President Trump took the opportunity of a Rose Garden press conference on Tuesday afternoon to publicly accuse social media websites of colluding to suppress conservative content and vaguely threaten to “look at” doing something about it.
Trump’s comments were prompted by a question from Saagar Enjetti of The Daily Caller, a John Birch Society newsletter masquerading as a journalism outlet. Enjetti teed up Trump to opine on the issue that seems to be most obsessing the right this week, asking the president, “There’s part of a larger discussion…about making social media companies liable for the content that is on their platforms, which they’re not currently…Is that an idea or a change in law that you would support?”
It is true that there is an ongoing discussion about just how much responsibility social media platforms bear for the content they host. Usually the conversation centers around how those companies incentivize the posting of inflammatory material that can lead to the radicalization of its consumers, and whether the extreme end of that radicalization leads to horrific events like the mass shooting in New Zealand last week.
For just that reason, some Democratic presidential candidates, most notably Elizabeth Warren, have started discussing whether the government needs to take steps up to and including breaking up social media companies in order to stem the problem.
But Trump made it clear in his answer to Enjetti’s question that he views the issue through the narrow prism he views every issue, that of How does this affect Donald Trump? To that end, he rambled a bit about how he sees “firsthand” the “big discrimination” against conservatives who follow his various social media accounts.
Then he tried to tie this alleged collusion to the Russia investigation, telling Enjetti that “there is collusion with respect to that because something has to be going on. When you get the back scene, back office statements made by executives of the various companies and you see the level of, in many cases hatred, they have for a certain group of people that happen to be in power, that happen to have won the election, you say that’s really unfair.”
He added that “Something’s happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook and Google and Twitter and I do think we have to get to the bottom of it…It’s collusive.”
As always, Trump is not distinguishing between what is good for Trump and what is good for the country. Instead, he is using his personal grievances and paranoia to convince his supporters that he is the only source they should trust. It is a close cousin of his 2016 cry, “I alone can fix it.” His supporters never seem to notice that he never really fixes anything he claims is broken.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.