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28 Feb, 2020 23:02

Conservatives ‘censoring themselves in the age of censorship’? InfoWars kicked out of CPAC, triggering conference row

Conservatives ‘censoring themselves in the age of censorship’? InfoWars kicked out of CPAC, triggering conference row

InfoWars was shown the door at this year’s CPAC and journalist Owen Shroyer decided to hold court as he was being removed, demanding answers and calling the group hypocrites for censoring his outlet’s voice.

Online censorship of conservative voices has been a major topic on panels at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Donald Trump Jr. told a crowd on Friday morning at the convention that censorship and bias against conservative voices is “probably a top three issue” with his father’s “base” of voters. 

Ironically, that very afternoon CPAC took part in some censorship themselves by kicking journalist Owen Shroyer of InfoWars out of the event. 

In videos posted to social media by Shroyer, an unidentified representative for CPAC is seen telling him and his crew that they “need to go.” Before Shroyer can be exited out of the event, he announces to fellow attendees CPAC “is kicking InfoWars out,” an outlet he claimed was the most “popular group" there.

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In interviews with several independent journalists, Shroyer explained that InfoWars applied for a booth at CPAC, but was told there wasn’t “enough room” for them. Shroyer ended up paying for a pass himself. He says he was then invited to sit at various booths, but was told by CPAC officials he could not do that, so he complied. He then took to live streaming the event, which he was also told he could not do. He complied. He was then filming interviews with conservatives such as My Pillow founder Mike Lindell, which he was told he could not do unless he was in a specific area of the event. Once there, Shroyer took to filming and giving and getting interviews, and that’s when he was told to leave.

As he was being escorted away from the event, Shroyer yelled to attendees around him and complained he “followed all the rules” and that conservatives were “censoring themselves in the age of censorship.” 

Shroyer has claimed that “powerful people in high places made the decision to kick InfoWars out,” though he doesn’t know exactly who. 

Gavin McInnes, a frequent guest on InfoWars and the founder of the controversial right-wing group Proud Boys, was also kicked out of CPAC this year and escorted from the Gaylord Convention Center by security. McInnes told National File CPAC has become “p***y central” and he was likely kicked out because he was criticizing more mainstream outlets who were let into the convention. He was also given no official explanation though when he was removed. 

Founded by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — who has also been posting videos from CPAC — InfoWars has become increasingly controversial in recent years. Jones and his outlet were banned from YouTube, Apple and Twitter in 2018, and he was later banned by Facebook the following year. 

The removals came after critics accused Jones of pushing dangerous conspiracy theories, like that the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 was staged. Jones has pushed back against the charges and claimed he did not push the said conspiracy theory, and has since maintained several times in interviews that the shooting did in fact happen. 

Donald Trump appeared on InfoWars several times before becoming president and earned early support from Jones, who claimed he was in frequent contact with Trump while he was on the campaign trail. 

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