Ban, Sue, Repeat

Source: The American Conservative

Alex Berenson, the former New York Times reporter who gained broader popularity through his persistent criticism of lockdown, masking, and vaccine policies, is planning to sue the White House after allegations that a senior Biden official singled Berenson out in a meeting with Twitter employees.

On Monday’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Berenson said that he “plans[s] to sue the White House and Andy Slavitt and probably other officials too. I’m going to do that as quickly as I can.” Andy Slavitt worked as a senior advisor to the COVID-19 Response Coordinator in the Biden administration and now hosts a podcast.

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Berenson went on to say that he has “proof that they did violate my First Amendment rights, that they forced Twitter to act as a state actor, in other words as an arm of the federal government.”

In a Substack posted Friday, Berenson provides partially redacted screenshots of internal Slack messages among employees at the $34-billion social-media company after an April 2021 meeting at the White House. In August of 2021, Berenson was “permanently suspended for repeated violations of [Twitter’s] COVID-19 misinformation rules.”

Berenson’s Twitter account was reinstated last month as part of a settlement. Berenson said that he obtained the Slack screenshots as a result of this suit.

Here are the images Berenson included in his post:

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Slavitt responded to these claims by telling Politico, “We wanted to understand nuances like do their posts get marked when questionable, etc etc.”

The famed independent journalist says that he has evidence of “other reporters” (italics in original) asking Twitter to take the same course of action against him, and that he will report on provide this evidence in the future.

Berenson has a history of following specific stories for long-form journalistic reporting. When he was at the NYT, he investigated deaths at long-term care facilities, the Bernie Madoff scheme, and the pharmaceutical industry. He is also the author of the November 2021 book Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives (Regnery Publishing).

TAC’s January review of Berenson’s book by Auguste Meyrat reads:

If any journalist could be credited with “speaking truth to power” in the era of Covid-19, it would be Alex Berenson, perhaps the most prominent critic of lockdowns, social distancing, mask mandates, and now vaccines. Even more to his credit, he took this position early in 2020 when Covid hysteria swept the world and even the naturally skeptical refrained from speaking out. Two years later, this suppressed skepticism has finally come out not only because of facts on the ground, but because of the bravery and persistence of people like Berenson.

Berenson’s Substack called “Unreported Truths” can be found at https://alexberenson.substack.com/.