A top White House staffer sent an email to Facebook trying to get the company to censor a post by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Jeff Landry, the Louisiana Attorney General, revealed this information about Carlson’s post about the lack of effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Rob Flaherty, the White House director of Digital Strategy, sent the email in 2021. He criticized the social media platform and asked if they were taking steps to restrict the influence of people saying that the COVID-19 vaccine was not working as initially advertised.
Flaherty focused on a post by Fox News contributor Tomi Lehren as well as one by Carlson.
“Since we’ve been on the phone — the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don’t work. Yesterday was Tomi Lehren saying she won’t take one,” Flaherty wrote. “This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like — if ‘reduction’ means pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then…I’m not sure it’s reduction!”
The staffer at Facebook responded saying that they saw the same thing and they would “run this down now.”
Facebook would later inform the White House that Tucker Carlson’s video did not qualify for removal, but they did add a pointer that led to “authoritative” information that was approved by the White House. It became a video that was not “recommended” to others and it was “demoted” on Facebook.
The Louisiana Attorney General explains that the White House did not accept that explanation from Facebook and they “demanded” to know why the Carlson video did not violate Facebook policy and why it was not removed. The White House even followed up their initial email to Facebook and reiterated that their demand for answers was not “rhetorical.”
And when they still did not get a response from Facebook, they alluded to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
“Not for nothing but the last time we did this dance, it ended in an insurrection,” the email said.
Talk about going overboard.