BOZELL: When It Comes To Big Tech Money, It’s Time For Conservatives To Just Say ‘No!’

REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

L. Brent Bozell Contributor
Font Size:

It’s time for the conservative movement to embrace something we’re generally opposed to — divorce. We need to break up with Big Tech, or at least cut their purse strings.

We wouldn’t expect the pro-life movement to take funding from Planned Parenthood. The NRA wouldn’t take cash from the gun grabbers. And we wouldn’t sell out to CNN.

That’s why I’m making official something the Media Research Center has been doing forever. And I’m calling on everyone else in the movement — organizations, individuals and politicians — to do the same.

Stop taking money from Big Tech.

That’s it. And if you keep taking the cash, at least be transparent. (None of this stuff where you hide the donation either. We know how that game is played.) Don’t take a penny going forward without owning up to it. Put a note prominently on your website that you support Big Tech censorship of free speech. And you get paid to do it.

Big Tech is a threat to our freedom. It’s no longer a haven for free speech. The dangers that companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok pose to ordinary Americans are getting difficult to hide, even for them. To fend off critics, they are doing what companies always do — buy friends.

TikTok, owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is the latest of a long line of tech companies raining money on D.C. It “has hired a small army of more than 35 lobbyists to work on its behalf, including one with deep ties to President Trump,” according to The New York Times.

Ordinarily, a lot of that money would land in the bank accounts of some conservative organizations. Opposing government regulation is in our DNA. But the status quo isn’t working. It ends up dividing conservatives on an existential threat to our existence.

I’ve been running a conservative nonprofit for 33 years. I know all about the need to bring in donations and to make payroll. I’m not criticizing anyone who has done so.

But, times have changed. Big Tech no longer pretends to be a friend or ally to the conservative movement. Instead, it poses a threat to the right and to democracy itself.

It’s essential for conservative organizations to put their money where their mouths are.

Good organizations don’t accept funding from their enemies. And that’s what Big Tech is. Some of those companies — like Twitter, Google and Paypal — are already allied with the left. Others, like Facebook, are being dragged further and further out of the mainstream by woke employees intent on silencing free speech.

Our speech.

The result adds up to the same thing. Don’t work for the enemy. We have to rein in their influence — even if it means taking drastic measures.

Even Congress is worried about the size and influence of the biggest of Big Tech companies. The House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust is having a major hearing on the dangers of that industry Wednesday. CEOs of four of the most important companies in the world are being called on the congressional carpet.

They represent Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Collectively, these companies have a market cap of more than $4.5 trillion. Only three nations — the U.S., China and Japan — have a GDP larger than that.

It’s the sixth hearing about “Online Platforms and Market Power,” going back to June last year. Meanwhile, those online companies have grown contemptuous of our republic. Heading into the presidential election, the most powerful companies in human history are making it almost impossible to hold a fair vote.

The more Congress talks antitrust or other solutions to Big Tech, the more the companies will drop pallets full of cash on Washington like Obama did with Iran. We have to say no to every dollar.

At the same time, they keep up their leftist agenda. This past week, Google knocked more than a dozen prominent conservative sites off of its main search. The company claimed it had been a “technical error,” not that anyone believes it. Former Google engineer Mike Wacker wondered if the company had a “secret blacklist” of conservative sites.

Even if it were an innocent mistake, it’s still a reminder of just how much power Google has to shut all of us down. No company should be able to do that.

Facebook, which has 2.6 billion customers around the globe, has moved rapidly to censor the president and his ad campaigns. The company’s latest insane move is to tag all politician posts that mention mail-in voting with links on how to sign up — even if the posts are against mail-in voting. Amazon, owned by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, and Apple, led by CEO Tim Cook, are nearly as bad.

Those four power-brokers will be testifying Wednesday. Congress must demand to know why companies that enormous are allowed to control our lives and now our elections. And the conservative movement must do its part by telling Big Tech we can’t be bought.

Brent Bozell is the founder and president of the Media Research Center.