Radical delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) predictably defended censorship on Thursday, declaring that “free speech is not an absolute” and that certain views should not enjoy First Amendment protections.
Plaskett, the ranking member of the minority on the House Weaponization Subcommittee, attacked the views of witness and Democrat 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.)
She went on to claim falsely 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 continued to rant, but in forcing social media companies to promote “any conspiracy theories, no matter how harmful” because “they think that’s the only way their candidate can win the 2020 [sic] election.”
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.
That concept runs counter to the worldview of a totalitarian like Plaskett, who dismisses the speech of her political opponents as “conspiracy theories.”