|Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, speaks to members of the NRB President's Council during their visit to The White House on September 26.|
Members of the NRB President’s Council gathered in Washington, D.C., this week for the 2018 Capitol Hill Media Summit and were presented with an insider’s perspective of the nation’s capital.
During the September 24-26 event, the council members participated in a briefing at The White House that included Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President; Mercedes Schlapp, White House Director of Strategic Communications; Jennifer Korn, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for the Office of Public Liaison; and Katy French Talento, White House Special Assistant to the President on the Domestic Policy Council.
Over the three days, they also heard from House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.); OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao; FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly; FOX News’ Shannon Bream; Alliance Defending Freedom’s Jeremy Tedesco; Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who received NRB’s 2018 Faith & Freedom Award.
After commencing Monday evening with some insights from Rep. Meadows, council members heard the next morning from NRB’s president & CEO, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, who set the tone for the summit by highlighting how the council’s support and encouragement last year for NRB’s Internet Freedom Watch initiative helped advance the association’s efforts to raise awareness of and counter censorship of Christian and conservative viewpoints by Big Tech companies.
|Members of the NRB President's Council pose for a photo during their visit to The White House on September 26.|
In addition to increased media coverage on the issue, NRB saw its calls for congressional hearings specifically on online censorship answered the following week by the House Judiciary Committee and House Energy & Commerce Committee in the wake of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional appearances earlier this year.
Johnson said NRB plans to issue another call at the end of the year if Big Tech companies don’t fix the problem of online censorship. The new call will be for Congress to examine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was inserted in the 1996 Telecommunications Act in part to facilitate “Good Samaritan” blocking of offensive content without exposing web companies to lawsuits based on content that their efforts may have missed.
Essentially, Johnson explained, the idea is that companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube should not get “the kind of legal coverage they have right now if they’re not going to be a neutral platform.”
“If you’re going censor a viewpoint, you’re essentially the sponsor of that content. And you do bear some legal responsibility, and someone may take you to court,” he said, reiterating comments he had made at the Reboot 2018 in San Francisco. “That doesn’t mean you’re guilty. You have the Constitution. You have the First Amendment still. But it doesn’t mean you have a blanket protection – which right now they have – this blanket protection that no one else has for their speech and for their content.”
|Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to members of the NRB President's Council during their visit to the U.S. Capitol on September 25.|
Johnson then went on to share how encouraged he is by the current White House administration, noting how President Trump and his staff are accomplishing their God-given assignment to protect life and freedom.
“Prudentially, this has been a very good administration,” Johnson said.
“[It’s] not perfect. We’ve never had that. We’re never going to have that. But it’s very good in the main thing that the government is meant to do and be,” he continued, after noting that “the primary job of government is to restrain evil.”
After Johnson’s address, the council members visited the U.S. Capitol for a meeting with Senate Majority Leader McConnell, who talked about some of the troubling trends that America has been witnessing, including how Democrats are looking at the judiciary as another legislative body.
He also decried the tactics employed to delay the process of confirming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and how some believe any allegation should be believed despite the fact that due process posits the rebuttable presumption of innocence.
“We’re going to vote on this, and we’re going to vote on this soon,” McConnell told the NRB leaders before thanking them for honoring him with the Faith & Freedom Award.
|Shannon Bream speaks to members of the NRB President's Council during their visit to the FOX News Studio on September 25.
Given the current controversy over Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, several other summit speakers also talked about the Supreme Court, with most noting how unprecedented the current “circus” is.
“We know how allegations like that would be handled if it was being done in a professional, honest way. And it’s not being handled in a professional, honest way,” noted Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, in his remarks to the President’s Council Wednesday morning.
“So they don’t want anyone who shares our beliefs to have any position of power, ever,” he added. “This is the equivalent of liberals standing at the schoolhouse door. No conservatives allowed in positions of power and influence in government.”
Also part of the 2018 Capitol Hill Media Summit was a tour of the FOX News studio, where Shannon Bream shared with council members about the journey that led her to FOX News.
For more information about the NRB President’s Council, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To view the list of current President's Council members, click here.
By NRB Staff
Published: September 27, 2018