Media

Former Obama Adviser Says Congress Needs To Regulate Alleged ‘Right Wing Media Advantage’

[Screenshot MSNBC Morning Joe]

Brianna Lyman Commentary Writer
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Former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer suggested Monday that Congress should “step in” to “regulate” the alleged advantage that “right wing” media has.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Pfeiffer and host Joe Scarborough were discussing alleged disinformation and how media allegedly pushes false narratives. Pfeiffer said individuals who “consume right-wing media” are “more likely to believe conspiracy theories about vaccines, conspiracy theories about elections.”

“That is the problem in this country is that we have a very well funded, very aggressive operation that is spreading these lies for profits and political gain, and it is incredibly dangerous,” he continued.

Scarborough then said he and his former Republican friends think they sound “like Democrats” as they try to figure out a solution to the alleged disinformation because Republicans “annihilate” critics. (RELATED: ‘These Barbarians’: Scarborough Attacks Republicans, Manchin Over Gun Laws)

“The problem around this is getting worse every single day,” Pfeiffer said. “The right-wing media advantage is so much more powerful.”

Pfeiffer then said it’s time for those on the left to “radically rethink how we communicate.”

“Everyone has a role to play here. Democrats have to be more aggressive. We have to invest in building up our own megaphone to compete with Republicans. That doesn’t mean we build our own Fox News, that doesn’t mean we run away from the mainstream media, but we have to invest in progressive outlets. A lot of people in the media have to rethink about how they deal with people who lie for a living, and then the social media companies have an obligation to do more, we can’t rely on them to do it on their own. So this is where Congress and the regulators have to step in to think about how we regulate these algorithms that are pushing this disinformation for profit.”

There have been several pushes to censor alleged mis-and-disinformation about “conspiracy” theories, including those related to vaccines. The Royal Society, a leading scientific organization, warned in January against social media censorship of alleged scientific “misinformation.”

The scientists said censoring content deemed to be misinformation is harmful and antithetical to the principles of scientific inquiry.

“In the early days of the pandemic, science was too often painted as absolute and somehow not to be trusted when it corrects itself, but that prodding and testing of received wisdom is integral to the advancement of science, and society,” Frank Kelly, a professor of the mathematics of systems at the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement on the report. “This is important to bear in mind when we are looking to limit scientific misinformation’s harms to society.”

The report also found that censoring or suppressing content risks removing content that could be helpful to the evolving scientific understanding of certain topics.