House Democrats attempted to defend social media censorship at a hearing of the new U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Thursday on the Twitter files.
Led by Ranking Member Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), Democrats assailed journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, both Democrats, accusing them of ulterior motives and even asking them to reveal their sources.
Using the “reclaiming my time” tactic they pioneered when questioning then-Attorney General William Barr in 2020, Demcorats prevented the witnesses from responding to their personal attacks and grandstanding.
In one particularly shocking exchange, former Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz appeared to attack the practice of journalism itself, including the idea of earning money for reporting.C-SPAN
Another memorable moment came when Rep. Daniel S. Goldman (D-NY), who promoted the “Russia collusion” hoax and served as lead counsel for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the House Intelligence Committee impeachment investigation of then-President Donald Trump, claimed falsely that the government had never actually told Twitter to remove any “lawful” speech from the platform.
Subcommittee chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) immediately showed Goldman the proof. One member was heard to say: “Boom.”
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) appeared determined to find out who Taibbi and Shellenberger’s sources were. Along the way, she admitted she did not to know what Substack is, and accused journalists of having a “threesome”:C-SPAN
Taibbi delivered a defense of freedom of speech, noting that it protects hate speech and the “right to be wrong”:C-SPAN
Observers were shocked by the Democrats’ evident hostility to the First Amendment. George Washington University legal scholar Jonathan Turley tweeted: “I never thought I would come to see this day when Democrats trash journalists for seeking to disclose government censorship work and pressing them for their sources and confidential information.”
The subcommittee fulfills a key Republican election pledge to investigate the federal government’s use — or abuse — of law enforcement and intelligence resources to censor free speech online and in the mainstream media, and to undermine President Donald Trump and his supporters.
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 new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Correction: Rep. Plaskett represents the territory of the Virgin Islands, not Alabama; she is often described as (D-AL) but the “AL” stands for “at large.”