Fox News guest-host Trey Gowdy criticized CNN host Brian Stelter on Monday night’s “Fox News Primetime,” saying he’s setting “himself up” as a “moral arbiter” of truth.
Stelter on Sunday suggested that tech companies limiting reach of opinions they don’t agree with or consider harmful should be considered a “harm reduction model” rather than censorship.”
“Do these private companies have too much power? Sure,” Stelter said on “Reliable Sources. “Many people would say yes, of course they do. But reducing a liar’s reach is not the same as censoring freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is different than freedom of reach, and algorithmic reach is part of the problem.”
Speaking with Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley after playing the “Reliable Sources’ clip, Gowdy asked, “What the hell is he talking about?”
Turley called the concept “strikingly Orwellian.”
“It’s like arguing that I’m not restricting the freedom of travel, I’m just restricting the means of travel,” said Turley. “The idea here is that we can engage in censorship, of controlling speech, but we’re really not against free speech. And that is the point, isn’t it, of controlling speech, is you can’t just control it in certain areas. You also have to deny access to counterviews, right? It doesn’t do you any good if you control speech over here but people can just go over there.”
The Georgetown law professor went on to describe how college campuses have become “echo chambers” by eliminating diverse opinions. (RELATED: People Pretending To Do Journalism Are Mounting Pressure Campaigns To Silence Conservative Media)
“Well, he used the word lie, and for there to be a lie, something has to be the truth,” Gowdy responded, referring to the CNN host. “And I’m just wondering if he or CNN is really the best arbiter of what is a lie and what is the truth. He seems to be setting himself up as that moral arbiter for the rest of us.”