Fox News host Howard Kurtz, a longtime critic of President Trump, shocked many media observers by coming out strongly against Twitter’s ban of President Trump.
“For Twitter to make this a permanent ban, to continue while Donald Trump is a private citizen seems like pure political payback against a president who fought very hard to strip legal immunity from Twitter and Facebook and other social media giants, and more importantly, it’s a finger in the eye to his 88 million Twitter followers who signed up to see what he has to say,” Kurtz said.
Kurtz made the comments on his Fox show Americas News HQ.
“[T]he tweet, or one of them that triggered this permanent ban had to do with the president just simply saying he’s not going to go to Joe Biden’s inauguration. It seems like a relatively innocuous measure. Twitter claims that this has been perceived by some of the president’s followers and prompted them somehow to start tweeting threats about a second insurrection at the Capitol next week. I don’t know how you pin that on, I’m not going to the inauguration.”
…This feels like kicking him on the way out the door, when he’s not quite as viable a franchise, or won’t be as a former president. And there’s a celebratory mood among many journalists online and elsewhere, who think, oh, this is great, and not even pausing to consider the free speech implications and how they would react if it was somebody on the left who was suddenly being kicked off this incredibly important platform that all journalists read.”
Kurtz is no fan of Trump, but even he can see that Twitter’s ban has nothing to do with “violence” and everything to do with political partisanship.
In any case, Twitter should beware – kicking Trump off the platform just makes the platform less relevant, not the other way around.