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McCarthy: Defending Free Speech Against Censorship From Democrats

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Last week, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, spoke on the US House Floor.

McCarthy was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“Mr. Speaker — Democrats won the House by the slimmest of margins in November: a mere five seats and 32,000 votes nationwide.

Their victory in the other branches was also tight.

Usually, when one party has a tiny majority, they recognize that governing requires compromise.

Not this majority.

Less than two months into controlling the House — despite promising to solve problems and restore democracy — Democrats have proven that their primary goal is not governing, but grievance — the politics of censorship, not common ground.

In January, they eliminated the Motion to Recommit — the last chance for the minority to improve legislation — without a single Republican vote.

Already, millions have lost their voice in Congress due to this brazen partisanship.

What Democrats are doing this week is even worse.

Today, they will hold a subcommittee hearing that will focus on broadcasters’ and cable news’ ‘devotion to journalistic integrity’.

This explanation should concern every American.

It has never been Congress’s role to define and enforce journalistic standards. The First Amendment expressly prohibits the government from controlling what the press says.

But Democrats are trying to give themselves the power to dictate what you can read and watch in your own home.

And their assault on free speech goes beyond today’s disgraceful hearing.

On Monday, Representatives Eshoo and McNerney sent a letter to 12 cable, streaming, and satellite companies — essentially threatening them to remove Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network from the airwaves.

Here is just a quick snapshot of the answers they’re demanding from the carriers:

‘What moral or ethical principles … do you apply in deciding which channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?’
‘What steps did you take … 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?’
‘Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network both now and beyond any contract renewal date? If so, why?’

These are Members of Congress who are using their official positions to coerce and control the information Americans can watch and access in their homes.

They are demanding more censorship, more deplatforming, and more control over what Americans can watch.

In their letter, Eshoo and McNerney suggest that censorship is necessary because conservative views are not only different — they are dangerous.

This is not only false, it is the same script used in countries like China to silence speech they disagree with.

Democrats would bring those same socialist standards to America.

Yet those standards are dangerous, vague, and easily abused. They have no place here.

Democrats’ actions this week make it clear that the greatest threat to free speech today is not a law from Congress, which is bound by the First Amendment.

The greatest threat is politicians who bully private companies to silence dissenting views.

Lastly, beyond these serious threats to free speech, the irony of Democrats’ actions this week should not be lost on us.

For the last four years, we were told that the greatest danger to free speech was President Trump.

To underscore this accusation, a liberal legacy newspaper in Washington adopted its first official slogan: ‘Democracy dies in darkness.’

As usual, the heated rhetoric from the other side was off base — badly.

The same party that is now worried about ‘misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds’ was comfortable with endorsing destructive and false narratives for four years.

Back in August, Rep. Eshoo herself baselessly alleged that the Trump Administration was intentionally attacking the U.S. Postal Service. She called it ‘election theft’ and a ‘campaign of sabotage.’

How about Rep. Schiff? For years, he said he had more than circumstantial evidence of Russian collusion. That was false. Nonetheless, networks like MSNBC continued to perpetuate the baseless accusation.

Or how about Speaker Pelosi, who said in 2017 ‘Our election was hijacked. There is no question.’

Mr. Speaker — The American people are capable of making decisions about how best to live their lives.

They deserve to decide how to take care of their families or open their businesses during a pandemic.

And they deserve to decide to watch the news, judge the information they choose, and draw their own conclusions about its accuracy.

They need us to trust them, not try to control them.

If Democrats accepted robust debate, they would find that more people would trust Washington.

I yield back.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.