White House Holds Summit on Social Media Bias

RUSH: Here’s what they are doing at the White House. This is the week, by the way, that the media and tech titans of the world get together out in Ketchum, Idaho, Sun Valley at a conference put on by Herbie Allen, Allen & Company. They are an M&A, mergers and acquisitions — they do deals in New York among media people.

So you’ve got the CEOs and the tech wizards from Apple, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Facebook, you name it, they’re all out there. Disney, CBS, ABC, NBC, the entertainment divisions, they’re all out there doing their weekly confab, and certain deals happen during this week. The capital cities, ABC Cap Cities was merged and taken over by Disney in a deal put together at this confab.

And the primary thing on the agenda out there, aside from software, artificial intelligence, is content delivery, streaming versus cable versus satellite versus over the air. And streaming services are popping up like dandelions in your backyard. The most recent one was announced yesterday by AT&T.

You know, AT&T now owns HBO. They own CNN. They basically took over Time Warner. They announced a streaming service called HBO Max that will debut in the spring of 2020. Apple has a streaming service. YouTube TV. PlayStation Vue is Sony. AT&T already has one out there called DirecTV Now. And then there’s Netflix.

Now, do you know what the most watched program on Netflix is? The Office. I don’t know if I should tell people I have yet to see an episode of that show. Think it’d be a mistake to admit that? Well, I mean, in an ongoing basis, okay, like Stranger Things season three, Netflix is claiming that a full 33% of their worldwide subscribers have already watched all eight episodes or how many there are of Stranger Things, season three.

I tried it. I tried Stranger Things season one. And I just couldn’t get through it. There’s not enough of the monster in it. I don’t know what the purpose. Probably it matters that I don’t have kids running around and so none of that — I guess it’s a show about kids coming of age, you know, making out. Been there, done that. So I can’t get into it. But it’s apparently overwhelmingly popular. But aside from the one-offs like this, the ongoing number one show is The Office followed by Friends.

Well, guess what? Netflix is gonna lose both of those in 2020 because the people that own those two shows — that’s NBCUniversal — are gonna start their own streaming service. So whereas the Millennials hated cable — to me, this is funny, but it’s serious at the same time. The Millennials, my tech buddies, they hate cable because you have to pay for it. They just hate anything you have to pay for, particularly if you have to pay for a bunch of channels you’ll never watch to get the channels that you want.

So when streaming started, they celebrated, it was a great day, cable companies were gonna take it on the chin, satellite companies are gonna take it on the chin. Now streaming, if you want to be able to access everything that you used to be able to get with a cable subscription is gonna cost you 10 times what it costs you to have a cable subscription because all of these streaming services are gonna have exclusive content. Like Friends and The Office will only be on one streaming service. So if you love it, you’re gonna have to have that.

But then if you like HBO, you might have to subscribe to another service if your service to give you Friends and The Office doesn’t provide HBO. Now, HBO is everywhere right now, but since AT&T owns them they might restrict HBO to use it as a loss leader to sell subscribers on their streaming service. It’s getting bifurcated.

So that’s what these clowns in Sun Valley are all talking about today, is how to stay in business. ‘Cause there’s only so many subscribers that you can get. There’s only so many subscriptions you can sell. And it’s getting split up and becoming impossible. It will not be possible – like it used to with cable, you could subscribe to a cable service and get everything you wanted. That isn’t gonna happen with streaming.

Now the tech blog buddies of mine are just beside themselves. They think that they have been the subject of a giant screw job. They think they were manipulated into hating cable to promote streaming, and now that streaming has taken off, it’s gonna cost them much more unless they can find ways to steal it. So these titans of industry are out in Sun Valley talking about it while what’s going on at the White House?

Well, the White House is having their own social media summit today. And guess who isn’t there? All the people in Sun Valley. Twitter is not there. Facebook is not there, MySpace, whatever they are, they’re not there!

“The White House has invited well-known conservative social media figures … to meet with President Trump on Thursday for what’s being billed as a ‘social media summit’ to discuss anti-conservative bias by big tech companies and other issues.” And Trump tweeted all about it this morning. He said, “Will be a big and exciting day at the White House for Social Media!”

It’s taking “place in the East Room of the White House, is expected to cover accusations that companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter treat conservatives unfairly.” It’s not an accusation, it’s true. There’s no “if” about it.

“A big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies,” Trump tweeted. “We will not let them get away with it much longer.” Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, “says tech companies are engaging in oppression of conservative ideas.”

And so while the titans are out in Sun Valley discussing where to go, what to do next, how to merge, how to join forces, the White House has got a summit going on how to beat them, or at least get them to shape up.

This is a great example. This kind of stuff never used to happen. This is Trump pushback extraordinaire. This is Trump fighting back. And it wouldn’t be happening were it not for Trump. He’s gonna use executive orders to get the citizenship question back on the census, for example.