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Douglas Andrews / February 25, 2021

Fox News Is in the Left’s Crosshairs

Two speech-suppressing House Democrats are currently engaged in “the most dangerous of all subversions.”

“If you talk to journalists who cover Washington,” said Fox News’s Brit Hume, “you won’t find many who are pro-life, you won’t find very many who are environmental movement skeptics, you won’t find very many who think that the NRA’s anything other than a menace. You will find very few who are Republicans, and you won’t find very many who are self-acknowledged conservatives. It’s just not there.”

He didn’t say that yesterday, though. Or last week. Or last month. He said it in 2004, in Scott Collins’s book, Crazy Like a Fox: The Inside Story of How Fox News Beat CNN.

We call your attention to this simply to illustrate just how little has changed in 17 years. And to illustrate the insatiable desire of the Left to destroy any and all dissent, even when the deck is stacked supremely in its favor. Again, leftists don’t want to discuss or argue or defeat dissent in the marketplace of ideas — they want to summarily eliminate it.

A few years earlier, Thomas Jefferson described those “who would wish to dissolve this Union” as “monuments of safety with which the error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” Which is apparently an 18th-century way of saying, Dissenters are welcome so long as they can be vigorously engaged. And who can argue with him?

Well, the Left, that’s who.

“What steps did you take prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks 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?” That’s the partial text of a letter penned by Democrat Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney to major cable providers such as Comcast, Verizon, and Cox, and to digital companies including Roku, Apple, and Hulu. As The Washington Times reports, “House Democrats are pressuring cable TV providers and online streaming companies to purge conservative media outlets from their platforms or at the very least do more to censor content they deem fake and misleading.”

More to the point, Eshoo and McNerney ask, “Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date? If so, why?”

Yikes. These people are sick. And just think: They were actually elected to office by our fellow Americans. Admittedly, though, they both represent districts in California, and we know how well that’s working out.

Jonathan Turley, professor at The George Washington University Law School, spoke during the committee’s hearing on the subject of disinformation in the media. (“Disinformation” is, increasingly, the term used by the Left to describe speech with which it doesn’t agree — and the term it’s using to label Fox, Newsmax, and OANN as a menace to society.)

The hearing can be viewed here, and Turley’s five-minute opening remarks, which begin at the 40:25 mark, are worth listening to. “As evident in my writings,” he begins, “I maintain what was once a mainstream view of free speech: that the greatest protection against bad speech is more speech. That view is admittedly under fire, and indeed may be a minority view today. But history has shown that public and private forms of censorship do not produce better speech. It is rather a self-replicating, self-perpetuating path that that only produces more censorship and more controlled speech.”

Regarding the letter from Eshoo and McNerney, he pulled no punches. “To be honest, from the perspectives of free speech and the free press, the letter is not just chilling; it’s positively glacial.”

Turley then quoted a classical liberal, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, an FDR appointee who some 70 years ago warned, “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”

Professor Turley closed by doubling down on Justice Douglas’s warning: “Some of the measures being discussed this week have the potential to defeat us all.” Indeed, they do, and conservatives had best defeat those attempts to silence millions of voices before it’s too late.

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