Rand Paul Thinks YouTube Has Some Obligation To Torture Its Users With Clips Of Him Speaking
Rand Paul, the second-worst senator from Kentucky, is very upset that YouTube recently pulled a clip of him being a jerk on the Senate floor. Paul insists that YouTube's decision was "dangerous and politically biased," but it's his own actions during Donald Trump's sham impeachment trial that more accurately fit that description.
In the clip YouTube removed, Paul pitched a fit and demanded Chief Justice John Roberts explain why he'd blocked one of the senator's questions. It's believed Paul's question contained the name of the Ukrainian whistleblower. Considering Roberts read aloud Elizabeth Warren's shade bomb that mentioned him directly, the substance of Paul's "question" must've been especially out of bounds.
A chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as @YouTube decide to censor speech. Protect… https://t.co/WjSFvptdMd— Senator Rand Paul (@Senator Rand Paul)1581607220.0
Paul claimed that he never identified the whistleblower in the speech YouTube pulled. He whined to Politico, with verbiage cribbed from a hardboiled detective novel, that it was a "chilling and disturbing day" when companies such as YouTube can "censor speech."
PAUL: Now, even protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Senate floor, can be blocked from getting to the American people.
YouTube is a private company. It's not the government, so it can't "censor" anyone. The average person doesn't have the right to post whatever it wants on YouTube's platform. Paul is welcome to start his own video-sharing website where he can upload clips of himself being an asshole. The efficacy of that business model seems suspect, but if Paul can raise the seed money, he's free to give a shot. That's the American way.
Paul himself is a libertarian who believe private businesses can spit in your face for freedom. He once rather amazingly equated a human right to health care to slavery. Yeah, he went full Kunta Kinte.
PAUL: With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery.
So, yes, according to Rand Paul's own warped logic, he wants to enslave everyone at YouTube -- including the custodial staff == and turn the company into a grotesque plantation where people share videos that out whistleblowers and shamelessly endanger their lives.
YouTube has pulled "hundreds of videos and over ten thousand comments" that identify the whistleblower. Obviously, it's not a given that "MAGAWARRIOR812" -- or even a common senator -- actually know who the whistleblower is. They could just be pulling names out of a tinfoil hat. YouTube is acting responsibly here.
"Videos, comments, and other forms of content that mention the leaked whistleblower's name violate YouTube's Community Guidelines and will be removed from YouTube," YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi said. She added that uploaders had "the option" to edit the name out of their footage and re-upload.
Recent events have demonstrated that Republicans aren't overly concerned about their constitutional oaths, but they should at least read the Constitution before shredding it. That seems only polite.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."