BUCK: Mollie Hemingway — senior editor at The Federalist — is with us now, also Fox News contributor. Her book is Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections. Mollie, great to have you.
HEMINGWAY: It’s great to be here with you.
BUCK: So let’s start with this one. When you’re seeing the Democrats get this whole mobilization going on voting rights, acting like there is — one — never fraud — and two — endless numbers of people who are somehow being prevented from voting but we never actually meet any of them, what do you want people to know? What’s the truth of the election fight these days?
HEMINGWAY: I think first off it shouldn’t be said in terms of “voting rights.” Nobody credible thinks that there’s a problem with voting rights in a country where more people voted in the last election than any in history (chuckles) by a significant margin. The question is really about who controls elections and how secure those elections are. Democrats have spent decades really smartly strategizing about how to loosen security of elections and open up opportunities for shenanigans, shall we say.
And they have put a lot of money and effort into that, and now they want to federalize that. They think that what they did in 2020 to destabilize the elections worked out well for them and they’d like to nationalize that, and make Nancy Pelosi the election czar of the entire country. So it’s really important in this country that both winners and losers — and of course that changes over time, who those people are — both can trust elections. It’s actually the entire republic rests on that. So we need to always make sure that our elections are secure and that people can trust them.
CLAY: Mollie, the whole story here is a mess because it feels like Biden somehow thought his Tuesday speech was going to change the overall calculus associated with voting rights. Instead, he gets kneecapped by his own senators, Sinema and Manchin saying, “Hey, yeah, we’re not gonna change things associated with the filibuster.” But in a larger context this whole story seems very strategically failed to me by the Democrats.
Because if you look at recent Supreme Court jurisprudence as it pertains to states having the right to set laws as it pertains to their elections, there’s no way in my opinion that these Democrat bills would be constitutional in any way at all, either. So this has always felt to me like somebody sort of biking full speed into a brick wall and pretending the brick wall isn’t there. What am I missing about this?
HEMINGWAY: Yeah. I think what you’re missing is that the whole idea is a long con, a long game. They might not succeed right now, but what they’re trying to do is move the window to get people to think differently about election security and to make this a winning issue, you know, in the next several years. And this is another thing I think the Democrats are good at.
They say something that’s very extreme that has no chance of winning, and might even cause some electoral problems in the short run — say, limitations on gun rights — but they get, over time, more and more people adopting their perspective, and that gives them the weight they need to push for what they really want. I mean, everything they did in 2020 they claimed was for covid relief.
It actually had been stuff they’d been working on for decades: Decreasing the ability to determine whether a ballot actually comes from someone it claims to come from was something they’ve been working on for a long time. It wasn’t just something they came up with during covid. Expanding voting day into voting season — which incidentally, is something the country used to have and moved away from precisely because we did see too much fraud when you expanded voting day beyond a single day.
You’d have different states voting on different days for presidential elections, and it did increase the chance of fraud. And so these things have been flow, but the Democrats have been very good I think about thinking long-term and not just about the win that they can get right now, ’cause I don’t think they’re gonna get it right now, but they’re thinking next year and beyond.
BUCK: We’re speaking to Mollie Hemingway, author of Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections. And to that end, Mollie, talk to us about the role — ’cause you know, Big Tech, we’re often having these discussions about, one, the way that the censorship and essentially the collusion with not just the Democrat Party generally but with the White House specifically to suppress conservative and just alternative points of view is out in the open, they’re demanding more of it, they’re not pretending not to do it, which was the case even let’s say five or six years ago. How does Big Tech change, in your mind, the course of the 2020 election and what can we do about it?
HEMINGWAY: It’s funny because we talk about election laws — which are very important and there were massive problems with it — but it pales in comparison to how much Big Tech controlled the outcome of the election. You might remember that when Democrats spent four years claiming that the 2016 election was stolen, that they didn’t really have a case and their big case was that it was stolen because Russians had bought a hundred thousand dollars in Facebook ads, some of them for Hillary Clinton, some of them for Donald Trump.
That was enough to have the country be hysterical. Well, compare that with what happened in 2020. For four years I think Big Tech really worried that they had helped Trump win by allowing him to go around the media and speak directly to people. So they started changing algorithms. They started deplatforming the most effective conservative voices.
They increased reach of leftist voices. They engaged in so much election rigging, it’s unbelievable. I mean, just by way of… Just take one small example. When Donald Trump would say that mail-in ballots were susceptible to fraud — something that everybody agreed with prior to 2020, including like the country of France, the Jimmy Carter Election Commission, the New York Times, Washington Post — he would be censored for saying that.
And when Joe Biden said that there was a conspiracy with the post office to control the outcome of the election, none of those tweets were censored. None of that rhetoric from anyone on the left was censored, and it was a crazy conspiracy theory. That affects elections — and most dramatically also, you think about how they conspired with Democrats and other people in the media to suppress the single most important story of the 2020 election, which was information about the corruption of the Biden family business.
There is no question that American voters had a right to know about the Biden family business — how it worked, who all was involved in foreign entities — and the Big Tech companies brutally suppressed that story. You know, go back to that Russia story, you know, hundred thousand dollars in Facebook ads. “It’s a horrible threat to democracy,” but then you look at what they did in 2020, and it’s just so much more massive.
CLAY: Mollie, as you were about to come on — and we appreciate you coming on — right before the show started, I was looking at my Twitter trending tab section. I’m not sure if you had a chance to look at this thread yet. But I shared a couple days ago — and we played on this show — the Pfizer Cree saying the first couple of shots of his vaccine had limited, if any, protection against the new Omicron variant of covid, and he said that in an interview.
It was with Yahoo News. It was distributed. Twitter took it down and said it was a copyright violation. I then put it back up — some other user it grabbed it — they didn’t take that down, but then they brought in (we’re gonna talk about this a little bit on the show in just a moment), they brought in a fact-checker, Reuters, and Reuters said that the Pfizer CEO was being taken out of context.
If you look at what they’re doing right now, it is an unbelievable height of disinformation. Reuters’ chairman, by the way, sits on the board at Pfizer. They are the official fact-checker for Twitter. This is effectively a paid advertisement for Twitter masquerading as a factual fact check. This kind of thing happens all the time. How do we fix it?
HEMINGWAY: I’m not entirely sure how to fix it, but it is a massive issue. It feels Soviet what they’re doing.
HEMINGWAY: They are limiting what people can say about things that we all see and that we all witness. They’re saying that there’s one approved interpretation of events. It is true that people sometimes misinterpret things and take things out of context. The cure for that is people saying that! (chuckles) You can say it in response. “No, actually, this is what they meant to say or here’s how that should be read,” and people debate, and that’s what happens in a free society. In an authoritarian regime like the one we have now with Big Tech colluding with — at the request of Joe Biden!
HEMMINGWAY: He just yesterday said, I ask you, my allies in Big Tech, please suppress information if I say it’s disinformation. I mean, that’s not a direct quote, but that’s what he was saying. He decides what disinformation and misinformation is, and then you get suppressed based on what his views are. With everybody in Big Tech being — almost everybody in Big Tech being — closely aligned with the Democrat Party, this is an attack on some of our most foundational values as a country, that we have the right to pursue truth and that we can do that by obtaining information and debating the meaning of that information.
It is so un-American, and there’s so much money in this, as you know, people are paying to do the suppression of information, and it’s not just American companies. China’s heavily involved in all of this. It works for them to control the people and control the flow of information. But it’s sort of not working because the one thing you know is that if something is fact checked, that’s a good chance that actually it’s true.
BUCK: Mollie is the author of Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections. I’m actually about to buy my copy in real time as I’m talking to you right now online. Mollie, before we let you go, though, when people — as I’m sure they do all the time — come up to you and say that there was fraud in the 2020 election, what do you say to them?
HEMINGWAY: Well, I think that people need to expand their understanding of what happened in 2020 to be much, much, much bigger than fraud. And what I talk about in the book is how there were changes to hundreds of election laws to make it difficult to even detect fraud, to make it so that you couldn’t have confidence in the results, that you wouldn’t know if a ballot was legit.
That Mark Zuckerberg — another way that Big Tech medal — spent $419 million to take over government election offices and flood it with left-wing activists so that they could run the Democratic get-out-the-vote operation in blue areas of swing states. It was complicated. It was a conspiracy. Actually, even TIME magazine admits it was a conspiracy which they described as “a cabal of powerful people” in all these different establishment institutions to control the outcome of the election. So I think don’t limit yourself to just fraud. It’s much bigger — much, much more coordinated and widespread — and much more effective in controlling the outcome of the election.
CLAY: Mollie, last question for you. Were you surprised that Brett Kavanaugh — you wrote a great book about Brett Kavanaugh — flipped his vote to allow the health care mandate? And that’s kind of a two-part question. Do you, based on your connections to the Supreme Court, think that Stephen Breyer is going to step down as Democrats are trying to persuade him to do by the end of this term?
HEMINGWAY: So there’s a lot there, but A, I would just say it never works well to pressure people, to pressure these justices to resign. It usually means that that’s how they will stay there forever. I wrote in Justice on Trial with Carrie Severino about how the Trump administration was able to encourage Anthony Kennedy to feel comfortable stepping down, which enabled them to nominate Brett Kavanaugh.
And then we also detail why he was chosen for that position, and it really had a lot to do with how narrow Republicans held the Senate and how they couldn’t really put someone much more strong than he was, and we tell that whole story. So I’m, sadly, not completely surprised, but there were very particular circumstances for why he was chosen.
BUCK: Mollie Hemingway, everybody. Check out Rigged, her book. Go get your copy now. Mollie, come back and hang out with us again soon. Thanks so much.
HEMINGWAY: Thank you. Take care.