about the First Amendment.”
Nunes was right about that, but not at all in the way he meant.
Nunes’ suit also claims that Twitter has “shadow banned” him. “The fact of the matter is people could not see my tweets. … If you get emails from Twitter, it's constantly left-wing stuff, it's constantly fake news stuff.” Apparently, Nunes has never seen the right-wing attacks I get regularly.
But before the discussion was over, Nunes made it clear that his real goal is to stifle criticism of his attempts to sabotage the Russia investigation.
NUNES: This is part of the continuing Russia investigation. We're not going to just let all these fake news stories that were written about this investigation, about this hoax that were lies, we're going to challenge every single one of them in court. We're just starting with Twitter.
Hannity, the guy who likes to posture as some big defender of free speech, didn’t seem to have a problem with anything Nunes said. Sure, Hannity expressed a wee bit of skepticism early on, saying to Nunes, “You do have a high bar. We all need that, because if you are a public figure, you need actual malice and what's known as a reckless disregard for the truth, or else I would sue people every hour of every day.”
But Hannity would probably rather die than fail to support another Trump foot soldier. He closed the discussion by giving Nunes a stamp of approval: “Wow! We're going to follow this very closely. I think there is a - there's a lot to this story. A lot more than maybe meet the eye on its surface.”
Watch Nunes threaten the right to political dissent below, from the March 18, 2019 Hannity. Sadly, the Twitter account for Devin Nunes’ Mom seems to have been suspended. But Devin Nunes’ Cow is still going strong and has surpassed the number of followers Nunes has.
(Transcript excerpts via Fox News)
Correction: This post originally said that Hannity hosted Nunes on March 19.