Washington, DC – The leader of the controversial “Squad” of Democratic Socialists was called “wholly un-American” on Wednesday after she suggested that Congress was going to create a commission to “rein in” the country’s Constitutionally-protected free press.
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) made the remarks during a livestreamed question and answer session on Instagram on Tuesday, FOX News reported.
Ocasio-Cortez was asked whether Congress was working on “truth and reconciliation or media literacy initiatives” to help American heal.
“What I can say, there is absolutely a commission being discussed but it seems to be more investigatory, in style rather than truth and reconciliation,” she began.
“And so I think that’s an interesting concept for us to explore, and I do think that several members of Congress, in some of my discussions, have brought up media literacy because that is a part of what happened here and we’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.
“It’s one thing to have differing opinions. But it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false,” the congresswoman opined.
AOC suggests adding “media literacy” as a mandate for a congressional “truth and reconciliation” committee pic.twitter.com/sv7UXMwvaO
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 13, 2021
Freedom of speech, and the existence of a free press, are mandated by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but recent attempts to ban words that hurt people’s feelings and differing political viewpoints have called into question how “free” the media should actually be in the eyes of liberal lawmakers.
“Let’s unpack this proposal, she wants to basically establish a Ministry of Truth, we’ve all read ‘1984’ and, you know, to determine what is truth and what is not. So who sits on this committee exactly? Eric Swalwell? Adam Schiff? Because they seem to have some challenges when it comes to telling the truth,” The Hill media columnist Joe Concha told FOX News.
Then the media analyst gave examples of the controversial congresswoman’s hypocrisy.
“How does Mrs. Ocasio-Cortez define truth exactly?” Concha asked. “She was asked in a [“60 Minutes”] interview, this was a couple of years ago after she was fact-checked on some very dubious claims, about those particular claims and she said, ‘People want to really blow up one figure here, or a word there, I would argue they are missing the forest for the trees, I think there is a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, semantically correct than being morally right.’”
Concha said that it doesn’t appear Ocasio-Cortez cares about news reporting being factually correct, but rather, is making judgments based on her own moral standards.
“Let’s say I want to argue against defunding the police or adding two states, which therefore would add four Democratic Senators, does that make me morally wrong and therefore do I have to testify before this committee? Am I pulled off the air?” he asked.
Concha said having Democrats controlling all three branches of the U.S. government could be a threat to the country’s free press, and said “this sort of thing in terms of government regulating speech should stay in China, or stay in North Korea or, I don’t know, ‘1984.'”
Critics have also pointed out that Ocasio-Cortez’s stated desire to “rein in” the press flies in the face of the Founders’ intentions in drafting the First Amendment which says “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.”
David Harsanyi of the New York Post wrote that the Socialist congresswoman from New York seemed to have a backwards understanding of the role of Congress in connection with the press.
“Now, perhaps in the political systems favored by AOC citizens are impelled to look to government for ultimate truth, but that’s not the case in the United States,” Harsanyi wrote. “At least, not yet. Here, the Constitution ‘reins in’ Congress from intruding on the speech of citizens, journalists, or any private institutions, not the other way around.”
He mocked the media “factcheckers” who have been arbitrarily decrying news reporting with which they disagree as fake or false based on their own political biases.
“Are these the arbiters of facts who will be manning the government commission appointed by those storied truthtellers in congress?” the New York Post columnist asked.
Harsanyi wrote about the New York Post’s “lived experience” with a censored press during the fall when Big Tech and social media platforms openly blocked news reporting about the allegedly shady business dealings of then-Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
“The pretext for this concerted and blatant attack on open discourse and journalism was the alleged need to uphold accuracy and standards,” he wrote.
“As some of us suspected, and we all soon learned, the entire act was put on to shield the preferred candidate of elites,” the New York Post columnist continued.
He defended his publication’s reporting as accurate and pointed out that mainstream media has spent the last four years reporting theories about President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians as if they were Gospel.
Harsanyi said that the government involving itself in the nation’s media would inevitably lead to the major media entities becoming pet media outlets and “consolidating power.”
“The press should be challenging those in power, not obsequiously trying to earn gold stars from unelected bureaucrats on a state-run committee,” he wrote.
Then Harsanyi dropped exactly the type of truth-bomb that Socialist Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez want to block.
“For those unaware, the ‘truth and reconciliation commission’ the AOC fan asked about was most famously used in South Africa after the fall of apartheid as means of ‘restorative justice,’” he wrote.
Harsanyi said using that phrase insinuated that everyone who voted for President Trump – 74 million Americans – were “racist thugs” and called it a “disgusting smear.”
“As for AOC’s ideas: It’s just creepy, not to mention wholly un-American, for an elected official to advocate the state as adjudicator of veracity of our political speech,” Harsanyi wrote.
He called the concept “crassly hypocritical” and said it was Congress who needed a truth commission.