During the House Committee hearing on Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) warned that the Democrats’ censorship of dissident media is “eerily similar” to that of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“Just two weeks ago, China’s National Broadcasting Administration banned BBC World News from broadcasting in China because it deemed BBC reports, quote, ‘seriously violate’ broadcasting guidelines,” Johnson mentioned according to Breitbart of Feb. 24.
Moreover, the CCP expelled most of the international media that did not sing to its messages only, and that it does not allow its citizens access to the global Internet, punishing any infringement in that sense.
Johnson then referred to the actions being taken by Democrats in their eagerness to silence media that does not fall in line with their leftist narrative.
They are most disturbed by former President Donald Trump’s messaging, particularly his downplaying of the impact of the CCP Virus and his insistence that the 2020 election was stolen.
Thus, Democrats have raged against conservative media outlets such as Newsmax, One America News Network (OANN), and Fox News, with California Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, in particular, questioning the major cable broadcasting companies for allowing their broadcasts.
“So it begs the question,” Johnson continued. “Does the U.S. government have the authority to dictate what can and cannot be broadcast to the American people? I suggest it does not, but the Democrats on this committee seem to think it does.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers (R-Wash.), and ranking member of the committee, agreed with Johnson’s assessments on the controversial issue.
“Elected officials who use their platforms to pressure private companies to focus media with which they disagree appear to be exercising actions of the Chinese Communist Party, not duly elected members of Congress,” she stated.
Professor Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School weighed in, alluding to the constitutionality of the Democrats’ controversial intervention.
“Well, it’s constitutional in the sense that it’s not expressly prohibited by the First Amendment,” Turley said. “But it is an attack on free speech. We should be concerned when members try to do indirectly what they can’t do directly,” according to Breitbart.
Turley also mentioned the extent of censorship by tech giants like Twitter and Facebook.
“But what we’ve seen in the last few years is that the use of private companies like Twitter and Facebook is far more damaging to free speech,” he said.
Johnson backed up this assertion by Turley with intelligence reports.
“In fact, all intelligence suggests that any planning for the riots occurred predominantly on social media, including Facebook,” he said alluding to the violent break-in on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.