Gun Bill Debate: Should Politicians Be Streaming Sit-Ins?
When House Speaker Paul Ryan (i.e., the disapproving dad) turned off the lights/C-SPAN camera, lefty representatives (playing the role of unruly tweens) turned to Facebook Live and Periscope to stream their protest of a blocked gun control vote right before their Fourth of July recess.
Some are calling the move sophomoric (Republicans), others find it heroic (Democrats). We asked a group of super smart pundits and politicians for their thoughts on this social media maverick move. Who do you agree with?
Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and two-time presidential candidate
“I have no problem with House Democrats whining on Facebook. It’s a free country and free speech is guaranteed under the 1st Amendment. Maybe someday those guys will read the 2nd amendment and realize that it’s as sacred as the 1st.”
Tom Shillue, host of Fox News Channel's Red Eye
"I think what we learned is that our congressmen and women have no skills in other areas of their life. Their camera work is terrible! Your hand is over the microphone! Tilt up! I'm looking at the carpet!"
Nick Gillespie, libertarian editor in chief of Reason.com, Reason TV and Daily Beast columnist
"I don't agree with the substance of the Democratic lawmakers' sleep-in on the floor of the House of Representatives -- the participants are effectively urging an end to due process and a massive expansion of the government's power to surveil and create secret watch lists. But more power to Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat and other live-streaming and new-media platforms and apps. They are creating a world in which all of us -- whether congress people or just plain voters -- have more ways of delivering the truth as we see it happen around us."
Gavin McInnes, conservative founder of Vice magazine, host of The Gavin McInnes Show
“Everything should be a part of the political process. I don't see Facebook as a bastion of free speech and they already showed us they have a liberal bias but the more the merrier. Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant.”
Pete Dominick, liberal host of Sirius XM Insight’s Stand Up! With Pete Dominick
"Whether it's in your living room, or the floor of the house during a sit in, it's nice to see old people using young people technology to communicate -- now if someone will explain to them how to choose a better angle. ... Clearly Mark Zuckerberg was behind all of this."
S.E. Cupp, conservative CNN commentator, New York Daily News and Glamour columnist
"There's no more powerful tool than citizen journalism to agitate democracy. Facebook Live and other streaming platforms don't merely belong in politics, they will fundamentally change politics. Even if only to expose the sanctimonious grandstanding of lawmakers who didn't get their way."
Faith Salie, liberal CBS Sunday Morning contributor
"Of course it's appropriate. Since no one watches CSPAN, drawing eyes to the political process through Facebook is invaluable and makes more transparent the clusterf*ck that is Congress. But the Democratic representatives should change their Facebook status to ‘In a relationship’ with the American people as opposed to the GOP, who is ghosting them by refusing to vote on these two bills."