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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

With just weeks to go until Nov. 3, controversies surrounding the media seem to be gobbling up most of country's attention.

Why it matters: In a healthy democracy, the media shouldn't be the story.

Driving the news: Twitter and Facebook became the subject of a censorship controversy Wednesday when both firms took sweeping measures to reduce the spread of a New York Post story containing damaging information about Hunter Biden.

  • Their actions were done in an effort to curb the spread of potentially hacked materials, but Twitter in particular ended up backtracking from the way it handled the censorship.
  • By the end of the day on Thursday, Senate Republicans were vowing to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to explain the platform's decision on curbing the spread of the Post story.

On Wednesday, a flurry of press coverage exploded over internal backlash against NBC for scheduling its town hall with President Trump at the same time that ABC scheduled its town hall with Joe Biden.

  • Stories about the drama at NBC and the president's reaction to the dueling town halls dominated the news cycle Wednesday and much of Thursday morning.

On Thursday, C-SPAN suspended its longtime political editor Steve Scully for lying about being hacked on Twitter.

  • Scully's lie was tied to a public tweet he sent asking former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci: "should I respond to Trump."
  • Scully was supposed to be moderating the second presidential debate Thursday before it was cancelled due to President Trump's refusal to participate.
  • Conservatives said it proved the media's bias against President Trump.

Go deeper

After impeachment, Trump says he "unequivocally" condemns U.S. Capitol violence

Photo: MANDEL NGAN via Getty

President Trump condemned political violence in a video Wednesday evening exactly one week after a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol in a deadly siege, and hours after the House voted to impeach him for a second time.

Why it matters: The video, posted to the White House's official Twitter account, came as the president faces an impeachment trial in the Senate after 10 Republicans voted with House Democrats for impeachment.

Updated Jan 12, 2021 - Technology

A tale of two Jacks

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Costfoto (Barcroft Media), Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

In China, President Xi Jinping has silenced Alibaba founder Jack Ma and launched an antitrust investigation into his company after the e-commerce tycoon publicly criticized state regulators. In the U.S., Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has suspended President Donald Trump's accounts after the president used the platform to incite violence.

The big picture: The juxtaposition of two almost perfectly inverse situations reveals how differently China and the U.S. have approached the management of tech giants and digital information.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.