Biden names anti-free speech MSNBC analyst to transition team

Free speech is already under attack here in America, and it looks like things will only get worse with a Joe Biden administration.

The New York Post reports that Biden has selected an individual for his transition team who is in favor of doing exactly what the First Amendment outlaws: “Abridging the freedom of speech.” 

Biden recently announced that he has made former MSNBC contributor Richard Stengel the transition team leader for media outlets owned by the United States.

These outlets include the U.S. Agency for Global Media, the U.S. government media empire, including Voice of America, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Stengel’s argument

Particularly concerning about Stengel, a former member of the Obama administration, is the opinion he expressed in a Washington Post op-ed that he wrote last year.

There, Stengel argued for limiting free speech. He made it clear that he would be in favor of making illegal certain kinds of hate speech.

“All speech is not equal,” he wrote. “And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting ‘thought that we hate,’ but not speech that incites hate.”

And, he wouldn’t stop there

Since then, according to Breitbart, Stengel, as an MSNBC analyst, has argued for even more free speech restrictions, including a restriction on speech about the coronavirus.

“The First Amendment doesn’t protect false speech about a virus or false speech that endangers the health of your users,” Stengel said. “And by the way, Facebook and Twitter have been taking things down, but they need to be even more vigilant about it, and Google needs to be even more vigilant about what they prioritize in their search results.”

In the words of legal scholar Jonathan Turley, “[I]t would be difficult to select a more anti-free speech figure to address government media policy [than Stengel].”

Looking ahead

Turley also said that, as a result of Stengel’s appointment and other indicators, we ought to “assume that Biden will continue the onslaught against this core freedom as president.”

In other words, if the First Amendment is going to survive, it is going to have to be because of Republicans.

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