Transcript of Alex Berenson speech at CPAC 2021. Berenson worked at The Times from 1999 until 2010.
Honestly, as surprised as any of you that I’m here, if you knew my voting record, you think I should be speaking at the ACLU, not CPAC. But times have changed. And The New York Times, where I used to work, has changed. I never would have imagined being on Fox regularly. Well, the Times either ignored me or tried to bash me. But but it’s not me, it’s it’s the Times and columnists at The New York Times now regularly call for censorship. When you hear realities, are that censorship? When you hear deep, deep platforming, FOX News trying to get cable companies to drop Fox from their basic tier so that people have to pay extra for when they don’t have to pay extra for MSNBC or CNN. That’s censorship. It whether it’s government controlled or not, it’s censorship. And the Times actually and other elite media outlets have gone beyond that. Now, reporters spend significant amounts of time looking for people, public figures usually, but not always, who’ve said things they consider, words they consider bad or spouted, ideas they consider bad and trying to flog those people publicly. I don’t know when that became journalism. It seems to be journalism now at The New York Times and other big outlets.
But these people are frustrated, they’re frustrated because they can’t control the debate as completely as they would like. They’re frustrated because seventy five million people voted for Donald Trump and they think, you know, they think that’s a cataclysmic. So they’ve so they’ve actually turned to an even more powerful group, they’ve turned to big tech, they’ve turned to Amazon and Facebook and and Apple and Google, the most powerful companies in the world right now, the biggest companies by market cap, the companies that in an information age are the information. And they’ve asked those places they’ve beat up on those places to help them censor.
It is it is amazing to me to see journalists asking technology companies for help in censorship. But that’s happening. And Tech has agreed to this partly out of ideology and partly because it’s in their interest, it seems.
And so so we’re at a time where Facebook will dump groups. It doesn’t like where YouTube will prevent people from uploading videos that that have information that runs, quote unquote, contrary to established health advice about covid, when in reality that advice has changed over and over again. The guidance about masks, the guidance about whether antibodies are protective. The guidance about whether school openings may be dangerous. That’s changed over and over again. But whatever today’s official version is, you are in trouble if you try to speak out against it.
And in June, Amazon would not let me publish this book. I was very lucky. Elon Musk and other people spoke up for me and Amazon relented, but. But this censorship is still happening, there’s lots of people who can’t get their stuff published on Amazon, and it’s not just about covid you may have seen earlier this week, Amazon stop selling a book from a conventional publisher, a conservative, but a conventional publishing house that was about it’s called When Harry Became Sally. It’s about transgender, the transgender movement. And they decided for some reason they didn’t like it and weren’t going to sell it. So all of this, you know, it’s happening together, and I’m not saying that that Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are having a conference call about this, but it is by design. It is it is squeezing the flow of information. And it’s extraordinarily dangerous for big companies to do this when they’re quasi monopolies. But journalists, the people who should be speaking out against this, are cheering it on. So this is especially true from my point of view when it comes to covid, because these companies, notably Amazon, but Facebook to Google too, they all profit from Lockdown’s, they profit from keeping you in your house, from destroying gatherings like this. And when ideology and profit are running the same way, it’s almost impossible to get people to consider, reconsider their actions or consider the negative consequences of their actions.
So so what can we do?
You know, there’s some of us out there who see these risks and we’re trying to talk about what we’re trying to fight about it. My badge says I’m self-employed, which which is lucky for me. It means that I can I can speak without having to worry about what the my ideologic, my masters at that times want me to say what their ideology of the day is. And there’s other journalists out there who are self-employed and and I think we’re starting to to fight. But the truth is.
The truth is, even though the beds are self-employed, it’s not true. I’m employed by all of you. I’m employed by everybody out there who wants facts and data that don’t come with an ideological spin. And I’m going to keep doing that. And I know other people are going to keep doing that.
And so I am stuck with or have fallen in with or however you want to put it, the conservative movement, because because right now you’re more committed to freedom of thought and speech and debate than anyone else. And you should be proud of that.
It is sad that people who think they know best won’t even talk to you and won’t even debate you, that’s that’s how are they scared or what are they? I don’t know. But it needs to stop freedom of debate and freedom of speech and freedom of the press. As we know, they’re central to the United States. And I’m proud to announce that I’m going to have a book about the pandemic coming out called Pandemic, Regnery is publishing it. Regnery is a conservative publisher.
That’s not why I picked them. I picked them because I know they’re going to let me write the book I want to write. And if it’s criticizing Donald Trump, so be it.
And Joe Biden, so be it. And that’s a guarantee that nobody else can make right now.
So you can you can buy that book on Amazon right now.
You can preorder it if Amazon will still sell it in six months. We’ll see when it comes out. But one way or another, the truth is going to come out and hopefully we’ll all be there for it. Thank you. Thank you very much.
The above is a transcript which not necessarily reflects full speech