We've made it quite clear that U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who represents the folks just across the state line from Tennessee in Northwest Georgia, is not our favorite conservative Republican.
Her outright false statements, her twisting of the truth in other cases and her insults, to use every baby boomer's mother's phrase, just aren't becoming for a member of the United States Congress.
But we had to roll our eyes at her permanent suspension from Twitter Sunday for what the company said was a violation of its COVID-19 misinformation policies.
Twitter is a private company, so it can make its own rules, interpret its rules and act on those rules. Within limits, we don't want to tell a private company how to do its business.
But if the left-leaning company believes it's going to silence the right-leaning politician by removing her from a social platform, it's not as smart as we thought.
Oh, the left was all atwitter (pun intended) Monday because of the action, but a similar ban on former President Donald Trump hasn't kept his comments, endorsements and insults from reaching the eyes and ears of anyone who wanted to look or listen for them.
Indeed, the ban only serves to give Greene more attention. After all, the national media writes about the ban, celebrities who couldn't tell you what the congresswoman stands for tweet about the ban, pundits in lockstep with a ban on anything conservative opine on the correctness of the ban, and right-wing outlets bemoan the ban.
The upshot is similar to that of your elementary-school classmate who acted out to get attention. If his antics bothered a classmate and the classmate protested, he got more attention. If the teacher interrupted her lesson to call him out, he got more attention. If he got sent to the principal's office, he got more attention.
Author Oscar Wilde could have had Greene in mind when he said: "The only thing thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."
And carnival man P.T. Barnum is reported to have said this: "There's no such thing as bad publicity."
To be clear, Greene can still tweet from her congressional account, @RepMTG, in which she has - in relative figures - only slightly fewer followers than on her personal account. And there are other places to go, even if not as prominent. As soon as the ban was announced, for instance, she commented on GETTR, a social media platform run by a former Trump adviser, "Twitter is an enemy to America and can't handle the truth," adding that she plans to "show America we don't need them and it's time to defeat our enemies."
And as with Trump, the media can't stay away from anything she might say publicly out of fear she'll something controversial, something that might increase readership or viewership.
Nevertheless, left-leaning Rolling Stone sought to buck up the ban by citing three studies in which little-known conspiracy theorists or right-wing channels had been removed from the likes of Facebook and YouTube with the result of less disinformation and extreme speech. But none had Greene's prominence and bully pulpit.
What supposedly got the first-term representative removed from her personal Twitter account was a tweet that, according to CNN, included a misleading paragraph showing deaths purportedly related to COVID-19 vaccines. Greene, it has been said, was able to access some raw data on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Adverse events, including deaths, have been reported on VAERS, according to CNN, but few have been causally linked to the vaccine.
What we find interesting is that the cable news network labeled her words "misleading" rather than "false" or "wrong" or "inaccurate." The number of politicians - or non-politicians, for that matter - who say, write or tweet misleading things on a daily basis is legion. If what got Greene banned was "misleading" as opposed to "false," a whole lot of people should be booted from the platform.
But our point isn't to substantiate Greene, only to say that her political compatriots and opponents - we're looking at you, Democratic Squad members - have been just as misleading in their various proclamations and pronouncements.
The ban of the Northwest Georgia congresswoman does something else, too. It continues to send the message that Twitter is biased. We won't get into the arguments today about Section 230, a part of U.S. law that provides immunity from civil liability for online platforms based on third-party content (and for its removal in certain circumstances), but a growing number of politicians think that immunity ought to be lifted for such bias.
We don't dream that perception of bias is going to stop active users, but it only deepens the distrust of media in general. And that doesn't portend well for the country.