Free speech has been under attack over the past few years, and unsurprisingly, it often comes from the left–the party of government. “Disinformation” has become a handy tool for leftwingers to attack their political enemies. The tactic has been embraced all over the world by tin-pot leftwing dictators, so it’s not surprising that the tinfoil-hat wearers in the United States would embrace it.
Last spring, for example, the Biden Administration tried to launch what was deemed “The Ministry of Truth,” a board designed to regulate online speech and fight “disinformation,” which is often just what liberals call facts they don’t like.
The problem with shutting down “disinformation” is that it’s so often used to attack political opponents of the government. Everyone knows that there is some disinformation that Democrats do like: the kind that helps them win elections.
After the collapse of Biden’s “disinformation board,” Democrats have decided to double down against the First Amendment. Fox News reported in March that “House Democrats on Thursday unanimously voted against legislation that would prohibit federal officials from taking any action to squelch the sharing of views and opinions online, a bill Republicans called up after Twitter’s internal files showed the FBI was constantly pressuring that company to suppress certain stories — including stories related to Hunter Biden.
The GOP called up the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act, and the Republican majority allowed it to pass in a narrow 219-206 vote. But each of the 206 Democrats who voted on Thursday voted against it.
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., introduced the bill after Twitter released messages that showed dozens of FBI officials spent months pressuring Twitter to take down posts containing what they said was “disinformation.”
Now, no longer hiding behind generic calls to stop “hate speech” or “disinformation,” one of the most prominent House Democrats has let her mask slip and revealed an authoritarian streak. New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has directly called for the censorship of Fox News during an interview with former Biden White House press secretary Jen Psaki on MSNBC.
AOC calls on the government to ban Tucker Carlson and other Fox hosts
Jen Psaki nods along pic.twitter.com/2vX0ZxuASQ
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) April 23, 2023
When asked about Fox’s recent settlement with Dominion Voting Machines, the congresswoman said, “We have very real issues with what is permissible on air and we saw that with January 6th and we saw that in the lead up to January 6th. And how we navigate questions not just of freedom of speech but also accountability for incitement of violence. These are, this is the line that we have to really explore through law as well.”.
“Do you think media organizations or social media platforms should be accountable for the role, for being platforms for incitement?,” Psaki interjected.
The Daily Caller noted, “Ocasio-Cortez responded by singling out Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson.
‘I believe that when it comes to broadcast television like Fox News, these are subject to federal law, federal regulation in terms of what’s allowed on air and what isn’t. And when you look at what Tucker Carlson and what some of these other folks on Fox do, it is very, very clearly incitement of violence, very clearly incitement of violence,’ she said.”
AOC claiming that “incitement of violence” as a justifiable reason to censor media companies is especially galling. In 2019, during a radio interview, Ocasio-Cortez praised violence as “the only” way for some groups to be heard.
The Hill noted at the time that “during an appearance on Ebro in the Morning that marginalized communities have “no choice but to riot.”
“Once you have a group that is marginalized … once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot,” Ocasio-Cortez said about a half-hour into the 55-minute interview.
Her remarks came during a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Ocasio-Cortez clarified that she was talking about marginalized groups more generally.
“I’m not even talking about Palestinians,” she said. “I’m talking about communities in poverty in the United States; I’m talking about Latin America; I’m talking about all over the world.”
“Social destabilization is what happens when people do not have a plan or feel like there’s no vision for their future,” she said.
AOC is merely saying the quiet part out loud. For many leftwingers, conservative speech is violence that must be shut down, whereas promoting violence by leftwingers should be considered speech and should be allowed and praised.
At least one person is listening. On Monday, Fox News bent its knee and gave in to AOC’s demands.