Today, Facebook joined major platforms Apple and YouTube in banning the pages of far right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – and while many applauded the move, human blobfish Ted Cruz came to his defense using an analogy that is getting him dragged through the Twitter streets.
Cruz first weighed in on July 28, tweeting “Am no fan of Jones — among other things he has a habit of repeatedly slandering my Dad by falsely and absurdly accusing him of killing JFK — but who the hell made Facebook the arbiter of political speech? Free speech includes views you disagree with.”
Am no fan of Jones — among other things he has a habit of repeatedly slandering my Dad by falsely and absurdly accusing him of killing JFK — but who the hell made Facebook the arbiter of political speech? Free speech includes views you disagree with. #1A https://t.co/RC5v4SHaiI
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 28, 2018
His initial statement conveniently overlooks the fact that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech from punishment by the government, not from private companies – but it gets worse from there. Speaking to a reporter from the MyStateman political blog, Cruz expanded on his defense, citing a famous poem about the horrors of the holocaust: “There used to be a time when reporters were big supporters of the First Amendment. And you know as the poem goes, ‘First they came for Alex Jones.'”
It’s no secret that Cruz has it out for Facebook, a company he believes censors the political speech of those on the right. (Let’s not forget his absurd questions about Chik-fil-A Appreciation Day during Facebook’s congressional hearing.) But to tie his grudge to a defense of Jones – a man whose preposterous and hateful fake news stories have included the falsehood that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a government hoax – is bad even for him. And to do so by comparing Jones to a holocaust victim is a new low.
Of course, people were not having it. Check out some of the reactions below:
First they came for Alex Jones, and then nothing else happened because Alex Jones is not a fucking journalist, he's a hate-inciting troll conspiracy theorist on the crusty taint crevice of humanity, so fuck you, Ted Cruz. https://t.co/R0DXPA7nrT
— Wonkette (@Wonkette) August 6, 2018
Sorry, but @tedcruz equating Alex Jones, a man who has relentlessly harassed the parents of kindergarteners killed in Sandy Hook by calling them “actors”, to the millions killed by Nazis is fucking disgusting. He needs to address this now.
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) August 4, 2018
First they came for Alex Jones, and then they realized there was no "they." That Alex Jones was a terrible bigots for liar who was ejected from a private space: the very right Ted Cruz argues for when it comes to Christian's right to refuse homosexuals service… https://t.co/WSRyZcRpVm
— Paul Scherbak (@paulscherbak) August 6, 2018
Alex Jones denied that Sandy Hook happened & claimed it was concocted by gun safety advocates like me.@tedcruz invoked a poem about cowardice during the rise of Naziism to defend Jones’ conspiracies. Validating Jones is dangerous. Using the Holocaust to do so confounds history https://t.co/MqVVDjU1Gh
— Peter Ambler (@PeterMAmbler) August 5, 2018