Twitter remains silent about Trump's appalling attack against Joe Scarborough

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.President Trump's appalling tweets have real world consequences.Take his reckless posts about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. For the past few weeks, Trump has been insinuating that Scarborough was responsible for the 2001 death of Lori Klausutis, who worked in his Florida office when he was a GOP congressman.This conspiracy theory, ironically, fueled left-wing attacks against Scarborough in 2001. It was debunked back then, but it's been revived now, by right-wing attackers, because Scarborough and his show "Morning Joe" are vociferous critics of Trump. Trump claimed on Sunday that there's "a lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe."This is beyond the pale, and every honest broker in politics and media knows it. As Mediaite's Josh Feldman noted here, Trump is being "roundly trashed" for pushing the conspiracy. If you're unsure about the facts, read the old fact checks from the AP and other news outlets.The president is promoting a repugnant conspiracy theory and ignoring the actual facts of the case because he wants to drag Scarborough's name through the mud. His smears are also hurting the Klausutis family. Family members declined my interview requests in recent days... and this story in The Washington Post articulates the reasons why: "No one in Klausutis's family would talk about Trump's tweets for this article, fearing retaliation by online trolls of the type who went after parents of the Sandy Hook massacre victims... 'There's a lot we would love to say, but we can't,' said Colin Kelly, who was Klausutis's brother-in-law."Three tweets from the right-- Fox's Brit Hume reacting to one of Trump's shameful posts: "30K retweets for this discredited tale, based on a three-year old post from some wing-ding website. This is why even his critics should want DJT to play a lot of golf, because when he does, he's not tweeting crap like this."-- NRO's Jay Nordlinger: "What Trump is engaged in here is sick beyond belief. All people of good will -- and even some with less than good will -- should reckon with it."-- David Frum: "Yesterday, the president accused a prominent citizen of murder. Surely the attorney general wants to get right on this important news? The US Attorneys? The crack investigative crew at Fox News? Judge Jeanine? Or do they all tacitly agree: Trump's words are just empty craziness?""Attempts to intimidate..."This is what an MSNBC spokesman said earlier in the month when Trump started this insane crusade: "Attempts to intimidate and bully the free press, including through the bizarre peddling of fringe conspiracy theories, will not prevent Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski or any of MSNBC's journalists or analysts from holding power to account. We'll continue to accurately and thoroughly report on the White House's handling of the Coronavirus pandemic."Over to you, Twitter...Donie O'Sullivan writes: Last summer Twitter rolled out new rules for world leaders who tweet on its platform -- chief among them, of course, Trump. Twitter said that those users would be able to tweet things that are in violation of Twitter's normal rules but that Twitter would label those tweets -- explaining that, although they were against the rules, they'd be left on the platform as they were newsworthy and should be used to hold those leaders to account. It was not an all together bad idea. But a month after Twitter made that announcement, Trump sent racist tweets about "The Squad." Based on the site's own rules, those tweets should have been labeled as being in violation of its policies. But they were not, as we reported at the time.In fact, Twitter has not labeled any of Trump's tweets. Then came this weekend... And all the lies about Joe Scarborough. Why might Twitter be slow to act and enforce its own rules? Well, all you need to do is read this WSJ story from the weekend.I inquired about the accusatory tweets, and Twitter declined to comment: "We have nothing to share at this time," a spokeswoman said...Donie's takeDonie O'Sullivan adds: Last year Sen. Kamala Harris called on Twitter to shut down Trump's account, raising the Q, do we really want to live in a world where a private company can just kick off heads of state as it sees fit? (Trump would find a new platform anyway.)In that sense, I don't think the people who join the chorus of calling for social media companies to muzzle Trump have really thought through what they are suggesting and the precedent they are suggesting be set. BUT... Twitter has laid out its rules clearly here -- it did a whole PR push on how it was going to label tweets from world leaders that broke its rules. In that sense, it very much needs to be held to account...>> Here's the Q that deserves an answer, posted by Gabriel Sherman: "Doesn't baselessly accusing someone of murder violate Twitter terms of service??"Imagine if...Oliver Darcy writes: As Trump continues in his attempts to smear Scarborough with this conspiracy theory, it's worth doing this thought experiment: Imagine how the President's allies would behave if the tables were turned and Scarborough were using his powerful platform to suggest Trump committed murder. They'd be (rightfully) outraged and calling for his firing. So why the silence from them now? Why are the standards higher for a cable news host than the President of the United States?

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus.With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. The robots were donated by the ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was a mouth-watering prospect for sports-starved fans everywhere. Four of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, on the golf course at the same time, offering us a glimpse of who they are when they aren't winning Major Championships and...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A Texas community hit by terrible tragedy months ago came together over the weekend to celebrate a survivor's first birthday.Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Several members of the graduating class at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a letter from the school."The school has been notified by several Class of 2020 families that their students have...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Just when you thought you'd learned how to spell Grimes and Elon Musk's unusual baby name, they've gone and changed it.Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk announced the birth of the baby boy in a post on Twitter, revealing his son was...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Rome (CNN)"The doctors were shocked. They said they had never seen anything like this," says Valentina Vigilante, recalling the terrifying day her 6-year-old son Nicolò was rushed into intensive care in Bergamo, northern Italy, as he struggled to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, shared a sweet moment this Memorial Day weekend -- a film of their baby daughter's first steps. In a video posted to Instagram, 11-month-old Capri stumbles across the room for the first time, into the...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)With two barren peaks that rise only about 170 feet above sea level, the now extinct Pūhāhonu volcano in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands doesn't look like much. This is especially true since in the same archipelago, Mauna Loa towers over every...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of people social distancing or wearing masks. From Florida to Indiana and across the country to ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)An online grocery business backed by Asia's richest man is expanding to hundreds of cities across India — a move widely seen as a challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and FlipKart.JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Mukesh Ambani's Jio ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(Kaiser Health News)As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.This "stay at home awhile longer" advice...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance. Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body. Many of those ticks are infected with ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At a glance, it may look like many Americans have long forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus.Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the weekend -- many venturing out without masks and others failing to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At first glance, Shelley Allwang's cubicle looks just like any other office space.But alongside a pinboard full of tchotchkes and a photo of her dog, sits a story that reminds Allwang of the importance of her job, now more than ever. "The Boy and...