Biden DOJ Prosecuting Conservative For memes posting solely !!! Oh, and large election fraud.
Tucker Carlson was very, very excited last night that the FBI had arrested noted white nationalist Doug Mackey. Well, Tucker doesn’t claim to know anything about Mackey’s views – which would require an amazing level of professional ignorance – but he’s mad at the principle of the matter. So much so that Carlson decided to open his show with the theme and warn his audience that Big Brother’s Thought Police are coming for the internet.
His crime? He made fun of powerful Democrats on social media … This “disinformation” that the Biden government solemnly declared was often quoted in memes. Yes memes. Online ridicule. Online ridicule is now illegal when directed at the wrong people.
Well that’s a takeout. The other, far more precise, aspect is the part where Mackey is accused of orchestrating large-scale election fraud. I think that’s the part the FBI is more concerned about.
And how does this “Biden Administration” explain something? Merrick Garland is not yet confirmed. That investigation didn’t start last week. Does this show even bother to pass its legal claims on to a real lawyer? Obviously, that’s a rhetorical question.
Mackey, who trolls online as “Ricky Vaughn,” and his alleged co-conspirators created a number of memes, and the affidavit makes basic internet usage dodgy as it sets fees and those silly paragraphs inspire rights Spend the afternoon appalling at out of context citations. For example:
Yes, none of this is illegal, and if someone writes, “Look what he arrested this guy for” and posts this picture, it can lead to hate clicks. But if someone invested the time to actually read the whole thing instead of relying on Tucker Digest, the FBI isn’t suggesting any of this is illegal either.
This filing doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever read an FBI affidavit talking about technology more modern than a sundial. Fully committed to explaining everything like they’re always talking to a boomer – but when that boomer was a first grader in 1953, the DOJ’s technical writing reads like it was in one of those progressive Dr. Rick commercials stuck: “Well, then these guys got really big with the ‘hashtagging’ and ‘memerization’ over there on the Intertubes! “In my own practice, I read some of them that described“ e-mail, short for e-mail ”as if it came from a magic wand. That was in 2010.
Yes, it’s utterly derisive, and the DOJ as an institution would be in a better position to start writing than we’d all have had access to this technology for a couple of decades at this point. But to take those stupid paragraphs and tell a number of non-lawyers that it means the government is trying to ban their online presence is irresponsible.
Carlson explicitly informed his audience that the federal government had made it a crime to post memes to powerful Democrats. It’s not a crime. However, it is a crime to engage in a conspiracy to suppress a person’s fundamental rights, such as trying to defraud voters:
So it is not so much illegal that “online ridicule” is illegal, but that it is illegal to create fake news of an opposing campaign and convince those voters to forego their right to vote by sending a text message. This is where 18 USC § 241 comes into play, which provides the following in the relevant part:
When two or more persons conspire to harm, repress, threaten or intimidate any person in a state, territory, commonwealth, property or district while exercising or enjoying a right or privilege which they enjoy under the Constitution or the United States Laws….
For example, if someone conspired to compromise the right to vote. According to the filing, the federal government found that at least 4,900 unique phone numbers were “dialed” according to Mackey’s scheme. That’s several more than Tucker claimed to be concerned with – despite the fact that he had the document right there and could have easily looked it up. There are also orders of magnitude more people than were affected by Dominion. Triple-counting Italian vanloads of ballots Tucker hyped over the past few months.
In the meantime, you can post whatever memes you want. Go ahead and mock powerful Democrats to your heart’s content online. As long as you stay away from election fraud, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Joe Patrice is Senior Editor at Above the Law and co-moderator of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to send tips, questions or comments via email. Follow him on Twitter if you’re into law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe is also the managing director of RPN Executive Search.