The point of the summit, I thought, was to provide an official Trump-sanctioned forum for righties to complain about being marginalized by social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter for their political views.
So here’s the White House turning around and marginalizing one of the invitees for his political views.
The cartoonist is Ben Garrison, whose work you’ve doubtless seen if you use Twitter or Facebook. He’s … libertarian in his worldview, I guess? Alt-right? I don’t know. He’s emphatically anti-“globalist,” prone to cartoonish (in every sense) depictions of Trump’s heroic alpha-maleness, and ever eager to tie the world’s problems back to George Soros. He was excited about his invite to the social media summit…
— GrrrGraphics Cartoons (@GrrrGraphics) July 5, 2019
…but others were less excited:
Man who drew a cartoon the @ADL calls “blatantly anti-Semitic” says he was invited to the White House for a social media summit https://t.co/Fzckv4rJbD https://t.co/nmH1zyCV7C pic.twitter.com/hvz4BpLNVt
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 6, 2019
The Jewish Rothschilds puppeteering the Jewish Soros puppeteering interventionist military leaders is some next-level, ah, “anti-globalist” propaganda. Upon learning that Garrison was on the invite list, Jewish groups began reaching out to the White House to ask what’s up. With the summit set for tomorrow and Trump about to take a black eye from critics if he didn’t rescind Garrison’s invitation, the president and his staff had to make a decision.
That decision came this morning: Deplatform.
THE WHITE HOUSE told us last night that Ben Garrison, the cartoonist who drew this cartoon that has been widely labeled anti-Semitic, will no longer be attending the administration’s social media summit. As of Tuesday morning, Garrison was invited — he posted the invite he got on Twitter — and people in the administration were privately defending the invitation…
WE THEN started asking questions directly of people who have hailed Trump as a leader quashing anti-Semitism: Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and members of Congress. Greenblatt, Kushner and his spokesman Avi Berkowitz did not respond. It was then that a senior administration official told us that Garrison would no longer be attending the event. Members of the House Republican leadership — Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise and Liz Cheney — denounced anti-Semitic imagery.
Garrison issued a statement admitting that he’s “disappointed” but framing the decision to exclude him as a sort of mutual agreement:
Ben Garrison, who was disinvited to WH social media summit after controversy over cartoon he drew which was widely condemned as anti-Semitic, says in statement he had discussion w/White House yesterday & "we came to the conclusion that my presence…would be a media distraction" pic.twitter.com/PgZNdRs4yz
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 10, 2019
He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email, however, that he “got kicked out.” If the Rothschilds cartoon had been his only controversial output, maybe the White House would have let him slide. But Garrison cranks out off-the-wall stuff all the time, if rarely quite as fragrant as the cartoon Tapper cited. Some of his lowlights on John McCain include Maverick on his way to hell, with a headstone marked “Songbird,” and a tumor being removed from Uncle Sam’s skull with McCain’s face on it. I’m guessing some White House advisor spent an hour or two tooling around on his webpage, realized that they’d spend the next week being asked to account for various dubious Garrison images, and decided it wasn’t worth the bother.
The Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold made me laugh with this tweet this morning, but it’s not really a joke. It makes a trenchant point.
So the White House created a forum on social media censorship
and there was a guy whose beliefs they found abhorrent
so they kicked him out
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) July 10, 2019
The White House isn’t the only right-wing outfit that’s been policing its associations for prejudice:
so Milo, Laura Loomer, and the Proud Boys had a “Demand Free Speech” rally protesting social media censorship
and there were people there whose beliefs they found abhorrent*
so they kicked them out
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) July 10, 2019
“[C]razy that two separate events in the same week complaining about social media bans ended up bringing in bigots,” he sniffed. Right. The Garrison snafu is a microcosm of the logic of content moderation: If you extend a truly open invitation to the world to use your property to share its views, you’ll find that property quickly overrun by obnoxious garbage. The White House couldn’t book a single event about social media featuring a handpicked, limited number of voices without stumbling into that problem, it turns out. Forced to choose between honoring the spirit of the First Amendment’s ban on viewpoint discrimination and enjoying the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of association, the White House chose the latter — even though, again, the entire point of this confab is to let people kvetch that social media companies are prioritizing their own association rights over their users’ interest in free speech.
Exit question: Which person has Trump met with personally, the (now former) British ambassador to the UK or “CarpeDonktum,” master lib-trolling meme-maker? The answer may surprise you! But it probably won’t.