First Amendment Farce: Dems Defend A Demand For Media Censorship

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The First Amendment, my friends, starts with four words: Congress shall make no laws,” explained Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA), as if the rules as written have ever mattered to the American left. So what brought about this sudden and miraculously strict – if slightly incorrect – understanding and defense of the Bill of Rights? Well, she needs it to cover her own rear, of course.

Reps. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) sent a letter – on Congressional letterhead and signed specifically as members of Congress – accusing conservative news outlets of misinformation and asking a dozen television providers what they plan to do about it. Are they truly blind to the First Amendment concern here, or did they simply hope no one would take notice?

Garbage In, Garbage Out

The letter clearly pushes the narrative that conservatives are misinformed and that certain outlets maliciously spewed fake news. To which bastions of unbiased truth and journalistic integrity do the members of Congress turn? Amongst the list of sources in the endnotes is USA Today, Vox, Slate, CNN, and HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Yes, John Oliver, the British comedian. His contribution to the letter was that “the kind of misinformation [OANN] is spewing right now could end up getting people killed.”

“Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm,” the letter explains. What evidence supports this? According to the corresponding endnote, they base this on an analysis from USA Today calling election-fraud claims “baseless” and a 2016 Vox article blaming Trump’s election on fake news. Yes, that’s right; one article suggests Trump’s was a fraudulent win while the other says any concern Biden won by fraud is baseless.

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But, like most related stories from the leftist press, the esteemed members of Congress take it a step farther by explicitly stating that conservative “fake news” led to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. According to the opening lines of the letter:

“Our country’s public discourse is plagued by misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies. These phenomena undergird the radicalization of seditious individuals who committed acts of insurrection on January 6th, and it contributes to a growing distrust of public health measures necessary to crush the pandemic.”

According to the line preceding endnote #5, “Right-wing media outlets, like Newsmax, One America News Network (OANN), and Fox News all aired misinformation about the November 2020 elections.” Who do the representatives want people to trust that this statement is true? Why, Vox, of course.

The Best Defense Is … Hypocrisy And Error?

While on the topic of flawed presuppositions, how about a look at Rep. Eshoo’s understanding of the First Amendment? “The First Amendment, my friends, starts with four words: Congress shall make no laws,” she explained.

Well, yes, but no.

“Congress shall make no laws” is five words – and the last word isn’t even correct. Talk about an unfortunate slip after saying that “it’s always worthwhile to listen, and listen well,” and that “we have a lot of misinformation going on right in the middle of this hearing.” Just to be clear, here’s the First Amendment, in full:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Now about using a strict reading of “Congress shall make no law” as a defense here: Democrats don’t care about the letter of the law unless it benefits them to do so. Does that sound like a partisan claim? It isn’t. Here are just a few examples of when those five words didn’t matter:

  • Democrats supported the right to protest – even to the extent of calling violent riots “mostly peaceful protests” – and tried to stop local and state governments (which aren’t Congress) from policing the riots.
  • Democrats argued that protesting the National Anthem is protected political speech – and lambasted sports teams and leagues (which aren’t Congress) for forbidding such protest.
  • Democrats – including these two – are perfectly willing to let Congress make a law “respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Equality Act, which these two co-sponsored, would explicitly end religious organizations’ right to refuse to hire LGBTQ employees, including ministers, despite multiple scriptural restrictions, including the requirement that a church leader be “the husband of one wife” (1 Timothy, 3:2). This prohibits “the free exercise thereof.”

This isn’t to say that Republicans never contravene the Constitution – only that it’s hypocritical to ignore the founding documents until hiding behind them becomes politically expedient. Of course, hypocrisy or not, the First Amendment has long been interpreted by the Supreme Court as applying to all parts of government – federal, state, or local – not just the U.S. Congress.

Authority Implied

While the letters don’t technically represent Congressional action requiring the recipients to drop certain networks, the authors’ authority to make such demands is certainly implied – and intentionally so. Did Reps. Eshoo and McNerney accidentally send these letters out with “Congress of the United States Washington, DC 20515” at the top? Did they unintentionally sign their names above the printed “Anna G. Eshoo Member of Congress” and “Jerry McNerney Member of Congress”? Of course not.

It is exactly for this reason that the DoD restricts even retired soldiers from engaging in certain types of political activity, in or out of uniform, lest their “political activities imply or appear to imply official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement.” Do these letters, sent on official congressional letterhead, not imply that the sense of Congress is that these outlets should be forced off the air?

Perhaps these representatives didn’t violate the First Amendment – but it’s fair to say it sure looks like they tried.

Content syndicated from TheLibertyLoft.com with permission.

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24 Comments

  1. I’m hoping you misquoted her, or did she really say the First Amendment starts with four words and then read five words?

    It’s a minor gaffe in some ways, but it also shows how little thought she put into what she was about to say. That’s the worrisome part. Arguments about yelling, “Fire!” in a crowded theatre can be made to question free speech, but they’ve got to be well thought out arguments if you want to convince people that you aren’t trying to completely overturn the First Amendment. The “Fire!” argument is a purely emotional argument if not followed up with an understanding that it’s an extreme example. Starting out by calling five words four makes me doubt that anything other than emotion and opinion is going to be backing up her motives.

    1. will just to let you know,times were when you needed a well thought out argument. now, libs dont have the capacity or even the desire to contrive an intelligent thought anymore. they just want to go by emotion and idealogy stating that they are always right and everyone else is wrong so no debate is needed or required. end of discusion.

      1. Saw the PERFECT application warning this AM Here is by far, hands down, what I think is the very best ‘help wanted’ type signs of all time:

        Add text reads – Job Applicants Please Read “WE DO NOT HIRE LIBERALS”.
        This is not because we disagree with their political views.
        It is because working here requires superior reasoning, logic, and reading comprehension skills, and in our experience Liberals are deficient in those areas.
        We have found Liberals make decisions based on their emotions, not logic. This would be detrimental to our business.
        We regret any inconvenience this may cause

        1. I love every word of this comment. There isn’t a better way to describe what liberals are than with the “truth”. Over the years I have been able to develop some kind of “special ability” that allows me to determine when a person is most likely to be a liberal. Most times it happens automatically within seconds. Once in a while I need to hear them speak. Either way it keeps me safe. If my “sixth sense” makes me, liberals should love this, feel uncomfortable just being in their presence, I avoid all contact. Been liberal free for quite a few years now.

  2. Just be clear I do believe that the Eshoo letter is an attack on free speech and the free press values.

    No concerns whatsoever regarding all the “FAKE NEWS” spewed by likes of CNN and MSNBC and the other MSM. This person needs to go back to being a private citizen. The corrupt elections is all any of our Politicians should be screaming about.

    1. JD The framers had a difficult time considering the order of importance of the first and second amendment. The second amendment was authored to be able to enforce the others. BUT since LIEberal Demoshits are by nature Anti-American and Anti- Rule of law they see our constitution as just an outdated piece of paper and can do what they with because 1) people are STUPID and 2) most people are APATHETIC. LIEberal Demoshits have Mao Tse Tung’s edict etched in their heads “Every Communist must grasp the truth, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.'” — Mao Tse-Tung, 1938

  3. MISINFORMATION “could end up getting people killed”? How about sticking tools into their brains and cutting off their legs to extricate them from the womb.

  4. Tried to post something but a message comes up saying that I already said that. Certainly did NOT! This is the 2nd time I see this message 🙁

  5. Since when do you figure any LIEberal Demoshit works within the confines of the “Rule of Law”?? LIEberal Demoshits believe they are far superior to the men who forged this nation. The certainly believe they are smarter and better than the rest of us. After all they have not only the authority but the DUTY to do so (got your mask on”???
    Our LIEberal Demoshit “friends” are FOOLS who are irresponsible, and believe the government should have the authority to run our lives. Only FOOLS MORONS and IDIOTS believe our Constitution should be a “living document” subject to THEIR whims!!! If these rights are removed from us we allowed it to happen because of being apathetic. Apathy gives tacit approval to what government does is acceptable.
    The Federal Government’s first duty is to protect the people from foreign threats, not from each other or run their lives. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to remove our rights in the guise of protecting us from ourselves. – Ronald Reagan This is especially egregious when the Demorrhoidic Leftopathic feral government encroaches on private property!!!

    1. When the people fear the government, we have tyranny. When the government fears the people, we have freedom. Right now we are suffering from the former. However, the point of no return is getting closer every day as the backs of the population get closer to that wall that gives them strength and courage to say ENOUGH.

  6. Even though the 1st amendment addresses Congress specifically, people forget that freedom of speech is also a fundamental natural right. Our founding fathers had never envisioned that some day corporate tech giants would start censuring people’s fundamental right of freedom of speech. If they had, I’m sure they would have declared that no one has the right to censure freedom of speech.

    1. Yeahhh!!! I WISHED! TRUMP has HIS chance .. and BLEW it!! He ‘woos’d’ out – & ran like a COWARD! Unfortunately: CONSERVS – generally speaking – have become even bigger pussies & woos’es – true ‘SHEEPLE’ – than their enemies, the DEMS! Scared of their own shadows now.

  7. Definition of a hypocrite? See Democrat. See Modern Media.
    Definition of a liar? See Democrat. See Modern Media.
    Definition of hate? See Democrat. See Modern Media.

    Those who HATE the TRUTH do so because to them, the TRUTH sounds like HATE.

  8. So the lady can’t count. She does not know the wording of the opening statement only so far as she wants to use it to say the complete opposite of the content referred to. Does this woman, a congressman, really think the everyday smart American will laugh at her congressional knowledge. Oh yeah! Dominion Voting machines.
    I’m getting so tired of our congressional leaders not having a clue about the basics of the laws they were elected to enact. I honestly think that one of the qualifications to run for congress should be a civics class explaining our government’s history, our constitution, and the bill of rights. Then they should be made to take a civics test for as many times needed up get a grade of B or above. Then they just might learn more about the wisdom of our forefathers.

    1. I agree with what you say there, but, if that test had been given to Donald Trump, he would have failed miserably. When he falsely said that Mike Pence had the power and authority to NOT accept the electoral votes that had been CERTIFIED by those battleground states, he lost it for me. Out of all of the people in the last administration who served his country with honor, it was Mike Pence. He showed it by refusing to obey even his president and he kept his oath to “preserve, protect and defend, the Constitution of the United States of America”. For that, he was castigated and threatened with the loss of life.

      While I voted for Trump, his unwillingness to follow the will of the people AND obey the Constitution and accept his loss, made me ashamed of our president. And he probably harmed the Republican party irreparably.

      1. One grave correction to the author of this media is “as if the rules as written have ever mattered to the American left”

        There is NO left America! There is only America Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Then there is the Communist party full of Democrats and RINO’s.

        Are great Nation founded and established as a Christian Nation as Christians we opened are arms to all, this has costs us but we have not lost nor will We loose.

        signed: Veteran

      2. MarMac2768 :

        This is a joke, if you think for one moment our Vote of the Republican voter pool was not stolen and given to a criminal without question or reservation Sir you are sadly mistaken.

        Trump did NOT concede and the transition of power doesn’t necessarily mean a transition to Biden
        Under the cover of night, the treasonous US Congress voted to install CCP puppet Joe Biden into the White House, confirming his fraudulent slate of electors as accepted.

        A few hours later, Trump issued a statement about a “transition of power.” Here it is:

        Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!

        The “‘Crats” are leading a coup against our government—Democrats, bureaucrats, Techno-crats, and billionaire-aristocrats. They think they can censor, bully, and steal their way into power, and run the United States just like the oligarchs in Russia and China’s CCP. What they fail to realize is that the people of the United States have freedom baked into our DNA which can’t be bullied by riots, a pandemic panic or political correctness intimidation, even after 30 years of “education reform” and a media that doesn’t report news, but instead manufactures propaganda.
        What happens if we lose our democratic freedoms to the new oligarchs? One of the great things about our Republic is that if you don’t like the living conditions in one state, you can move to another. Where can you move to and still be an American if there are no free states left?
        We’ve all seen the damage done in the formerly great state of California by one-party domination. It has led to massive increases in poverty, unemployment, crime, homelessness and disease. Those who can afford it are moving out of the state faster than U-Haul can keep up with. In fact, the price to rent a truck from L.A. to Phoenix is over ten times higher than the same truck going from Phoenix, to L.A.

        Veteran standing for America Not Communism!

      3. MarMac2768 :

        This is a joke, if you think for one moment our Vote of the Republican voter pool was not stolen and given to a criminal without question or reservation Sir you are sadly mistaken.

        Trump did NOT concede and the transition of power doesn’t necessarily mean a transition to Biden
        Under the cover of night, the treasonous US Congress voted to install CCP puppet Joe Biden into the White House, confirming his fraudulent slate of electors as accepted.

        A few hours later, Trump issued a statement about a “transition of power.” Here it is:

        Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.

        I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!

        The “‘Crats” are leading a coup against our government—Democrats, bureaucrats, Techno-crats, and billionaire-aristocrats. They think they can censor, bully, and steal their way into power, and run the United States just like the oligarchs in Russia and China’s CCP.

        What they fail to realize is that the people of the United States have freedom baked into our DNA which can’t be bullied by riots, a pandemic panic or political correctness intimidation, even after 30 years of “education reform” and a media that doesn’t report news, but instead manufactures propaganda.

        What happens if we lose our democratic freedoms to the new oligarchs? One of the great things about our Republic is that if you don’t like the living conditions in one state, you can move to another. Where can you move to and still be an American if there are no free states left?

        We’ve all seen the damage done in the formerly great state of California by one-party domination. It has led to massive increases in poverty, unemployment, crime, homelessness and disease.

        Those who can afford it are moving out of the state faster than U-Haul can keep up with. In fact, the price to rent a truck from L.A. to Phoenix is over ten times higher than the same truck going from Phoenix, to L.A.

        Veteran standing for America Not Communism!

        1. You didn’t have to post it twice, I have GREAT comprehension of words as much drivel as they are.

          You, sir, are just dancing to the same tune Trump started months before the election even took place. He drummed into you brain that the only way he could lose would be if fraud was committed. That should tell you of a man who knew that he was going to lose, but, remember what he said about John McCain and his being a POW. He said that McCain and the other POW’s being held by the NVA were losers. He said that he didn’t like losers, he liked winners. Calling brave men who were being held in captivity by an enemy as being losers. But, he made the statement IN PUBLIC, in front of witnesses including TV cameras that he doesn’t like losers. What did that mean years later when he was faced with losing the election? He wouldn’t dare admit that he lost, right? He doesn’t like losers, so by extension, he doesn’t like himself so he COULD NOT lose. BUT HE DID!! By over 8 million popular votes and almost a hundred electoral college votes. These were real votes CERTIFIED by the states, most of them ran by Republicans and that is what happened.

          The problem that Trumpanzees like you have is one word: EVIDENCE. You can say the evidence is there, but there has not been one piece of credible evidence that fraud took place. There were a few instances of mistakes that only involved a few votes, less than a hundred. The other stuff that Trumpanzees cite are FAKE NEWS. Even if a person was actually seen dumping ballots into a swamp near Lake Lanier in Georgia, it would amount to just a few hundred and not 17,000+ that would be necessary for him to win. Even the GOP governor and Secretary of State knew it.

          People like you, and I know that this website is full of them, attest to the old adage, “there is none so blind as he who just won’t see.”

          1. MarMac2768, You are so wrong with your statements. He NEVER called POW’s losers. He called McCain a loser and he was. Had McCain followed the rules he would not have started the fire on the USS Forrestall and killed all those sailors, if he followed the rules and didn’t fly so low he would not have been shot down and captured. Thgere WAS considerable fraud during this election in 2020. These machines were shown by independant people to count every four votes for Trump to be changed to a vote for Biden. This was done in many states that were deemed important enough that the Democrats MUST WIN. Additionally there were many votes that suddenly turned up for Biden that nobody could account for where they came from and that were ALL for Biden! Many instances of illegal votes were shown to have been cast for Biden as well. All water under the bridge as the Dems managed to keep the courts from seeing this. Unfortunately YOU are the one who refuses to see what has been shown to be facts right in front of you.

          2. Apparently you are either unwilling or incapable of following the news. There have been DOZENS of reports of voter fraud and arrests related to such. Just today four people, including a Justice of the Peace, were arrested for aiding in voter fraud. A judge in Georgia had the Dominion voting machine tested in her case with 1000 Trump votes cast and 1000 Biden votes cast and the results were Biden winning by 250 votes. Four arrested in Detroit for voting 200 times. I could go on but you can do your own research. If you think Biden received more votes than Obama and Hillary, your seriously lacking in honesty. You really love the word “trumpanzees”, is that a word made up by your mom? How about Bidenista to fit your communist view of the world?

          3. Let’s make it a little more something you can understand; I know why I fought for this Nation against Communism perhaps it’s time in served.

            THE LIST 83 GOP Lawmakers Refused to Object to Rampant Fraud in the AZ Presidential Election
            REPRESENTATIVE PARTY STATE VOTE ???
            NO not party members at all but TRADERS TO America and Americans.
            Amodei Republican Nevada NAY

            Armstrong Republican North Dakota NAY

            Bacon Republican Nebraska NAY

            Balderson Republican Ohio NAY

            Barr Republican Kentucky NAY

            Bentz Republican Oregon NAY

            Buchanan Republican Florida NAY

            Buck Republican Colorado NAY

            Bucshon Republican Indiana NAY

            Chabot Republican Ohio NAY

            Cheney Republican Wyoming NAY

            Comer Republican Kentucky NAY

            Crenshaw Republican Texas NAY

            Curtis Republican Utah NAY

            Davis, Rodney Republican Illinois NAY

            Emmer Republican Minnesota NAY

            Feenstra Republican Iowa NAY

            Ferguson Republican Georgia NAY

            Fitzpatrick Republican Pennsylvania NAY

            Fortenberry Republican Nebraska NAY

            Foxx Republican North Carolina NAY

            Gallagher Republican Wisconsin NAY

            Garbarino Republican New York NAY

            Gonzales, Tony Republican Texas NAY

            Gonzalez (OH) Republican Ohio NAY

            Graves (LA) Republican Louisiana NAY

            Grothman Republican Wisconsin NAY

            Guthrie Republican Kentucky NAY

            Herrera Beutler Republican Washington NAY

            Hill Republican Arkansas NAY

            Hinson Republican Iowa NAY

            Hollingsworth Republican Indiana NAY

            Huizenga Republican Michigan NAY

            Johnson (SD) Republican South Dakota NAY

            Joyce (OH) Republican Ohio NAY

            Katko Republican New York NAY

            Keller Republican Pennsylvania NAY

            Kinzinger Republican Illinois NAY

            Kustoff Republican Tennessee NAY

            LaHood Republican Illinois NAY

            Latta Republican Ohio NAY

            Mace Republican South Carolina NAY

            Massie Republican Kentucky NAY

            McCaul Republican Texas NAY

            McClintock Republican California NAY

            McHenry Republican North Carolina NAY

            McKinley Republican West Virginia NAY

            Meijer Republican Michigan NAY

            Meuser Republican Pennsylvania NAY

            Miller-Meeks Republican Iowa NAY

            Moolenaar Republican Michigan NAY

            Mooney Republican West Virginia NAY

            Moore (UT) Republican Utah NAY

            Murphy (NC) Republican North Carolina NAY

            Newhouse Republican Washington NAY

            Owens Republican Utah NAY

            Pence Republican Indiana NAY

            Reed Republican New York NAY

            Rodgers (WA) Republican Washington NAY

            Roy Republican Texas NAY

            Schweikert Republican Arizona NAY

            Scott, Austin Republican Georgia NAY

            Simpson Republican Idaho NAY

            Smith (NJ) Republican New Jersey NAY

            Smucker Republican Pennsylvania NAY

            Spartz Republican Indiana NAY

            Stauber Republican Minnesota NAY

            Stefanik Republican New York NAY

            Steil Republican Wisconsin NAY

            Stewart Republican Utah NAY

            Stivers Republican Ohio NAY

            Taylor Republican Texas NAY

            Thompson (PA) Republican Pennsylvania NAY

            Turner Republican Ohio NAY

            Upton Republican Michigan NAY

            Van Duyne Republican Texas NAY

            Wagner Republican Missouri NAY

            Waltz Republican Florida NAY

            Wenstrup Republican Ohio NAY

            Westerman Republican Arkansas NAY

            Wittman Republican Virginia NAY

            Womack Republican Arkansas NAY

            Young Republican Alaska NAY

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