What if President Trump’s advisors worked with oil executives and tech platforms to censor green activists? What if there was concrete evidence that the Bush Administration and Halliburton board members encouraged media companies to silence journalists for challenging the official narrative of the Iraq War? What if the efforts had been successful?
Surely, the media would cover the federal-corporate censorship operation with taglines of fascism. Democracy dies in darkness would echo from the halls of the Washington Post. Woodward and Bernstein would make the rounds on the Sunday morning shows, and the New York Times would dedicate its Sunday edition to the new rise in fascism. The resulting lawsuit would be heralded as a David v. Goliath in which one journalist and the First Amendment took on the most powerful forces in the nation.
Berenson v. Biden should fit this narrative. Journalist Alex Berenson is suing President Biden, White House advisors, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, and Pfizer Board Member Scott Gottlieb for orchestrating a public-private censorship campaign against him.
Last year, Berenson sued Twitter after the company banned his account. After surviving Twitter’s motion to dismiss, Berenson reached a settlement with the social media company, and his account was reinstated. Further, he gained access to concrete evidence that government actors – including White House Covid Advisor Andy Slavitt – worked to censor him for criticizing Biden’s Covid policies.
Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court held that the US government cannot coerce private parties to violate citizens’ constitutional rights. “It is also axiomatic that a state may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish,” the Court wrote in Norwood v. Harrison. The government abandoned this principle during Covid, colluding with the nation’s largest companies to strip Americans of their constitutional liberties.
Now, Berenson v. Biden offers a challenge to the federal-corporate partnership that stripped Americans of their First Amendment freedoms and augmented the power of the state.
Media Blackout and What it Means
Berenson has proof that the federal government worked in tandem with the country’s most influential lobbying force to encourage the world’s most powerful information sources to censor a journalist, yet mainstream media has been silent.
The New York Times (Berenson’s former employer) has not mentioned Berenson v. Biden. The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, and The Los Angeles Times have also ignored the case entirely.
The media blackout is not an indication that the case lacks merit. Berenson demonstrated the strength of his case against the public-private censorship complex in his suit against Twitter. Further, recent precedent supports his case. In Knight Institute v. Trump, the Second Circuit ruled that President Trump could not block users from his Twitter account because his use of the platform created a public forum. Berenson filed his complaint in the same jurisdiction as Knight, and the government’s censorship efforts are more explicit in Berenson’s case.
Nor is the blackout an indication that Berenson’s case lacks importance. If successful, his case could lead to discovery of Pfizer’s role in the pandemic, including the company’s influence in the White House, its role in the nation’s vaccination policy, and its insulation from legal liability. It could mark the largest First Amendment lawsuit of the Covid era and challenge the constitutionality of the Biden Administration’s censorship regime.
The blackout is a result of the truth in Berenson’s complaint; it serves as an indictment on the nation’s ruling class and its systemic corruption in the Covid era. It exposes the lies the government told its citizens while it stripped them of their liberties. It reveals the news media’s dereliction of duty in response to Draconian “public health” measures. And behind each issue is the influence of Big Pharma – the largest lobbying force in the country, the beneficiary of Washington’s revolving door, the financial sponsor of the news media, and the profiteers behind the last three years.
Similarly, the censorship that gave rise to the case was not because Berenson’s reports lacked credibility. As his complaint alleges, “The conspirators targeted Mr. Berenson precisely because he was not making bizarre accusations about the vaccines. Their own internal discussions reveal they were more concerned about plausible skepticism like his than unlikely theories, like the charge that the vaccines somehow contained ‘microchips.’”
The conspirators censored Berenson because he was inconvenient, not incorrect. Their ploy may backfire, however. Berenson v. Biden could unearth more information on the Covid era than his reporting would have ever uncovered.
Discovery and depositions from Pfizer and the White House would be the most valuable insight of the three years – insight into the power structures that orchestrated lockdowns, censorship, forced vaccinations, school closures, economic upheaval, government overreach, and the merger of corporations with the state. The media’s blackout may delay negative press coverage for the country’s most powerful forces, but the ramifications of the lawsuit could prove far more consequential than an undesirable headline in the New York Times.
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