OK, so, Bernie Sanders and former President Donald Trump walk into a bar.
Bartender says, “Whaddya know?”
Sanders and Trump respond at the same time: “Twitter is overreaching.”
Is that a joke? Technically, yes, because to our knowledge that event never happened.
But Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., has landed on Trump’s side in the Great Twitter Ban saga.
The former president – and to some a perhaps reforming Twitter addict – found his account permanently suspended in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Obviously, Republicans were incensed and saw this as an aggressive move by another left-leaning media organization. The GOP narrative was that Twitter was biased and engaging in political censorship, and some liberals also voiced concerns.
In a New York Times interview published Tuesday, Sanders underscored the importance of a sitting U.S. president being able to express whatever views he feels he needs to express via public platforms.
He did, however, preface those thoughts with a string of very descriptive adjectives.
“Look, you have a racist, sexist, xenophobe, pathological liar, an authoritarian … a bad news guy,” Sanders said. “But if you’re asking me do I feel particularly comfortable that the then president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about that.”
What’s the right answer? Not clear. Sanders referenced a balance is needed to avoid social media being used “for authoritarian purposes and insurrection.”
But Sanders was clear about potential trouble caused when a “handful of high tech people” are deciding the limits of free speech.
Trump senior adviser Jason Miller recently said Trump plans to return to social media with his own service, and that the former president has had “high-powered meetings” at Mar-a-Lago with various teams regarding the venture.