During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer whether the Biden administration would attempt to shut down Twitter if the social media platform hosts content that it doesn’t “like” — instead repeatedly dodging the question and rambling on about nothing.
“When you say that you’re going to be monitoring some of the speech on [Twitter], if you see something that you don’t like, would you try to shut Twitter down?” asked Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.
Jean-Pierre appeared flustered by the question, despite the fact that it is something that has been in the news recently and should have likely been anticipated by the White House. Rather than actually answering the question, she rambled on about “monitoring” the news and “paying attention” to “what is being reported on.”
“So, look, you know, when you — when you talk about monitoring, you know, it is — I hate to break it to you, Peter: Just like everybody else, we very much monitor the news,” the press secretary responded. “We pay close attention to everything that you all are reporting, and — and Twitter is in the news a lot. And so that’s what we’re paying attention to. We’re paying attention to what is in the news and what is being reported on — on the misinformation that’s out there.”
Jean-Pierre then went on to highlight how left-wing organizations — many of which are allied with the Biden administration and the Democrats in Congress who have openly expressed outrage about Twitter CEO Elon Musk promoting free speech on the platform — have “been very vocal about their concerns as well.”
“Let’s not forget there’s groups like NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and the public health leaders have been very vocal about their concerns as well,” the press secretary said.
“So, yes, we are reading what you all are writing, and looking at what you all are reporting about the misinformation that is out there,” Jean-Pierre added. “But, you know, I would hope that all Americans, including social media companies, civil rights organizations, as I just laid out, including Fox as well, will agree that we need to — you know, we need to — to, you know, call out hate speech and misinformation.”
Peter Doocy asks Karine Jean-Pierre whether they would try to shut Twitter down if they see something they don't like. pic.twitter.com/pO1ngIv14O
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) November 30, 2022
In the end, the press secretary never actually answered Doocy’s question, which was addressing a concern that many Americans have expressed regarding Twitter — as Musk’s takeover of the platform has left many conservatives hopeful that there is at least one mainstream social media platform on the market that allows freedom of speech to exist.
This exchange was likely a response to a previous exchange between Jean-Pierre and a leftist pro-censorship reporter, Reuters’ Andrea Shalal, who asked what is being done and “what tools” the White House has to prevent the platform from becoming a “vector for misinformation.”
That conversation was later blasted on Twitter by critics, including The Blaze’s Dave Rubin.
“Absolutely insane watching The Machine go after @elonmusk for defending free speech. This whole exchange is kabuki theater, from the ridiculous leading question by the ‘journalist’ to KJP’s obviously pre-planned response,” Rubin tweeted.
Absolutely insane watching The Machine go after @elonmusk for defending free speech. This whole exchange is kabuki theater, from the ridiculous leading question by the “journalist” to KJP’s obviously pre-planned response. https://t.co/JBCnwQ8d6c
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) November 28, 2022