February 21, 2024

‘No Free Speech’

Representative Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) defended the censorship Thursday, arguing that certain views should not benefit from First Amendment free speech protections, which she said have been limited by the Supreme Court.

Plaskett, the ranking minority member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee, attacked the alleged comments of one of the witnesses, Democratic Party presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, calling them hateful.

“This is not the free speech I know,” she said. She recalled a recent controversy surrounding Kennedy’s comments about the coronavirus affecting some population groups more than others, among other past comments.

Plaskett continued: “Free speech is not absolute. The Supreme Court has said this.” (The Court did not restrict the matter speech, but “time, place and manner” exceptions for the way speech is expressed.)

The ranking member went on to claim that Republicans did not invite Kennedy to testify because he had been censored on social media, but to bind themselves to his controversial comments. She also claimed that former witnesses interviewed by the committee, such as “disinformation czar” Nina Jancowicz, had been subjected to death threats, and implied that the committee’s chairman, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) supported those threats.

Republicans were not interested in protecting free speech, Plaskett said. Rather, their goal was to force social media companies to “promote any conspiracy theories, no matter how harmful.”

She added: “They’re trying to force social media companies to promote conspiracy theories because they think that’s the only way their candidate can win 2020. [sic] election.” She said Congress should instead focus on issues like inflation.

In response, Kennedy spent his opening statement defending his record and noting that he too had been censored for talking about normal subjects. The purpose of free speech, he noted, was to protect speech with which people disagreed.

Joel B. Pollak is a Senior Editor at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot Sunday evenings from 7 pm to 10 pm ET (4 pm to 7 pm PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, It’s not free or fair: The 2020 US Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is the winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpolak.

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