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CNBC hosts argue over Biden censoring social media: 'If it was a different administration, you might have a different take'
Images via Air.TV via CNBC (screenshots)

CNBC hosts argue over Biden censoring social media: 'If it was a different administration, you might have a different take'

CNBC hosts Joe Kernen and Andrew Ross Sorkin battled back and forth about a judge's decision to limit White House communications with social media companies. One host claimed it was a free speech issue, while the other said he doesn't want the executive branch calling media companies to silence them.

In one of the more in-depth, amicable debates viewers can find on mainstream media, Kernen and Sorkin argued over a district court judge's ruling that "the United States Government, through the White House and numerous federal agencies, pressured and encouraged social-media companies to suppress free speech."

The decision has been appealed by the Biden administration.

“I think it was bad that if you said [COVID] was lab-generated, that that had to be banned, that was bad,” Kernen argued, before he stated that the government should not have access to tell media companies what to print.

As reported by the Daily Caller, Kernen noted that the Babylon Bee was censored on Twitter under previous leadership, and the Hunter Biden laptop story was also suppressed. “The point is, you’re OK if the Biden administration calls Twitter and says don’t print that?” Kernen insisted.

Sorkin claimed, however, that this was a free speech matter, pointing out that he didn't believe any administration in particular should be limited in who officials can contact and that it's up to the publisher to ultimately decide what to print.

The free market dictates that you “should be able to receive emails and text messages from anybody, including people at the White House, whether it’s the Trump administration sending those emails or whether it’s the Biden administration or whomever it is," Sorkin explained.

“I’m okay 100% as long as there’s not – this is where it gets more complicated, this idea of coercion, this idea I’m going to scratch your back for something on the other side, that’s what gets much more complicated," Sorkin went on.

“Quid pro quo is the only time you wouldn’t want that, I mean, to me, I don’t want to be given news that’s filtered through whoever’s in power at that time,” Kernen said.

Kernen also expressed that he didn't believe Sorkin would hold the same opinion if the President Trump were still at the helm, to which Sorkin deferred to the claim that the Trump administration was equally as "prolific" in contacting media companies.

“I’m just sitting here, if it was a different administration, you might have a different take,” Kernen said.

“Honestly, I don’t,” Sorkin replied.

“I don’t believe you. If the Trump administration was –” Kernen pressed on.

“The Trump administration was just as prolific with its requests to the social media companies,” Sorkin responded.

Moreover, Kernen joked that he wanted all his news information available in one place, if he so chose. But Sorkin noted that one can still go directly to any news website, Truth Social, or anywhere else to obtain the information. Kernen then explained that he didn't believe the mainstream media outlets have been covering President Biden's scandals appropriately.

“What I’m saying right now is I don’t think the administration is being held accountable for some really egregious things because you need a really vibrant New York Times, Washington Post on these things, and they just haven’t been on a lot of these things, and we’re relying on what you call ‘rags’ to get any of this information,” Kernen added.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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