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Dems Trying To Stifle Political Speech On Conservative Networks

Political Speech
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EDITOR NOTE: Traumatic events can produce an intense and enduring fear that sometimes transforms into paranoia. If you get bitten by a dog, then all dogs become vicious animals. If you get assaulted on the street, then everyone who looks like the offender may be transformed into potential attackers. These are human responses, and when it comes to politics, the response shouldn’t differ all that much. But when such paranoia is transformed into policy, then we have a platform that’s just steps away from social and political eradication. If your free or political speech, as an individual, is taken away, your personal freedom is quashed. But if an entire forum of media and opinion is silenced at the partisan level, such as what certain House Democrats are trying to do by pressuring television broadcasters into “deplatforming” conservative networks, then we’re talking about a political coup. We’re talking about “thought control.” We’re talking not Antifa but the very “fascism” that the spirit of Antifa has transformed into by overcorrecting its original aim. History has ample examples of the oppressed becoming the oppressors. Look, you may or may not agree with conservative or liberal media and values. That’s why we have democracy. That’s the balance that we aim to achieve. We debate. We cast our votes. We do not suppress or oppress. Once we do that, we’re no longer Americans. And that’s exactly what several more “radical” House Democrats are trying to do. It’s an anti-American sentiment-turned-movement. And it’s about to disrupt your very existence as an American--your values, lifestyle, thoughts, and freedoms.

Two House Democrats sent letters Monday to a dozen television broadcasters suggesting that they stop airing Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network, a move which a Republican commissioner on the FCC called a “chilling transgression” aimed at deplatforming the conservative networks.

“Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date?” California Reps. Anna G. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney wrote in a letter to the companies.

“If so, why?” they asked.

The letters were sent to AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Alphabet, and Hulu.

Eshoo and McNerney asked the companies what steps they took after the 2020 presidential election “to monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans?”

The lawmakers blamed the three conservative outlets for spreading disinformation about voter fraud that led to the attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. (RELATED: SmartMatic Sues Fox News For $2.7 Billion)

They asserted that the cable and streaming companies “have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets.”

Brendan Carr, a Trump-appointed commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission, called the letter a “chilling transgression” against the networks aimed at stifling editorial decisions and political speech.

“I call on my FCC colleagues to join me in publicly denouncing this attempt to stifle political speech and independent news judgment,” Carr said in a statement on Twitter.

“The Democrats are sending a message that is as clear as it is troubling — these regulated entities will pay a price if the targeted newsrooms do not conform to Democrats’ preferred political narratives.”

A spokesperson for Fox News said that individual members of Congress calling for news outlets to be deplatformed sets a “terrible precedent.”

“As the most watched cable news channel throughout 2020, FOX News Media provided millions of Americans with in-depth reporting, breaking news coverage and clear opinion,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“For individual members of Congress to highlight political speech they do not like and demand cable distributors engage in viewpoint discrimination sets a terrible precedent.”

Eshoo and McNerney sit on the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, which will hold a hearing on Wednesday entitled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.”

“Some broadcasters’ and cable networks’ increasing reliance on conspiracy theories and misleading or patently false information raises questions about their devotion to journalistic integrity,” Democrats on the committee wrote of the hearing.

“We look forward to hearing from media experts about what is being done and what more can be done to address this growing problem moving forward.”

Momentum has been building since the election to deplatform various conservative media companies and conservative personalities. The most prominent example is Twitter and Facebook’s banning of President Donald Trump following the Capitol riots.

Three other Big Tech firms, Apple, Google and Amazon, all cut access after the riots to Parler, the social media platform popular with conservatives.

The companies alleged that conservatives had used Parler to spread election-related disinformation and to organize the assault on the Capitol, though Facebook was mentioned far more often in charging documents against rioters who have been arrested so far.

Originally posted on Daily Caller

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