Nothing illustrates the hypocrisy that is the cornerstone of New Media more than the argument over the First Amendment, and that hypocrisy was on full display this month courtesy of Vice “journalist”, David Gilbert.
Gilbert supported the First Amendment this week when the Cuban regime took away the rights of demonstrators to use Facebook to stream protests. But he didn’t support it earlier this month when he applauded the decision by a federal judge to uphold the blanket ban on Donald Trump by Facebook.
— Ryan Tamares ? (@ryanzhelp) July 14, 2021
When the Cuban government turned off the internet in Cuba to combat the sharing of protests information on social media, Gilbert called it “a predictable move in the repressive regime playbook.”
“There was nothing the government could do to stop the live stream [in Cuba],” wrote Gilbert, “and soon protesters in Havana and dozens of other cities and towns across the country were watching the footage unfold in real-time and finding the courage to do the same.”
“Then, the government did what many other repressive regimes have done during times of crisis: They turned off the internet,” the reporter from Vice added.
Yet earlier in the month, the same reporter hailed a judge who struck down a Florida law about to go into effect that would fine social media companies that suspended accounts of politicians involved in about-to-be-held elections.
“[Florida Republican Governor Ron] DeSantis said the law was an effort to fight back against what he and many other Republicans falsely call institutional anti-conservative bias on social media,” wrote Gilbert.
Republicans’ Plan to Punish Facebook For Blocking Trump Has Failed – VICE https://t.co/vH8oTML3L0
— Ion V. Sancho (@Ionsancho1) July 1, 2021
Gilbert then, falsely and with evident bias, ties the legislation to the effort to audit the Arizona presidential election.“But just as the bogus Arizona audit has sparked similar efforts in other states, the Republican-led legislation in Florida has sparked a wave of similar efforts across the country,” Gilbert writes.
Most incredibly, Gilbert isn’t even American, or a journalist trained in First Amendment issues.
Instead, he’s an Irish national, living in Ireland, with a degree from the University College Cork (Bachelor of Arts in American Lit, American Cinema, Silent Cinema, Old English, Beowulf, Greek and Roman Civilisation according to his Linked-In profile).
Previously, he covered smartphones for the International Business Times.
Look, we’re not saying that a guy with a “well-rounded” resume can’t cover First Amendment issues for Vice, but maybe Vice should have someone from a country that actually has freedom of the press, write about these issues.
Ireland still has the Censorship of Publications Act, passed in 1929 that allows a secret committee to ban publications it deems offensive.
As the ACLU stated— when the ACLU still cared about the First Amendment– “Civil Rights movement is a reminder that free speech is there to protect the weak.”
Or to put it another way, you can always tell who the tyrants are by seeing how they react to free speech.