Morning Joe Panel Appears to Propose Censorship of ‘Fake News’ Stories

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Panelists on MSNBC's Morning Joe appeared to propose Tuesday morning that "fake news" stories should be censored to some extent on the internet.

Fake news stories were a phenomenon during the 2016 campaign and have received extensive coverage after the election as some in the media scrutinize and blame them for helping President-elect Donald Trump win the White House. Washington Free Beacon reporter Bill McMorris appeared on Fox News on Monday night where he defined fake news as "whatever people living in the liberal bubble determine to be believed by the right."

MSNBC previewed its discussion on fake news stories by showing part of an interview between network correspondent Jacob Soboroff and a man who publishes fake news stories. Liberal columnist Mike Barnicle reacted to the interview on Morning Joe by criticizing Silicon Valley.

"It's time for these isolated know-it-alls in the Silicon Valley of Google and Facebook to get this stuff together on things like this," Barnicle said.

"Yeah. They have to have some sort of constraints," Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed.

Barnicle said all Americans are protected by the First Amendment but that something must be done in special situations like this.

Co-host Joe Scarborough said these fake news stories just go in cycles of misinformation. He then referenced the 1994 gubernatorial race in Florida between Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush when the Chiles campaign deceptively called hundreds of thousands of voters to tell them that Bush was going to take away their social security.

"People would send around the most horrific emails. Now we're to this stage and you're right. It's hard to stop these phone calls the night before an election. It's hard to stop the emails. It's not hard to stop this fake news," Scarborough added.

NBC's Willie Geist then brought up the shooting that occurred at a Washington, D.C. pizzeria on Sunday afternoon. Alleged gunman Edgar Maddison Welch cradled an AR-15 assault-style rifle at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant, which fell victim to a fake news story before the 2016 election linking Hillary Clinton, her campaign chairman, and the owner of Comet to an alleged sex-slave conspiracy, the Washington Post reported. Welch fired multiple shots in the restaurant, but there were no injuries.

"One of the most shocking things to me is you actually have people with college degrees, who read these fake news stories and these conspiracy theories, and then call all of us up [asking] ‘Is this true?'" Scarborough responded.

Scarborough said that he is tired of receiving calls related to some of these fake news stories.

"After about the 20th [question] I'm like no, stop," Scarborough said.

Cameron Cawthorne

Cameron Cawthorne   Email Cameron | Full Bio | RSS
Cameron Cawthorne is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013. Prior to joining Free Beacon, Cameron was a Legislative Assistant in the Virginia General Assembly and a War Room Analyst at America Rising.

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