Sara Carter: CPAC's 'awake, not woke' theme highlights importance of Big Tech hypocrisy

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Sara Carter: US ‘needs some legal boundaries’ to restrain censorship of free speech

Investigative journalist talks to Fox News Digital at CPAC about Big Tech’s double standard

ORLANDO, Fla. – With conservatives warning of Big Tech firms like Twitter, Facebook and others cracking down their free speech, investigative journalist Sara Carter spoke to Fox News Digital at CPAC about the divide and why it is so important that Congress act to preserve the First Amendment.

Big Tech has allowed Russia to launch a viral campaign in the midst of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Carter added that actual criminal conduct is rightly restricted and should continue to be.

“It’s crazy. But that’s why CPAC-2022’s [theme] is ‘Awake Not Woke’, because people are starting to wake up and realize that these behemoth social media giants like Twitter, like Facebook” are censoring otherwise free speech, she said.

Carter noted that there has been a rise in alternative social media platforms of late – which include Rumble, Parler, and Donald Trump’s Truth Social – and that such competition is a good thing.

“I’m not saying we should censor Facebook. I’m not saying we should shut down Twitter. I’m saying that they need to do a better job at giving people a voice, and we’re not dumb. We can see what the truth is. We don’t need people babysitting us on the truth,” she said.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

“But overall, are we supposed to say, ‘oh, well, you know, Facebook is the trusted editor for us’? And why do they have these publishing rights but yet they don’t have to face any … legal backlash if they publish something wrong?” she later asked.

“If you’re going to act like a publisher, then you should be treated like a publisher. And I think that’s important to understand. And for Facebook and Twitter to really silence the voices of the American people and silence the voices of conservatives … tells me that they are really working for a political party and that opens up a whole new can of worms.”

She added that, even with government censorship and surveillance in a place like Russia, the Russian civilian population is somewhat waking up to their authoritarian president’s behavior and true intentions. Vladimir Putin, elected in 1999, has been in power ever since, save for a four-year swap in roles with ex-Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.

“We’ve seen the Russian people marching in the square against this war. Vladimir Putin is going to face his wrath not so much from the outside of the world, but from the inside of Russia – people are waking up,” she said.

As people in Russia are waking up to that brand of censorship, so are people in North America, Carter said, pointing to her comprehensive reporting in Ottawa during the Canadian trucker convoy’s gridlock.

A CPAC ’22 sign at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida on Feb. 25, 2022
(Fox News)

“People are waking up, and I think over the last two years dealing with COVID,” she said, saying there was a clear dichotomy between how Black Lives Matter and Antifa were covered in the media compared to the Canadian truckers. 

“It’s actually a shame. It’s very dangerous for a democracy when you have a media that is failing to do its job because it’s politically motivated,” she said. “There is something very dangerous when … media are now covering one story based on their political viewpoint and refused to treat those stories as equal.”

She compared coverage of the January 6 Capitol riot to the 2020 riots in Seattle and Portland, where left-wing activists set up an “autonomous zone” in Washington’s largest city.

Authorities there had arrested 191 people and filed 389 charges, police announced mid-afternoon Sunday. They had also towed 99 vehicles.
(Ottawa Police)

“To the point where you even had Vice President Kamala Harris offering to put up money for bail, asking people and then of course, retracting that, going back on that a little bit, but offering to put up money for bail,” she said.

“So I think Americans are very well aware that there is somewhat of a two-tiered system happening. And I mean, I’ve seen that even from, you know, covering the stories back in 2016 with President Trump and the weaponization of the FBI and bureaucracies.”

Carter also pointed to how the media would cover the debunked anti-Trump “Russian dossier” compiled by ex-MI6 Agent Christopher Steele, noting that Big Tech did not call it misinformation or act as fervently as they do when a right-wing entity gets something wrong.

“If one of these social media giants tries to censor us, well then we use our voice in another area – we go to a different platform. But we can’t be afraid,” she said. 

“We can’t be afraid of speaking our minds. We can’t be afraid of telling the truth, and we can’t be afraid of delivering the message to the people that are most important: which are the American people, and for that matter, the rest of the world.”

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