Glenn Greenwald joined FNC's "Media Buzz" on Sunday to talk about Google's decision to censor all vaccine hesitancy off YouTube:
HOWARD KURTZ: Let me move on to Google's YouTube, which as you know has a huge reach, has now said it will ban any posting of anything, and I'm going to read the exact language, "any content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and you cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of the disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines." Your response?
GLENN GREENWALD: So you have to remember that Google, which owns YouTube, is probably the single most powerful corporation in the world in terms of control over our data and speech and their wealth. Do we want this mega-corporation policing our discourse and determining what can and can't be said on the internet?
The reality is, Howie, there are mainstream news outlets like The Guardian which reported on a study that said that for boys from 13-18, the risk of a bad outcome from the vaccine is greater than the risk that if they got Covid they would actually suffer any serious illness.
So the idea that you can't debate these things without Google intervening and censoring you off the internet is compete madness. How authoritarian do you need be to want a corporation like Google telling us what we can and can't say, not just on Covid but many political debates. The most ironic part of all is that it is journalists, who are supposed to defend free discourse and free inquiry, leading the way not just cheering Google but demanding more and more censorship.
KURTZ: I'm not seeing many if any critical stories challenging YouTube's action here. I have mixed reactions. I don't think people should be able to use social media to lie about the vaccine. But the key question is debate.
And then I read in YouTube's explanation, well, the company will allow personal testimonials on vaccine as long as the channel, the YouTube channel, doesn't show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy. That sounds pretty subjective.
GREENWALD: That's the key, though, no one thinks lying is a good thing or even healthy. Of course, it isn't.
The problem is, the history of the vaccine is one where these authorities have gotten things wrong, really critical things wrong over and over.
So if you had gone in March of 2020 and done a YouTube video saying, I think you should all wear masks even if you're not symptomatic, you would have been deemed at that time for -- that you were spreading Covid disinformation because Fauci and the W.H.O. were saying don't wear a mask, it's unnecessary and maybe even dangerous.
What is the scientific consensus evolves over time.
It's crucial we remain free to question pronouncements of any authorities, public health officials, politicians, or others, and the power of big tech monopolies is used more and more to erode our ability to do that. It's very dangerous.
KURTZ: You talked about the role of the media. New York state is in the process of firing a certain number of hospital and healthcare workers who refuse to get vaccinated. There's a headline in Salon, "It's time to start firing unvaccinated people. Trump fans are overdue for a lesson in consequences."
What do you make of that and the particular almost taking glee in Trump supporters, allegedly, obviously they're not the only group, losing their jobs over these mandates?
GREENWALD: I mean, it's pure sadism.
Who would celebrate people losing their jobs with economic struggles and in the middle of a pandemic, especially over ideological differences? That's demented. That's really sociopathic.
The problem is they want to maintain this narrative, that's false, that anyone who is vaccine-hesitant is stupid or primitive or this narrative that is also false that it's just Trump supporters who are vaccine-hesitant. The reality is, polls show there are large percentages of African-Americans, Latinos, people who live in large liberal cities who are vaccine-hesitant and have long been.
What they're doing when they're calling on people to be punished who are vaccine-hesitant, it's calling on black people, Latinos, liberals, and Trump supporters, deplorables, all to lose their jobs or be punished instead of trying to persuade them that do in a civil society.