House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (C) listens behind Majority Whip Steve Scalise (L) as Speaker Paul Ryan (R) speaks at a during a news conference. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — a fixture of the Washington establishment — has been given prime real estate on the most anti-establishment website in conservative media, Breitbart, pushing an issue that has fired up the far-right: Big Tech's online censorship of conservatives.

Between the lines: McCarthy’s people say they’re simply highlighting an issue that has negatively impacted conservatives, but political operatives in Washington are viewing every move he makes through the lens of the behind-the-scenes jostling to replace Paul Ryan as Speaker. McCarthy needs the votes of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus to become Speaker, and stories like this only help his cause on the hard right.

"This is probably the biggest issue to conservatives across the country that no one in the Beltway talks about. This issue actually rivals immigration as the issue at the forefront of the minds of conservatives.”
— A senior figure in the conservative movement to Axios

What they're saying: McCarthy's op-ed, in which he rails against Silicon Valley's role in campaign to "stigmatize and silence Americans who do not believe the latest in liberal ideology," was prompted by a recent Google search of the California GOP, his district, in the days before the California primary. The first thing that popped up was a box from Wikipedia, and "Nazism" was listed prominently in the ideology category.

  • "This piece supplements the message McCarthy has delivered over the past several weeks and the concerns conservatives have raised for some time," McCarthy's communications director, Matt Sparks, tells Axios. "And as the Majority Leader, highest ranking California Republican, and believer in technological advances having the power to do good, McCarthy is uniquely prepared to effectuate change to bring more openness, transparency, and trust to these platforms."

The reaction: Breitbart hyped the op-ed, making it the splash on its homepage with the sell line: “House Majority Leader calls out masters of the universe.”

  • Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the article, saying "Glad someone is finally pushing back!"
  • Brad Parscale, President Trump's 2020 campaign manager, retweeted McCarthy's link.
  • One America News Correspondent Jack Posobiec — a controversial online figure who has a large following on the right — also shared the article.

Worth noting: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who’s also in the running to replace Ryan, recently talked about the issue in a speech at a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, which Breitbart covered with the headline "Steve Scalise Slams Big Tech Bias at Road to Majority Conference."

Go deeper: Conservative leaders demand Big Tech end "censorship"

Editor's note: An earlier version of this piece mistakenly referred to the Breitbart article on Steve Scalise as an op-ed.

Go deeper

Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 31,245,797 — Total deaths: 963,693— Total recoveries: 21,394,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 6,856,884 — Total deaths: 199,865 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta crossed the Texas coast near the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula late Monday, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing with it the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of Texas and Louisiana.

What's happening: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency, as the states began feeling the impact of the slow-moving storm — which was causing coastal flooding along the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico Monday, per the National Weather Service.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!