Leslie Jones Fires Back at Trump Following ‘SNL’ Rant: ‘This Guy Is an Idiot’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones weighed in on Donald Trump’s Sunday Twitter, calling the president “an idiot” after he threatened a federal investigation against the comedy show for mocking him.

“This guys [sic] is an idiot!! It was a rerun you moron!! #lordhelpusplease,” Jones wrote in an Instagram post, referring to the episode’s original airdate of Dec. 15, 2018.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” actor Bryan Tyree Henry and “In Living Color” actor David Alan Grier both commented on the post with crying-while-laughing emojis.

Also Read: Trump Threatens ‘SNL’ With Federal Investigation Because They Mock Him

Trump took aim at “SNL” Sunday, calling NBC’s late-night show “one sided [mic] media coverage” for poking fun at him.

It’s truly incredible that shows like Saturday Night Live, not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of “the other side.” Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019

….Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this? There must be Collusion with the Democrats and, of course, Russia! Such one sided media coverage, most of it Fake News. Hard to believe I won and am winning. Approval Rating 52%, 93% with Republicans. Sorry! #MAGA

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019

The episode that set-off the POTUS’ Twitter rant was Saturday night’s rerun of the 2018 Christmas episode in which the cold open — titled “It’s a Wonderful Trump” — shows Alec Baldwin as Trump getting his wish that he had never become president, while people like the first lady and Kellyanne Conway live happier lives as a result.

Trump, himself a previous ‘SNL’ host in 2004 and 2015, was similarly incensed the first time he saw the skit in December, tweeting the next day, “A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?”

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‘SNL’: R Kelly Is Upset That Gayle King Asked Him Real Questions in Interview Parody (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

This week’s “SNL” cold open skipped delving in to the political landscape, instead opting to parody R Kelly’s interview with Gayle King on CBS this week in which Kelly tried to salvage his image and really, uh, did not. Kelly was played by “SNL” regular Kenan Thompson, and Leslie Jones played King.

“I guess my first question for you, Robert is, why exactly are you doing this interview?,” Jones’ King said to open the interview after refusing R Kelly’s request to be called “victim.”

“Because people think I’m some kind of a monster. I’m here to remove all of that,” Kenan’s R Kelly said before referencing his own own song lyrics. “My lawyer was telling me no. But my ego, my ego was telling me yes.”

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Several times during the sketch he actually slipped into song, as he did during one point when he was discussing the Lifetime documentary series about him.

“Look, I made a lot of mistakes in my life. Maybe I can’t read or write or math. I’m still a person. I put on my pants one sleeve at a time just like everybody else,” Kelly declared.

“What about the Lifetime docuseries that interviewed numerous women, family members and your former tour manager, all saying the same things?” King asked. To which R Kelly replied in song.

Also Read: ‘SNL’: Alec Baldwin’s Trump Returns to Tell Us How His ‘Personal Hell of Playing President’ Will End (Video)

“It’s 10 o’clock in the morning. And I’m talking to Oprah’s friend. If I can just get through this, everybody’s gonna love me again.”

King tried to get him back on topic by reminding him that they were talking about the documentary series.

“Oh, right. These people made a six-part documentary about me. Six. That’s almost ten!” Kenan’s Kelly said. “And not one of them said a nice thing about me. They made it seem like I was the devil. I’m not the devil. And even if I was, you can’t think of one nice thing to say about the devil? I can. Nice horns. Gives good advice.”

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“So why do you think people are making these lies up about you?” King interjected.

“For money, obviously. I’m a very rich man. And people are always trying to take advantage of me.”

“Well, if you’re so rich, why did it take so long to pay $160,000 you owe back in child support?”

“Damn, that’s a good question,” Kelly said, in song again. “I wasn’t expecting that. Now I have to switch directions and get some sympathy back.

And then Kelly gave his answer: “Because I’m a very poor man.”

The sketch ended with a rare fourth-wall break on the “Live from New York” exclamation, with Kenan as R Kelly turning the wrong way and yelling it at the back wall of the set before Jones as King set him straight.

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Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon In Talks to Join Jason Reitman’s ‘Ghostbusters’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Finn Wolfhard and Carrie Coon are in talks to join the cast of Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Much of the plot remains under wraps, but it follows a single mom and her family. Coon is in talks to play the mom, while Wolfhard would play her son.

Reitman is directing and also co-wrote the screenplay with Gil Kenan. Reitman’s father, Ivan Reitman (who also directed and produced the original film) will produce. The film is expected to go into production this summer and is slated for release summer 2020.

See Video: Ghostbusters Are Back in First Teaser for Jason Reitman’s Sequel

It will be the second official sequel following 1988’s “Ghostbusters 2.” The film will have no connection to the female-led 2016 film directed by Paul Feig that starred Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

Coon most recently starred in “Kin” and “Widows,” as well as the “Fargo” TV series and “The Leftovers.” She is represented by UTA, Foundation Talent Management and Peikoff Mahan.

Also Read: Leslie Jones Calls ‘Ghostbusters’ Sequel ‘Insulting’ and ‘a D– Move’

Wolfhard is best known for his role in Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” His other recent credits include “It,” “Dog Days” and “Carmen Sandiego.” He is represented by CAA, Velocity Entertainment, Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Variety first reported the news. Sony had no comment.

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‘SNL’: Wilbur Ross Visits ‘Meet the Press’ to Explain What a D— Pic Is (Video)

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‘Saturday Night Live’ Takes on the State of Journalism, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Selfie Scandal (Watch)

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Leslie Jones Calls ‘Ghostbusters’ Sequel ‘Insulting’ and ‘a D— Move’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Leslie Jones is not happy with Tuesday’s announcement that Sony is planning another “Ghostbusters” sequel, which will ignore the 2016 female-driven revival in which she starred.

“So insulting,” she wrote in a tweet Saturday, adding that it’s like the version she starred in “dint [sic] count.”

“It’s like something trump would do,” she tweeted. “(Trump voice) ‘Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers’ ugh so annoying. Such a d–k move. And I don’t give f–k I’m saying something!!”

See the tweet at the bottom.

Also Read: Ghostbusters Are Back in First Teaser for Jason Reitman’s Sequel (Video)

Jason Reitman has co-written a screenplay with Gil Kenan and will direct the new sequel to the original “Ghostbusters,” which was directed by Reitman’s father, Ivan Reitman in 1984, as well as the 1989 sequel.

Described as “the next chapter” in the story started by the 1984 original, it will involve the passing of a torch to a new generation of paranormal investigators.  The new film will have no connection to the 2016 film directed by Paul Feig that starred Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.

The as-yet untitled film will go into production this summer for release in summer 2020.

Also Read: Funny or Die Mashes Up ‘Ghostbusters’ With Jake Gyllenhaal’s ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ (Video)

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Kathy Griffin Says Leslie Jones Was In Talks to Replace Andy Cohen on CNN’s New Year’s Eve Telecast

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Kathy Griffin said CNN was in talks with “Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones to replace Andy Cohen as this year’s New Year’s Eve telecast co-host.

Griffin was fired from the show and replaced by Cohen last year after she posed in a photo with a replica of President Trump’s severed head. She said Jones’ deal eventually fell through because the offer was downgraded to a “guest role” appearance.

“I heard from a few different people that the hilarious Leslie Jones was in talks to co-host CNN’s New Year’s telecast with Anderson Cooper this year,” Griffin wrote. “I was elated when I heard this news. If I can’t get the gig, I will cheer for Leslie. I don’t know her, but I thought it was such a great idea for CNN to have a woman of color over 50 who is so sharp, improvisational, and hilarious. I was ready to congratulate her publicly.”

Also Read: Sorry, Kathy Griffin! Anderson Cooper Reteams With Andy Cohen for CNN’s ‘New Year’s Eve Live’

Jones is co-hosting NBC’s New Years Eve telecast with “The Voice’s” Carson Daly and Chrissy Teigen.

Reps for CNN, NBC and Jones did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Griffin also said that NBC — where Jones works as an “SNL” cast member —  threw a wrench in the negotiations because the network did not want her to appear on another network. But Griffin noted that Cohen is also under contract with NBC, through its Bravo network. Griffin has repeatedly spoken ill of Cohen.

“You have to admit, it didn’t make sense that NBC Uni wouldn’t have a problem with Andy Cohen, who also works for NBC Uni, appearing on CNN, but would have a problem with Leslie?” Griffin said. “Since Leslie didn’t work out, CNN couldn’t find one woman standup comic star to co-host? Jeff?”

The “Jeff” she referenced is CNN boss Jeff Zucker. She also said that eight years into the job, she asked for a raise, and that Zucker was “so angry” he docked 30 percent of her pay.

“The first two years I appeared on CNN, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for a salary. The 8th year when I asked Jeff Zucker for a raise, he was so angry he docked me 30%. I’m sorry to say I took the pay cut because I truly enjoyed making you all laugh,” Griffin wrote.

She said that by her 10th year hosting, she worked her way up to a fee of $150,000.

Some of the tweets are below. You can read the rest here.

G) Anything less than co-hosting screams to me very little or no pay, and a lack of respect for someone who is such a proven talent, has a big fan base, and knows what she’s doing. She has paid her dues and then some!

— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 31, 2018

L) I worked my way up by the 10th year at CNN to get a fee of $150,000. By the way, just as a point of reference, Anderson Cooper regularly bragged for years that his annual CNN contract was $10 million a year.

— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 31, 2018

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‘SNL’: Kate McKinnon’s Laura Ingraham Wants You To Know That ‘If You Have Less Than Five Guns, You’re Gay’ (Video)

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Leslie Jones Live Tweets ‘Shape of Water,’ Asks ‘What the F–?’ About Interspecies Sex Scene

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones live tweeted while watching Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi love story “The Shape of Water” and had one thing to say about that odd girl-on-amphibian-man sex scene: “What am I watching?”

Most of Jones’ tweets were simple observations, like, “Ok I need to barf now!” after Michael Shannon’s character proudly announced that he doesn’t wash his hands after using the urinal.

But it’s the interaction between Sally Hawkins’ Elisa and Doug Jones’ amphibian man that left the comedian flummoxed.

Also Read: ‘Shape of Water’ Actor Doug Jones Says Sex Toy Based on His Character Is ‘Not Exactly What I’d Hoped For’

For those who haven’t seen “The Shape of Water,” it’s about a lonely mute cleaning lady in a secret research facility who forms a unique relationship with an amphibian man held in captivity.

Take a look at just a few of Jones’ tweets. Oh, and be warned, Jones’ language gets a little racy.

Ok I need to barf now! You believe you more if a man cause you don’t wash your hands ew! #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/eTc39WKFEv

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 20, 2018

So let me get this straight.. #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/kAMieeOOeh

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

How you gonna explain a fish man to your landlord?! #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/PPOBAy76Og

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

Ok I need to know yo!! #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/WOIsqp1vVY

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

Also Read: ‘The Shape of Water’ Film Review: Guillermo del Toro’s Glorious Romance Blends Horror and Delight

What is wrong with us?! #therewasdamnsexscenewiththefishman #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/zch2qcACKi

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

I’m enraged right now!! You good and damn well know…#thisinotarealisticreactionfromasista #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/aI69JkYYD1

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

Like what am I watching? #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/IsoDiHp0FP

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

Ok I’m done now! #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/1Et81Sh7F6

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

Ok soooooo.. thanks a lot people!! #shapeofwater pic.twitter.com/tTVX4zhW8X

— Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) October 21, 2018

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The Baltimore PD Isn’t Happy With This ‘SNL’ Sketch: ‘Not Humor at All’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police was not laughing at Saturday’s “SNL” — or at least, not at its “Traffic Stop” sketch, which featured Leslie Jones, Ego Nwodim and Kate McKinnon as some thirsty Charm City cops. In the skit, the ladies pulled over a tipsy Seth Meyers and proceeded to flirt with him instead of administering a field sobriety test.

In an open letter to “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, Lt. Gene S. Ryan called it a “distorted representation” of what his officers do when they pull over a drunk driver. Or ever, really.

“We must take issue with the grossly inapt portrayal of our members during this particular sketch,” he wrote. “As you are most likely aware, the Baltimore Police Department is currently a very beleaguered agency in the throes of massive criticism and disrespect. Many of our members, especially our younger ones, are struggling with their choice of career and we are losing good and credible members daily. It is a difficult time in Baltimore and to portray our brave, hard-working members with such an inappropriate manner is very unfortunate.”

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“We feel very strongly that the comedy that was attempted in the ‘Traffic Stop’ segment fell short of being humorous, and felt instead, like a sharp jab at a group of people who have dedicated their lives to serving others,” Ryan continued. “Some may think it’s funny, and clearly, you and your cast do as well. We, on the other hand, believe that humor at the expense of our brave membership is not humor at all.”

When reached by TheWrap, a spokeswoman for “Saturday Night Live” declined to comment on the letter. A show insider pointed out to us that Nwodim, who wrote the sketch, is a Baltimore native. She intended the selection of her hometown to be a “shout-out” that was “meant in a heartfelt way,” this person told us.

Readers can watch the “Traffic Stop” sketch via the video above.

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See Ryan’s full letter below. High up, he acknowledges that “SNL” is a comedy show, in case you were wondering.

We have sent the following letter to Mr. Lorne Michaels, producer of Saturday Night Live, on behalf of our members. pic.twitter.com/sceWejrLJI

— Baltimore City FOP (@FOP3) October 17, 2018

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‘SNL’: Americans Hate Their Phones After Trump’s Presidential Alert (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“SNL” skewered a bunch of recent events in American politics with its second episode in Season 44. After taking on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the cold open, “Saturday Night Live” turned its attention to Donald Trump’s new “Presidential Alert” system.

The digital short sketch found Americans of all walks of life receiving their first “Presidential Alert” on their phones — an Amber Alert-style text message that comes straight from the president, “in case of emergency.” That first tweet came to Americans’ phones Wednesday this week, but the “SNL” sketch imagines the situation escalating pretty quickly.

As with Trump’s Twitter feed, the Presidential Alerts become more and more unhinged over the course of the sketch. Unlike Trump’s tweets, though, Americans are forced to read the alerts.

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Watch the sketch above.

“Failing New York Times says I cheated on taxes!” One alert reads. “Duh! It’s called being smart!”

“Puerto Rico is fine now!” goes another. “I guess paper towels worked!”

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The sketch goes on to talk about how other presidents have directly addressed the American people, going back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s televised fireside chats. Trump, on the other hand, has tweets and Presidential Alerts, which can get his message out straight to the public — no matter what that message is.

Later Presidential Alerts include messages like, “Hurricane Florence got the Carolinas so wet I thought it was the premiere of ‘Magic Mike,’ ” “Warning: White men are under attack,” “Kid Rock sounds better than ever,” and “Congrats to good guy Brett Kavanaugh. #BelieveMen.”

That last one was over the line for Kate McKinnon’s character in the sketch, who immediately dropped her phone into a hot dog vendor’s fryer.

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The sketch ends with scores of Americans throwing away their phones after being inundated with Presidential Alerts they can’t avoid that are all just like Trump’s tweets.

Only Heidi Gardner’s character gets by without receiving Trump alerts. That’s when the twist lands — the whole sketch is actually a parody ad for extremely cheap prepaid wireless service Cricket Wireless.

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Can We Count on Facebook and Google to Police the ‘Modern-Day Town Square’?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Should we count on Silicon Valley to protect us from the ugliest, most inflammatory speech? It’s a question worth asking, after several major tech companies, including Facebook, Apple and Spotify, recently banished online conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Google-owned YouTube added to his misery as well, terminating Jones’ channel, which had more than 2 million subscribers, soon after. The mass-exiling severely limits Jones’ reach and amounts to a collective muzzling of the shock jock — pushing him even further out on the periphery of the public conversation.

These companies “fulfill a roll that approximates a public square,” Geoffrey King, professor of media studies at UC Berkeley, told TheWrap. “It’s a really big deal to censor content or kick someone off your platform. It’s a decision they have the power to make, but it’s not one they should be undertaking lightly, to say the least.”

Also Read: Alex Jones’ InfoWars Terms of Service Makes the Same Argument Companies Used to Ban Him

The one conspicuous outlier, so far, has been Twitter. Chief executive Jack Dorsey said Twitter hasn’t banned Jones because he “hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does.” David Cohn, Senior Director at Advanced Publications, echoing King, told TheWrap Twitter is the last connection Jones has to the “modern-day town square.”

“He’s on Twitter, but if he was removed from Twitter, it would be virtually impossible to exist in the town square in any meaningful manner,” Cohen explained.

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has been the one standing between Jones being completely wiped away from major social media platforms

We already have Exhibit A. Just look at what happened to Milo Yiannopoulos after he was booted from Twitter two years ago. The one-time crown prince of “Make America Great Again” was making headlines on a daily basis with his college appearances in 2016. After Twitter permanently suspended him for blasting “SNL” star Leslie Jones, Yiannopoulos quickly turned into a blip on Google’s search results.

Also Read: Alex Jones Is Running Out of Platforms to Boot Him: Add MailChimp to List

There are plenty of people that would love to see that happen again. Jones is, well, a “buffoon,” as Cohn put it.  He’s said Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance was a covert satanic ritual. He’s said Democrats were plotting a second Civil War to take place on the Fourth of July earlier this year (that didn’t happen). Most notoriously, he’s said the Sandy Hook school shooting was a “hoax” — something he’s being sued over right now. He’s a walking meme. He’s “an empty vessel makes the loudest sound” come to life. In short: this isn’t a serious person.

But the fact that Facebook, Google, Twitter and Apple collectively hold the keys to the new town square is a serious concern.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seemed to understand this just a month ago. Zuckerberg called InfoWars “abhorrent,” but said censoring its content wasn’t the best solution.

Also Read: Michael Rapaport Celebrates Alex Jones’ Removal From YouTube, Facebook: ‘No Freedom of Speech for You’ (Video)

“I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say: ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times,’” Zuckerberg told Recode.

After initially deciding against banning InfoWars, Facebook dropped the outlet for violating its “hate speech and bullying policies”

That mindset has changed. And it sets a precedent that is “very concerning,” according to King, where tech companies capriciously silence voices it classifies as “hate speech.” Compounding matters, the companies have only vaguely pointed to what Jones said or did to receive his punishment. And it goes without saying those championing Jones’ dismissal won’t be as thrilled if or when a commentator they prefer is treated the same way.

“[Tech companies] can take down content — they have the power to say they just don’t like somebody. And we’ve seen that happen,” King said. “At a bare minimum — and I mean a really bare minimum — they need to be providing clarity, they need to be providing transparency, and they need to be providing process, to the maximum extent possible.”

Also Read: Alex Jones’ InfoWars Terms of Service Makes the Same Argument Companies Used to Ban Him

Many have argued this doesn’t really matter. Facebook, Apple and Google are private companies. They can do as they please. The First Amendment doesn’t apply here, after all. And charitably, it can be seen as tech looking to improve the “health of public conversation,” as Dorsey has put it, by clearing out some digital trolls. That Jones’ views are so odious, it would be irresponsible to let them reach millions of people.

But big tech’s speech policing has the “potential to backfire,” according to Cohn, because it thrusts added responsibility on companies like Facebook to judge what is worthy of being seen by its massive audience.

“For a long time, Facebook hasn’t wanted to be the arbiter of truth. This definitely is a backtrack from that,” Cohn said. “Granted, they can say it’s against our terms of service. But I think it’s a fair interpretation to say, no, this is actually a platform being an arbiter for the larger civil society about what is and isn’t acceptable. And that is a position that once you take with authority, becomes hard to back away from.”

Also Read: YouTube Pulls 4 Videos From Alex Jones’ InfoWars

It’s also a position that sets the companies up as hypocrites. When Louis Farrakhan is allowed to stay on Facebook, but not Jones, there’s clearly a lack of consistency. When Jones is allowed to stay on Twitter, but not right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes, it feels arbitrary.

One possible solution: as Yair Rosenberg pointed out last month in The Atlantic, this doesn’t have to be a binary choice between letting trolls thrive and jettisoning them altogether. When users hit a Holocaust denial page, for example, Rosenberg suggested Facebook include a disclaimer and a link to charities or partners like the United State Holocaust Museum. This gives users the agency to judge content on their own, while allowing the companies to take a principled stance at the same time.

Alex Jones, seen questioning an Amazon Echo in December 2017. “Are you connected to the CIA?”

Ironically, InfoWars received an initial spike in interest after it was banned last week — rocketing up the App Store charts. The ban turned Jones into a free speech crusader and dredged up familiar complaints of Silicon Valley having a political bias. But whether Jones, like Yiannopoulos, soon fades into obscurity is immaterial. Internet crackpots — and those credulous enough to follow along — aren’t going away anytime soon. Tech companies — and in particular, Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter — are “going to be grappling with this in perpetuity,” King said.

Also Read: Twitter Faces New Pressure to Ban Alex Jones: ‘End His Terror’ (Updated)

“This will happen again with a different Alex Jones, and the question is 1) are these platforms now saying they’ll always guard against these kind of things, and 2) are we as a polity comfortable with that?” Cohn concluded.

From what we’ve seen: the opaque rules, the arbitrary enforcement, and an overall lack of transparency, answering “no” appears justified. Silicon Valley already is the gatekeeper to the 21st century town square. It would serve its billions of users — and itself — best by not shutting out the next Alex Jones.

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