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  • May 18, 2021

Exclusive: ABC Decries FL GOP ‘Flexing Their Muscles’ With Anti-Censorship, Election Bills

 Exclusive: ABC Decries FL GOP ‘Flexing Their Muscles’ With Anti-Censorship, Election Bills


Florida Republicans were apparently showing some real toxic masculinity lately; because the so-called journalists on ABC’s Good Morning America spent part of their Sunday morning attacking them for “flexing their muscles” with bills targeting censorship on social media and increasing election integrity. They chided the bills as “controversial” and eagerly sought retaliation from their allies in certain corporate businesses.

To politics now and Republicans efforts to both curve the power of social media companies and to tighten voting laws. Both of those efforts are now playing out in Florida where the governor is poised to sign two controversial bills into law,” warned co-host Eva Pilgrim as the chyron fretted: “Florida moving to curb social media power.”

Multi-platform reporter Elizabeth Schulze was the one to gripe about “Republicans in Florida flexing their muscles” with these “controversial bills set to become law,” as they sat on Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R) desk.

“The first, taking a swing at big tech imposing fines of up to $250,000 a day against social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube if they ban politicians from their platforms,” Schulze warned, adding that former President Trump was banned for “inciting violence in the wake of the January 6 Capitol attack.”

Schulze suggested that the only reason DeSantis was going to sign the bill was that he’s “a close Trump ally.” And she seemed to scoff at the idea that “Republicans insist it’s about maintaining free speech.”

 

 

Even though she said the anti-censorship bill only covered politicians, Schulze suggested that the bill would allow extremist groups to proliferate:

SCHULZE: But critics say the bill will result in more harmful content spreading online.

CARL SZABO (vice pres. & general counsel, Netchoice): This will actually cause platforms and websites to take their hands off the controls and dial back the moderation and leave up a lot more extremists and sensational content that otherwise would have been removed.

Up next was the fear-mongering about the election integrity law.

“And now, Governor DeSantis is already setting his sights on another bill which tightens restrictions on voting. It adds rules to vote by mail like stricter I.D. requirements; and limits ballot drop boxes,” she said with no explanation of how the bill as harmful.

And without evidence, she pushed claims from “opponents” that were “calling it part of a broader nationwide effort by GOP legislators to suppress turnout.” She again scoffed at how “Republicans say the legislation will make voting more secure.”

Meanwhile, ABC still had not given airtime to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) plot to steal a seat from an Iowa Republican who rightfully won it in 2020.

Further, Schulze eagerly awaited “prominent Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines” who “spoke out against the state’s election law after fierce public backlash” to turn around and target Florida based on her misinformation. “The question now is if Florida businesses will take a similar new stand on this bill,” she concluded.

ABC’s smears and misinformation against Republicans and these bills were made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from their Parent company Disney and State Farm, who got a special shout out as they went to commercial. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s Good Morning America
May 2, 2021
8:12:27 a.m. Eastern

EVA PILGRIM: To politics now and Republicans efforts to both curve the power of social media companies and to tighten voting laws. Both of those efforts are now playing out in Florida where the governor is poised to sign two controversial bills into law. ABC’s Elizabeth Schulze is in Washington with more. Good morning to you, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH SCHULZE: Good morning, Eva. Well, both of these bills were just passed by Florida’s Republican-led legislature, and now await the governor’s signature. One of them would make Florida the first state to punish tech companies if they try to censor politicians.

[Cuts to video]

This morning, Republicans in Florida flexing their muscles in a pair of controversial bills set to become law. The first, taking a swing at big tech imposing fines of up to $250,000 a day against social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube if they ban politicians from their platforms.

Like former President Trump who was banned for inciting violence in the wake of the January 6th Capitol attack. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, a close Trump ally, and Republicans insist it’s about maintaining free speech.

JOHN SNYDER (Florida state rep.): What this bill really does is send a clear message to Silicon Valley that they are not the arbiters of truth.

SCHULZE: But critics say the bill will result in more harmful content spreading online.

CARL SZABO (vice pres. & general counsel, Netchoice): This will actually cause platforms and websites to take their hands off the controls and dial back the moderation and leave up a lot more extremists and sensational content that otherwise would have been removed.

SCHULZE: And now, Governor DeSantis is already setting his sights on another bill which tightens restrictions on voting. It adds rules to vote by mail like stricter I.D. requirements; and limits ballot drop boxes. Republicans say the legislation will make voting more secure, but opponents are calling it part of a broader nationwide effort by GOP legislators to suppress turnout.

MICHAEL WALDMAN (president, Brennan Center for Justice): I don’t think these Republican legislatures are passing the laws because they will stop Republicans from voting. They’re passing these laws because they make it harder for younger people, for people of color, for poorer people to vote.

[Cuts back to live]

SCHULZE: Now prominent Georgia-based companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines spoke out against the state’s election law after fierce public backlash. The question now is if Florida businesses will take a similar new stand on this bill. Whit?

WHIT JOHNSON: Elizabeth Schulze, thank you.



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