The White House Makes Good on Its Antitrust Threats – Jeffrey A. Tucker 3/23/24


On May 5, 2021, White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a mob-like warning to social-media companies and information distributors generally. They need to get with the program and start censoring critics of Covid policy. They need to amplify government propaganda. After all, it would be a shame if something would happen to these companies.

These were her exact words:

The president’s view is that the major platforms have a responsibility related to the health and safety of all Americans to stop amplifying untrustworthy content, disinformation and misinformation, especially related to Covid-19 vaccinations and elections. And we’ve seen that over the past several months. Broadly speaking, I’m not placing any blame on any individual or group. We’ve seen it from a number of sources. He also supports better privacy protections and a robust antitrust program. So, his view is that there’s more that needs to be done to ensure that this type of misinformation, disinformation, damaging, sometimes life threatening information is not going out to the American public.

On the face of it, the antitrust action against Apple is about their secure communications network. The Justice Department wants the company to share their services with other networks. As with so many other antitrust actions in history, this is really about the government’s taking sides in competitive disputes between companies, in this case Samsung and other smartphone providers. They resent the way Apple products all work together. They want that changed.

The very notion that the government is trying to protect consumers in this case is preposterous. Apple is a success not because they are exploitative but because they make products that users like, and they like them so much that they buy ever more. It’s not uncommon that a person gets an iPhone and then a Macbook, an iPad, and then AirPods. All play well together.

The Justice Department calls this anticompetitive even though competing is exactly the source of Apple’s market strength. That has always been true. Yes, there is every reason to be annoyed at the company’s hammer-and-tongs enforcement of its intellectual property. But their IP is not the driving force of the company’s success. Its products and services are.

Beyond that, there is a darker agenda here. It’s about bringing new media into the government propaganda fold, exactly as Psaki threatened. Apple is a main distributor of podcasts in the country and world, just behind Spotify (which is foreign controlled). There are 120 million podcast listeners in the US, far more than pay attention to regime media in total.

If the ambition is to control the public mind, something must be done to get those under control. It’s not enough just to nationalize Facebook and Google. If the purpose is to end free speech as we know it, they have to go after podcasting too, using every tool that is available. …

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