Americans Abandoning Free Speech Better Brace for the Consequences, by J.D. Tuccille

Governments are inherently hostile to free speech and a bunch of other freedoms as well. From J.D. Tuccille at reason.com:

Government will happily suppress misinformation in favor of misinformation of its own.

In the panicked aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the powers-that-be dusted off wish lists of surveillance-state powers and began monitoring and tracking us in ways that affect our lives two decades later. The political turbulence of recent years, culminating in the Capitol riot on January 6, may similarly liberate the political class to do its worst—this time with free speech as the target. The effort will likely again enjoy support from members of the public eager to surrender their freedom.

“We need to shut down the influencers who radicalize people and set them on the path toward violence and sedition,” argued columnist Max Boot in The Washington Post. His solution? Carriers should drop Fox News and other conservative cable news outlets if they don’t stop spreading “misinformation.” Boot also believes that “Biden needs to reinvigorate the FCC” to impose British-style controls over the news—never mind that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) doesn’t have the authority to regulate cable outlets that it has over broadcasters that use public airwaves.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) agrees that the public needs to be protected from speech she considers false and misleading. “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,” she insisted.

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