Dan Bongino, one of the co-owners of Parler, has said that ex-CEO John Matze is lying, and that the site is “absolutely committed” to free speech.
Matze was fired as CEO of Parler by the board on January 29th, and hinted in a memo leaked to Fox News that the site would move away from a free speech direction. Matze founded Parler in 2018 with funding from Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of Robert Mercer, the conservative billionaire, and had been its CEO since the beginning.
However, in a fiery Facebook Live video, Dan Bongino, the conservative commentator and one of three co-owners of Parler, said that he had to “correct the record,” and that Matze’s statements were totally false. “I have no personal gripe against John at all, but John decided to make this public,” Bongino said, claiming that they had previously been handling it “like gentlemen.”
Bongino said that he and the other co-owners were the ones fighting to reinstate Parler, after there had been some “really bad decisions made by people on the inside.” Matze had claimed in his statement that his vision for a free speech platform was met with “constant resistance,” but Bongino dismissed this outright. “You’d have to be an imbecile to believe that,” he said, claiming that the “free speech vision” was his:
If he wants to get into a battle over here of narratives, he is going to lose, because there is this thing getting in the way of that story he keeps telling and it’s called the truth. I’m really pissed off right now because that is absolutely not what happened. The relationship between Parler and the CEO did not work out because the CEO’s vision is not ours. Is everybody clear on that?
Our vision was crystal clear. We needed to get up and fight back, some terrible decisions were made in the past that led to this, that led to us getting pulled down by Amazon and others. It was us, me and the two other owners, that were constantly on the side of “this site is going to be a free speech platform or it was going to be nothing.”
Bongino slammed Matze’s statement, which he described as an “outrageous attack” on “people who have done nothing but work day and night to get this site back up, and to fight back against these cancel culture goons, and to get kneecapped like this by someone we trusted, is a disgrace,” saying that Matze is “no white knight in this story.”
He reiterated that Parler is “absolutely committed” to free speech, “no matter what,” claiming that was the key reason why the site has not come back online since being booted of Amazon Web Services’s servers last month. “We could have been up in a week if we had just bent the knee… [and became] a heavy-moderation site to the left of Twitter,” Bongino added.
He concluded by saying that he would discuss the issue in more detail his show tomorrow.