One of the notable things about the last Congressional hearing with executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter this summer—the final hearing in a fifteen-month-long investigation by the House Committee on Antitrust—was how intelligent most of the questioning was. But a separate hearing on Wednesday with Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, and Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, was an unfortunate return to the kind of circus act we’ve grown used to on these subjects: a hearing about an important topic that degenerated into grandstanding by politicians who either don’t understand the issues, or were happy to pretend in order to get video clips of themselves grilling a trio of billionaires. All of which isn’t that surprising, given that the impetus for the hearing was the alleged “censorship” by Twitter and Facebook of a New York Post story, a story involving dubious claims about Joe Biden’s son that various conservative players tried desperately to turn into a Clinton-emails-style election scandal.

Read more at Columbia Journalism Review.