Dem Stacey Plaskett Defends Censorship: ‘Free Speech Is Not an Absolute’

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JOEL B. POLLAK 20 Jul 2023

Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) defended censorship on Thursday, arguing that certain views should not enjoy the free speech protections of the First Amendment, which she said was limited by the Supreme Court.

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

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

Plaskett continued: “Free speech is not an absolute. The Supreme Court has stated that.” (The Court has not restricted the content of speech, but a “time, place, and manner” exceptions for the way speech is expressed.)

The ranking member went on to claim that Republicans had not invited Kennedy to testify because he had been censored on social media, but rather to associate themselves with his controversial views. She also claimed that past witnesses interviewed by the committee, such as would-be “disinformation czar” Nina Jancowicz, had been subjected to death threats, and implied that committee chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) supported those threats.

Republicans were not interested in defending 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 want to force social media companies to promote conspiracy theories because they think that’s the only way their candidate can win the 2020 [sic] election.” She said that Congress should be focused instead on issues like inflation.

In response, Kennedy devoted his opening statement to defending his record and noting that he had also been censored for talking about ordinary subjects. The purpose of free speech, he noted, was to protect speech that people did not agree with.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

3 COMMENTS

  1. She should be the first one censored, for false information, for conspiracy theories pertaining to conservatives. There was so much misinformation put out by democrats about corona virus, about Jan.6th, about the fake Russia collusion. Maybe speech should be censored but it should be democrats that are censored.

  2. SHE IS JUST ….ONE MISERABLE AND PATHETIC…..BLACK WOMAN. NOT SURPRISING. SEEMS LIKE THE DEFINITE MODE OF BEING. !!! SO SICK AND TIRED OF HAVING TO SEE THESE ISSUES AND THINGS COMING FROM ANY OF THE BLACKS IN THIS COUNTRY. !!!

  3. People are free to believe or disbelieve someone else’s opinion. They are also free to research an issue on their own behalf and form their own opinion. No need for censorship.

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