In a recent question and answer session on Instagram, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) talked about managing misinformation. She said that it had come up in discussion with some of her colleagues in the House that there’s a serious need for “media literacy” and for Congress to “rein in” the press. As one might imagine, those news outlets who are not already acting as a sort of propaganda arm for the Democratic Party took issue with the idea of the government controlling the press.
What appears to be largely missing from the conversation, however, is a discussion of what exactly media literacy is – or, more importantly, what it is to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and how Congress might apply it to rein in the media.
To Twist an Idea
Media literacy is defined as “the ability or skills to critically analyze for accuracy, credibility, or evidence of bias the content created and consumed in various media, including radio and television, the internet, and social media.”
In response to a question about media literacy and the regulating of truth after the attack on the Capitol, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez answered that the idea is only now beginning to crystalize in Congress, she thinks, but that there is absolutely a committee in the works for this… though it’s mostly investigatory at this time. “Several members of Congress in some of my discussions have brought up media literacy because that is a part of what happened here,” the self-declared “democratic socialist” explained. “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. It’s one thing to have differing opinions, but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false.”
Media literacy aims to enable a consumer of information to understand the motivations behind that information. What the New York lawmaker speaks of is a weaponization of media literacy. It isn’t defined in the video, nor has any bill yet been introduced in the House that would either indicate a movement in this direction or clarify exactly what she means. However, piecing together clues from the context combined with actual definition paints a rather dystopian picture. Will there soon be a congressional committee responsible for analyzing media content for accuracy, credibility, or evidence of bias? If so, who will stand as the arbiter of truth? Where exactly is the line between differing opinions and disinformation? Based on other things the representative and her Democrat colleagues have said, it seems there won’t be a line at all.
Put simply, this is a move first to vilify political opponents and then prohibit them from exercising the right of free speech.
Congress Shall Make No Law …
The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:
“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 to peaceable assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
By focusing solely on the freedom of speech and the press, one gets the following directive: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
The Founders of this nation made this clear from the very beginning: The government has no authority to determine what constitutes truth, who can say what, or when they can say it. With the left-wing media already catering to the whim of the Democrats, and social media platforms doing everything in their power to erase millions of people from the conversation, the ability of the so-called alternative media to express conservative – simply not far-left – thought becomes critical.
Are the days of the American free press coming to an end? With a Democrat trifecta in the Swamp, it may fall to the courts to keep the U.S. from regulating news like the U.K. – or worse. Will freedom prevail, or will the next Tommy Robinson be an American?
Read more from James Fite.