Sunday Talks – Mark Warner, Senate Intelligence Committee Very Upset U.S Govt Cannot Control TikTok Content

Sunday Talks – Mark Warner, Senate Intelligence Committee Very Upset U.S Govt Cannot Control TikTok Content

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Chairman Mark Warner is very concerned about the U.S. government inability to control, restrict and censor the information within the TikTok social media platform.

As outlined in this Face the Nation interview with Margaret Brennan, Chairman Warner states it is very alarming that China may permit content that is against the interests of the U.S. government to control it.  Additionally, by law, the Chinese platform “has to be willing to turn over data to the Communist Party“.

Now, if you find yourself thinking, how is this different from U.S. laws that force Twitter, Facebook, Apple or Google to turn over user data to the DOJ/FBI, well, you are probably too smart for this regime narrative and should officially consider yourself a dissident American intellectual. Just sayin’.

The bottom line is very simple when you look at TikTok from the position of the U.S. surveillance state.  The Dept of Homeland Security can only monitor TikTok content, they cannot do anything to modify, remove, censor or control the content, as a result TikTok exists as an existential threat.  WATCH:

[Transcript] –  MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to Senator Mark Warner, the Democratic Chairman of the Intelligence Committee. He joins us from King George Virginia. Good morning to you, Senator.

SEN. MARK WARNER: Good morning Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It was a pretty intense five hours of questioning of Tiktok CEO this past week. Your bipartisan bill has White House support, and it would deal with Tiktok by giving the Commerce Department power to review and potentially ban technology flagged by US intelligence as a credible threat. Will it pass in a divided Congress?

SEN. WARNER: Well, Margaret, will – we’re now up to 22 Senators. 11 Democrats. 11 Republicans. We’ve had strong interest from the House. I think they wanted to get through their hearing. And clearly  while I appreciated Mr. Chew’s testimony, he just couldn’t answer the basic question. At the end of the day, Tiktok is owned by a Chinese company Bytedance. And by Chinese law, that company has to be willing to turn over data to the Communist Party. Or one of my bigger fears, we got 150 million Americans on Tiktok average of about 90 minutes a day, and how that channel could be used for propaganda purposes –


SEN. WARNER: -or disinformation, advocated by the Communist Party.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But has the White House made clear to you that they want this bill to pass and do intend to ban it? Or is a forced sale more likely?

SEN. WARNER: Well, I think the White House is very in favor of this bill. And clearly this is not just a phenomenon in America. We’ve seen Canada act. We’ve seen the UK act. Matter of fact, the Dutch said, if you’re a media person, please get off TikTok, the Chinese are spying on you. India’s already banned the bill- banned it outright. We give the Secretary of Commerce the tools to ban, to force a sale, other tools. And end of the day, one of the things that may lead to a ban is the Chinese Communist Party has said they felt like the algorithm, the source code that resides in Beijing, is so important that they’d rather see a ban than give that source code up to be placed in a third country, which again, I think speaks volumes about the potential threat that this application poses.


Well, the Commerce Secretary though recently said that the politician in her thinks a ban will mean losing every voter under 35. Forever. And if you look at use of Tiktok I mean, just last week, President Biden showed up and celebrity videos on Tiktok from the White House. Plenty of lawmakers, including your Democratic colleagues, Senator Cory Booker use it. A number of House progressives use it, given how important this platform is to Democrats, can you actually get TikTok taken care of before 2024 when you might need it for political outreach?

SEN. WARNER: Margaret, I think there’s a lot of creative activity that goes on on Tiktok, but I absolutely believe that the market- if TikTok goes away, the market will provide another platform and at the end of the day, that could be an American company. It could be a Brazilian company, it could be an Indian company. All those companies–


MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, but the Commerce Secretary is saying there’s a political cost if it goes away–

SEN. WARNER: –operate within a set of rules that–

MARGARET BRENNAN: and that’s what she fears.

SEN. WARNER: I think –

MARGARET BRENNAN: And you’re empowering her.

SEN. WARNER: Listen, I have met- I have met with Gina Raimondo on this issue. I think she will make very clear that she believes TikTok is a threat as well. And listen, if at the end of the day, you could end up with a forced sale. And that forced sale also makes sure that the core algorithm, the source code resides someplace different than China, that could be a outcome that would be successful as well. At the end of the day, you cannot have American data collected. Nor can you have the ability for the Communist Party to use TikTok as a propaganda tool.


60% of the company is owned by other investors, including US firms. So is this a policy that you really need to address with Americans to stop them from investing in companies like this?

SEN. WARNER: Well, that’s one of the reasons why I think our approach – the RESTRICT Act says – rather than dealing with Tiktok in a one off fashion, or a few years back, it was Huawei, the Chinese telecom provider or years earlier, the Russian software company Kaspersky. We need to have a set of tools, rules-based so they can stand up in court, Tiktok would still did get his day in court, even under our law that says, if there’s a foreign technology from a place like China and Russia, and it poses a national security threat, and one of the things we also require is that the intelligence community has to declassify as much of this information as possible. So it’s not simply like, hey, trust the government, we got to make the case. And I do think at the end of the day, if it ends up with a ban, there will be other platforms for the literally millions of influencers and folks who like this kind of video platform, they’ll still be able to get it.


Very quickly. They’re a number of Republican lawmakers who plan to meet with Taiwan’s president when she is here on US soil. Are any Democrats, will you?


You know, I I’m not sure when the president of Taiwan is coming to the United States –


MARGARET BRENNAN: -they announced March 30 and again in April.

SEN. WARNER: Okay, I’m not sure. Well, if there- if there’s an invitation made to me and other Democrats, listen, I would like to have that meeting as well. I think protecting and ensuring the security of Taiwan is in America’s national interest.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you, since you sit on the Senate Banking Committee about this rolling turmoil that we are in. You are one of 16 Democrats who voted in 2018 to change those Dodd Frank banking regulations regarding the mid-size banks, which obviously has been scrutinized, because that size bank is where we have seen recent issues. I know you’ve defended the vote in recent days. Do you think there needs to be more regulation of mid-size banks, now?

SEN. WARNER: Well, Margaret, Tuesday, we’re going to start getting the facts at the Senate Banking Committee. And if it ends up that a stress test that would have been applied to these mid-size banks would have spotted this, of course, I’d add additional regulation. I think, though, what it appears to me is two things happened. One, basic banking regulation. If this has been only a $5 billion bank, not a $200 billion bank, should have spotted the fact that this management, and the regulators missed basic banking 101, the interest rate mismatch. And two: one of the things that I think we also have to look at is this was the first time we’ve had an internet-based run. There was literally $42 billion taken out of this bank in six hours. That’s the equivalent of 25 cents on the dollar. And I’d like to know why some of the venture capitalists spurred this run in the first place.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Interesting topic. I want to ask you, though, as well, about your relationship with SVB bank, and political donations. USA Today had a great big list of all of the entities SVB’s political action committee or CEO had donated to. It’s the DNC. It’s President Biden’s 2020 campaign. Senator Schumer says he’s going to give back the money he received or donate it. Representatives Maxine Waters, Ro Khanna have returned the donations. You received $21,600 from their political action committee, nearly six grand from its CEO. Do you feel any pressure to give those funds away? Is there a point to it?

SEN. WARNER: Well, first of all, Margaret, campaign contributions have never affected my policy choices. They never have, and they never will. We’re going to hear the facts on Tuesday. And if there’s malfeasance at the bank, of course, I’m gonna give the money back.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Senator, before I let you go, I want to just follow up on what you shared with us when we spoke back in January, when you were very frustrated that the administration wasn’t sharing more information about the classified materials improperly held by the current president when he was out of office and the former president. You’ve been briefed. Any more clarity on this? Any further information?

SEN. WARNER: We need more information about these documents. And more importantly, we need to make sure that what the intel community has done to mitigate the harm. And we’re still in conversations with the Justice Department, the administration’s position does not- does not pass the smell test. We’ve got a job not to go into the legal ramifications, but to make sure that the intelligence community has done what’s right. And we’ve got some additional tools, we can restrict some of the spending. We’re in active conversations with the Justice Department. But we’ve got to get those documents

MARGARET BRENNAN: Specific to what just happened this week in Syria, with the Iranian-aligned groups attack on U.S. presence there. Are you satisfied with the amount of information that’s being shared? What is going on? And should there be a more robust response from the Biden administration to stop these kind of attacks?

SEN. WARNER: Well, we’ve got a few thousand troops there in Syria and Iraq. I’ve been briefed by the intel community. Protecting, frankly, the Kurds who are finishing wiping out the remnants of the ISIS forces, and, frankly, helping guard some of the ISIS prisoners. It has been a dangerous area, but I think the administration’s response has been appropriate. So far.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Some of your Republican colleagues have publicly complained, though, that the attack that was fatal Thursday morning wasn’t briefed to Congress until Thursday night. Does that concern you? I mean, Iran was a key topic being discussed on the Senate floor that day.

SEN. WARNER: We have no illusions about the malicious nature of the Iranian regime, and how they help these groups in Syria, Iraq, and frankly, across the whole region. But in this case I do think the administration briefed us in an appropriate way. And I think the response to the missile fire, or the drone attack from one of these Iranian-sponsored groups. That’s a dangerous part of the world. But our troops are doing something that’s terribly important in terms of making sure that we eliminate the final vestiges of ISIS.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right, Senator Warner, thank you for your time today. Face the Nation will be back in a minute. Stay with us. [Transcript End]

Senator Warner is correct, an example is World War Reddit (Ukraine).  Creating the background narrative for World War Reddit is more complicated if TikTok users are showcasing the theatrics of it….


Bowman: ‘No Evidence’ of Security Concern from Chinese Spying on TikTok, But Misinformation Is a National Security Concern

Bowman: ‘No Evidence’ of Security Concern from Chinese Spying on TikTok, But Misinformation Is a National Security Concern

On Thursday’s broadcast of NBC’s “MTP Now,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) claimed that there isn’t any evidence that TikTok poses a national security concern through Chinese espionage on the app, but there is a national security concern from “misinformation and the spreading of misinformation” on social media.

Host Chuck Todd asked, “[I]f there really is a national security concern, the economic argument then rings hollow, does it not?”

Bowman responded, “Correct. Yeah, exactly, right. So, if there’s Chinese espionage happening on TikTok, absolutely, that trumps everything else. The problem is, there’s been no evidence of that. But there’s been hysteria. And my point is, take a step back, look at the national security concerns of all platforms. Donald Trump used Twitter to nurture the behavior that occurred on January 6 and a violent insurrection. That’s a national security concern. Looking the other way and allowing Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, that’s a national security concern. I would argue that misinformation and the spreading of misinformation on these platforms are [national security concerns]. And, more importantly, they impact the psychology of the American people in a way that’s negative and harmful to us, forcing us to almost be at war with ourselves. This happens on American platforms, not just on TikTok.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


Every State Should Pass Florida’s Digital Bill Of Rights To Protect Citizens From 24/7 Surveillance

For too long, Americans have been preyed upon online. It’s past time to enshrine into law the rights that will protect Americans as they use everyday digital services.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is leading this charge. Other states, no matter the political affiliation of their elected leaders, should follow his example and put their citizens back in control of their increasingly digitized lives.

On Feb. 15, DeSantis released a preview of his legislative proposal that would create a “Digital Bill of Rights” for Floridians. The plan involves preventing Big Tech from abusing data, limiting the ability of foreign adversaries to spy on citizens, and preventing harm to children. All three points hit on popular issues that Americans care about.

Many Republicans talk a big game on Big Tech but fail to implement the necessary changes that will stop its abuses. DeSantis is looking to set a new course.

On multiple fronts, from protecting private conversations from Big Tech surveillance to countering harmful bias in search engine algorithms, Florida’s Digital Bill of Rights seeks to claw back the power that Big Tech has amassed. The goal of this effort is to give the user control over his or her activity and data rather than surrender it to Big Tech.

DeSantis emphasized that each person should consent to his or her data being used in certain ways, such as for targeted advertisement. This is a paradigm shift away from the view of Big Tech defenders who think that by using these services and devices, the American citizen should give up any expectation of privacy and control.

As children spend more time online and put more of their data in the hands of these large corporations, it becomes necessary to enact laws to protect them from being exploited. There is serious debate on whether kids should even have access to these platforms before a certain age, but until that decision is made their data should be secured. Ensuring that young people are prevented from accessing materials that could harm them is a noble endeavor in a world that increasingly preys on them.

Another encouraging part of DeSantis’ proposal is its emphasis on securing state networks and devices from cybersecurity risks posed by foreign nations. Alongside a ban on Chinese-influenced applications such as TikTok, DeSantis seeks to prevent other adversaries from compromising people’s data.

While other states have simply banned problematic applications on state devices, Florida is looking to extend that ban to educational and government networks. Through a formal recommendation, DeSantis has already begun by calling on state agencies to block these applications and “prevent connections to services, servers, and IP ranges of concern.” Using the entire scope of his influence as governor, DeSantis is rightly waging a total war on foreign information-gathering cyber operations.

The complete details of the proposed legislation will not be known until fully released, but DeSantis is directionally correct. The time for passivity in the digital realm is over. Strong and effective governance must be applied to digital services to protect consumer data and access while prioritizing security and safety for vulnerable users.

Conservatives can no longer cede control of their data and personal information to Big Tech and foreign enemies. Once again, DeSantis is displaying what proper leadership looks like going forward, and other governors should heed his example.

Caleb Larson is a cybersecurity researcher, policy analyst with the Internet Accountability Project, Heritage Foundation alum, and contributor at The Daily Caller, where he writes about cybersecurity-related issues facing the United States.


Mariannette Miller-Meeks Forces TikTok CEO to Admit Chinese App Tracks Americans’ Keystrokes

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew admitted to Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks that the Chinese app tracks users’ keystrokes during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on Thursday.

“Does TikTok track users’ individual keystrokes?” Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) asked, to which Chew responded by stating, “Only for security purposes, for example, like detecting bots.”

After Miller-Meeks asked Chew to clarify that “the only purpose that you would monitor keystrokes is for security purposes,” the TikTok CEO said, “I can get back to you on the specifics,” and then deflected, by saying other companies behave in a similar way.

In a recent interview with GMA3: What You Need to Know, former Trump official Keith Krach warned that TikTok is able to track users’ keystrokes.

“That means they have access to your passwords, all your data, they have access to your health records, your bank records, they have access to your geopolitical information or your geospatial information,” Krach said. “That means that they can track where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.”

“Look at it as a digital virus,” he added. “And the only cure for this; the only vaccine for this is a total ban.”

Some might agree with Chew’s suggestion that U.S. social media companies engage in the same behavior as TikTok, but the difference is that U.S. companies can be held responsible under U.S. laws, whether that takes the form of action by Congress or regulators, whereas the same is not possible with TikTok.

Elsewhere during Thursday’s hearing, Chew said “I don’t think that ‘spying’ is the right way to describe” the alleged Chinese surveillance of Americans using his company’s social media platform.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


The Three Biggest Revelations From The TikTok Hearing That Explain Why The App Has Got To Go 

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew confirmed his mega-popular app is effectively Chinese Communist Party spyware and a threat to U.S. national security during testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday. 

Below are the three biggest revelations from the hearing, providing more than enough reason for President Biden to banish the app from America if its Chinese owners refuse to sell the company. 

1. CEO Admits Chinese Engineers Have Access to American Data

When Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., asked Chew if ​​ “ByteDance employees in Beijing have access to American data,” Chew confirmed, “Yes, the Chinese engineers do have access to global data.”

When Walberg asked if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has access to American data, Chew said no. However, there is an abundance of evidence proving TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is heavily controlled by the CCP, indicating the Chinese government does indeed have access to American data. 

A highly comprehensive report submitted to the Australian Senate revealed ByteDance is not private, but better described as a “hybrid” state-private entity. The CCP has a stake in ByteDance, as well as a seat on its company board and its own party committee within the company. 

Further evidence includes ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming’s 2020 public apology to the Chinese government for not promoting “socialist core values,” and Forbes’ 2022 report that 300 TikTok and ByteDance employees had previously worked for Chinese state media, including 15 who worked for the party concurrently.

Similar to Walberg, Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, asked whether ByteDance employees in China, including engineers, have access to Americans’ sensitive user data. Chew responded by refusing to deny that sensitive user data is stored in China and accessible to CCP-controlled ByteDance employees. 

None of this should come as a surprise. This month, TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter conceded American data would be accessible in China “under limited, monitored circumstances,” after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., brought forward allegations that the company was overstating its separation from ByteDance.

2. CEO Won’t Pledge to Prevent Commodification of Personal Health Data

When Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., asked if Chew would commit “to no longer using data about users’ health, particularly their mental health, to push them content or sell ads,” Chew claimed that “as far as I’m aware” TikTok does not use users’ health data.

Chew’s response dodged definitively confirming or denying whether TikTok collects personal health data, and whether he would commit to not using said data to push content or sell ads. But according to ABC News, TikTok’s trackers, known as pixels, “link to data harvesting platforms that pick off usernames and passwords, credit card and banking information and details about users’ personal health.” 

3. CEO Doesn’t Consider Spying on Journalists Wrong

When Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., brought up how TikTok spied on American journalists, Chew said that he “disagree[d] with the characterization that it’s spying.” Last December, TikTok admitted ByteDance employees used IP addresses to track the locations of two American journalists who had critically reported on TikTok. Whether Chew is willing to admit it, ByteDance employees improperly collecting data on the physical movements of its users is indeed spying.

Yet Chew reiterated he doesn’t consider the surveillance to be “spying” after he was asked a similar question by Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla. “I don’t think that spying is the right way to describe it,” said Chew of the surveillance done on American journalists. 

McMorris Rodgers also asked whether TikTok censors content about topics such as the Tiananmen Square massacre, an event that has historically been heavily memory-holed by the Chinese government. Chew claimed, “That kind of content is available on our platform.” But in 2019, The Guardian reported that TikTok “instructs its moderators to censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, or the banned religious group Falun Gong.” 

“I will remind you that making false or misleading statements to Congress is a federal crime,” McMorris Rodgers told Chew. “I understand,” he responded. 

Last week, the Biden administration demanded ByteDance either sell its stakes in TikTok or risk a nationwide TikTok ban. Brock Silvers, chief investment officer for Kaiyuan Capital, told CNN that it seems “extremely unlikely that Beijing will accept any deal that removes TikTok’s algorithm[s] from its direct control and regulatory authority.”

This is understandable, given — as McMorris Rodgers said during the hearing — the app is immeasurably valuable to China in influencing and spying on the United States. “To the American people watching today,” she said, “hear this, TikTok is a weapon by the Chinese Communist Party to spy on you, manipulate what you see, and exploit for future generations.”

Evita Duffy-Alfonso is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, and her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at


This Viral TikTok Shows Why We’re Unprepared To Face China

This Viral TikTok Shows Why We’re Unprepared To Face China

As the Communist Chinese spy balloon soared over the heartland for nearly a week, it became abundantly clear that America’s enemy No. 1 is disturbingly emboldened. And why shouldn’t it be? It took our likely CCP-compromised president days to destroy the surveillance balloon. 

The scariest part is that while the headline-grabbing balloon was shot down, the Chinese threat carries on. China has the world’s largest navy and is building islands to aggress America’s Southeast Asian allies. Chinese companies are buying up U.S. farmland, which poses a biological warfare threat, and they’re also buying U.S. cell towers that can be used to directly spy on American citizens and interfere with our military operations.

At the heart of China’s brazen military and intelligence aggression is its (accurate) perception of American disunity. An apt example comes from a recent viral TikTok video (which in a very meta way is itself a threatening product of Chinese spyware).

The TikTok features a 2019 speech by Iraq veteran and Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia, a true American hero. What’s interesting about the video is that it wasn’t Bellavia’s entire speech that went mega-viral, with more than 8 million views not including the reposts, but only one specific clip where he says:  

Our military should not be mistaken for a cable news gabfest show. We don’t care what you look like. We don’t care who you voted for, who you worship, what you worship, who you love. It doesn’t matter if your dad left you millions when he died or if you knew who your father was. We have been honed into a machine of lethal moving parts that you would be wise to avoid if you know what’s good for you.

Bellavia’s speech was meant to be intimidating for our enemies, and the TikTok edit was supposed to be inspiring and “cool” for young American men, given the dark and ominous trap song “Superhero” playing in the background. 

However, something about this selective clip from Bellavia’s speech feels off; something is missing from his rallying cry. The U.S. military is indeed race and class blind, and that’s a good thing. Bellavia also mentioned the military doesn’t care whom you love, whom you vote for, or whom you worship, either — all fine. But what in this clip is unifying? A message meant to encourage men to enlist and protect their homeland necessitates a cause. But there is no cause included in the TikTok, only power. 

If the clip mentioned any concrete values or motivating ideals, young watchers would surely be offended. American youths have been taught to despise our “bigoted” founding documents. Even the National Archives has slapped a “harmful content” warning on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. 

Instead, the clip reflects the ethos of the military and other leaders of the United States today: Diversity is our strength. Period.

To that end, as the U.S. military focuses its recruitment efforts on blonde women with gay moms, Russia and China recruitment ads exemplify uniformity, strength, and patriotism. Unfortunately, for the pandering military marketing team and our national security, Gen Z-ers might like the diversity messaging, but they aren’t acting on it. Military recruitment numbers are tanking.  

Those sinking numbers are also fueled by the military’s conservative witch hunt, which has discouraged many red-state boys from enlisting. It turns out military higher-ups actually do care whom you voted for and what you believe. The Pentagon has been attempting to root out “extremism” in the military, which appears to be entirely targeted at conservatives. The right-wing enlisted men and women who endure are subjected to critical race theory reeducation.    

The issues plaguing the military are symptomatic of civilizational decline, as American culture rejects the morals and shared values that once defined our country. Over the weekend, the Grammy Awards featured a satanic ritual as the main act, and our first lady was in attendance. This is not what spiritually and mentally healthy leaders promote. More broadly, we are dealing with a massive mental health crisis among our youth. Many of them are confused by their own biology, and our culture’s response is to chemically mutilate them and then celebrate it under the diversity banner. 

Our national identity crisis is not benign, it is deeply troubling, and as American feminist, social critic, and self-proclaimed transgender Camille Paglia explains, not unique in history. “The Roman Empire got very comfortable and tolerant in its late phases, very sophisticated, open to homosexuality and all kinds of things … and there was nothing at the heart of it,” said Paglia. “There was no passionate belief at the heart of Imperial Roman culture except political power by Rome itself.” 

“If you believe in nothing, nothing but a certain comfort level, and you’re tolerant to everything,” Paglia continued, “and there’s a system out there that is passionate and militant — it’s the belief system that is passionate that is going to win.”

American identity used to be derived from a national mythology that made up our shared cultural identity. When people stop believing in the myth, place warning labels on our founding documents, demonize our forefathers, abandon all values, and instead uphold only diversity — only what makes us different — the myth crumbles. 

George Orwell said that “myths which are believed in tend to be true.” The inverse is also true. When people stop believing in the American mythos, it dies, and we become doomed to the same fate that met Rome.

Evita Duffy-Alfonso is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, and her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at


‘This Is The Hunger Games’: Fashion Week Costumes Aren’t Just Ugly, They’re A Symbol Of Elite Contempt

Seated in the front row at Schiaparelli’s couture runway during Paris Fashion Week, Kylie Jenner donned a strapless velvet black dress with a giant lion head attached to and covering most of her torso. Two seats from Jenner, Doja Cat wore a bright red satin corset, a detailed beaded skirt, knee-high boots, and 30,000 red Swarovski crystals, all over her outfit and body — including her eyelids. 

Doja Cat was applauded by critics for “pushing boundaries” in fashion, while Kylie received mixed reviews from “slay” to “disturbing,” after some alleged her attire was promoting trophy hunting. However, the consensus from regular people outside the corporate media and fashion sphere went in an entirely different direction. 

“This is ‘The Hunger Games,’” said one TikToker, showing pictures of Jenner and Doja Cat, explaining that “the rich and the elites [are showing] blatant, grotesque forms of wealth while common people are being pitted against each other for their own entertainment because they’re bored.”

“Like, we get it, we’re all crying about paying $10 for eggs while y’all play dress up,” stated another.  

Video after video likens our current celebrity class to the greedy, maximalist-dressed elites living in the fictional capital of Panem (the country where the “Hunger Games” series takes place), and parallels the impoverished and oppressed peasants in the book to everyday Americans. 

Celebrities have always strutted around at fashion shows and galas in extravagant costumes that are as costly as they are absurd, but the divide between the rich and poor is becoming more prominent as the middle class continues to shrink. Americans, and Westerners in general, are struggling to make ends meet thanks to the globalist climate agenda supported by the very celebrities prancing around at Fashion Week.

The climate agenda has sparked a catastrophic cost of living crisis across the globe. Powerful celebrities and business elites alike have joined forces with the World Economic Forum in pushing Western governments to redistribute their wealth and transition their economies away from relying on coal, oil, and natural gas, and instead depend on insufficient supplies of green energy. 

To add insult to injury, the people who want us to eat bugs and throw out our gas stoves are the same ones gallivanting to climate conferences in Switzerland and Egypt in private jets. 

Not only do climate fanatics have massive carbon footprints and promote policies that impoverish people, but their methods are also actively harmful to the environment. The best way to promote environmental stewardship and mitigate human impact on the Earth is for people to be wealthy enough to be able to prioritize the environment. Yet driving up the cost of living is doing the exact opposite: it’s annihilating the middle class and making the poor poorer. 

The modern celebrity class has completely abandoned the concept of “noblesse oblige,” which stipulates that the rich and powerful have a responsibility to aid the less fortunate. Instead of investing in people, the world’s elites often invest in their “climate” fantasies, which hurt the poor. 

Bill Gates has spent billions in Africa trying to squelch the birth rates of black women in the name of “climate change.” But large families act as a safety net for many non-Westerners since they rely heavily on family members to care for them in old age. Already the United States, parts of Europe, and Japan are suffering from a birth rate crisis that is going to have deeply negative effects on the economy and consequently the environment in the future. 

This year’s Fashion Week outfits didn’t “slay.” They are symbolic of the growing and troubling divide between average families and the out-of-touch snobs who wish for us to own nothing and be happy about it.

Evita Duffy is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, and her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at


Stop Recording Yourself In The Gym

Stop Recording Yourself In The Gym

The worst thing you could possibly do in the gym is not hoarding dumbbells or failing to re-rack plates; it’s recording yourself. I’m not talking about the people who record themselves for one set to check their form. What I’m talking about is the overwhelming number of social media influencers and wannabe influencers who set up a camera, record every part of their workout, and then post it on social media at the expense of making everyone else in the gym uncomfortable.  

The perfect example of why recording workouts needs to end is the recent viral TikTok posted by Twitch streamer Jessica Fernandez. In the video, Fernandez calls a man who glanced at her and offered to help her load plates on her barbell at the gym “feral” and a “stupid piece of f-cking sh-t.” 

According to Fernandez, the man, who appeared to be minding his own business, was staring at her “like a piece of meat” during her workout. Anyone who watches the video can tell that Fernandez is either lying through her teeth or completely delusional because the poor man she maligned did nothing inappropriate: 

Her video has since been deleted after multiple users called out Fernandez for baselessly trying to destroy the man’s reputation, complaining about “sexualization” when she sexualizes herself all the time on Fanhouse (a competitor app to OnlyFans), and discrediting women who are actually harassed in the gym. 

“This guy kept making me extremely uncomfortable at the gym,” Fernandez wrote in the caption. In reality, the only person making people uncomfortable in the gym is Fernandez and everyone else who decides to record their workouts. 

Self-absorbed gym girls pretending to be harassed in the gym is an entire genre on TikTok. Women will record their workouts and point out a man benignly glancing in their direction, and then proceed to post a video shaming that man for being a “creep.” There are also women whose gym attire can be described as nothing other than underwear, and yet they record and vilify men who stare at them. 

There are even entire social media accounts dedicated to secretly recording and then ridiculing people for either their lack of strength or improper use of gym equipment. Despite being illegal, many male gym influencers will record and post themselves flexing in locker rooms while unsuspecting people are changing in the background.

There’s a disturbing level of narcissism and entitlement that comes from gym influencers. There are dozens of videos showing influencers actually getting angry at people for accidentally walking through their shots or using equipment that they want.

Many people start going to the gym because they are weak or overweight. It takes a lot of courage to enter the gym when you’re starting from zero, which can be embarrassing and discomforting. For clicks and likes, toxic fitness influencers have made it so much worse for gym newbies by creating an environment of intimidation and disrespect. It’s become so bad that some gyms have banned recording, but not enough of them have taken that step. 

All the problems plaguing the fitness industry are rooted in narcissism. Wanting to look lean, strong, and healthy is a good thing, but an intense desire for attention and validation at the expense of everyone’s peace in the gym is self-centered and wrong. A study actually found that “narcissists more frequently [post updates] about their achievements,” which could explain why all the worst people feel the need to film themselves working out. 

For most of us normal people, setting up a camera and recording yourself and others while working out would be unthinkable. Fear that you’d be perceived as egotistical is enough to deter most of us from doing it, and that’s a good thing. 

Apparently, some of the people who record their workouts do in fact have that little voice in their heads telling them to resist whipping out a camera and ring light in the gym, but unfortunately, the internet is assuring them it’s okay. “How to Record Your Workouts in the Gym With Confidence,” reads one article, and “How to Film Yourself in the Gym Without Feeling Akward…” (sic) is the title of a YouTube video on the subject. To all you influencers feeling uncomfortable with your recordings: your brain is telling you your behavior is wrong. Please listen to the little voice in your head, not other influencers! 

To anyone who justifies recording yourself and others at the gym, here are some serious signs that you are need to put the camera away and focus on working out instead of getting likes: you’re wearing makeup at the gym, you’re making fun of someone else, you’re illegally recording someone in the locker room, you’re bench pressing or squatting women or other things that aren’t actual weights, or you’re thinking about what will get you attention, instead of what will be a good workout. If you desperately need to do something to feed your ego, consider looking in a mirror. That way the rest of us don’t have to pay for your vanity. 

Evita Duffy is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, and her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at



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