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‘A dangerous phenomenon’: Jordan requests hearing on ‘cancel culture’

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On Monday, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, sent a letter to Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, asking that the first full committee hearing of the session address “cancel culture.”

“The wave of cancel culture spreading the nation is a serious threat to fundamental free speech rights in the United States,” Jordan wrote. “From newsrooms to college campuses to social media giants, we have seen a dangerous trend toward silencing and censoring certain political speech. As the committee entrusted with upholding the Constitution and our fundamental liberties, our first full committee hearing for the 117th Congress must examine this cancel culture sweeping America.”

Moreover, Jordan emphasized that the first amendment has made the country “the envy of the world,” but added that that very right to free speech has been under assault recently, citing several examples of such threats.

“Now our shared commitment to free speech principles is eroding under demands for the censorship and silencing of certain speech. College campuses have canceled lectures because students disagree with the speaker. An editor for America’s newspaper of record was forced to resign for publishing an opinion piece by a Republican Senator with which the newsroom disagreed. Amazon has refused to sell books reflecting certain political views, and Twitter and Facebook have censored and de-platformed prominent conservatives—including the sitting President of the United States. Most recently, two Democrat Members of Congress wrote to twelve cable companies demanding that they not broadcast certain news networks,” he wrote.

“Cancel culture is a dangerous phenomenon whether you agree or disagree with the views being censored. Our society must always promote the free exchange of ideas, not cancel the ideas with which we disagree. If cancel culture continues unchallenged, it is not just the unpopular or controversial viewpoints that are at risk. Every viewpoint and every idea—whether widely accepted now or not—runs the risk of eventually falling into disfavor with the ever-changing standards of cancel culture.”

The letter to Nadler ends with a message of bipartisanship, urging support from both Republicans and Democrats on the issue. Nadler didn’t immediately respond to this reporter’s request for comment. The story will be updated if and when a statement is received.

“As Justice Louis Brandeis counseled almost a century ago, the remedy for ‘falsehoods and fallacies’ is ‘more speech, not enforced silence.’ Cancel culture’s long-term consequences to our democracy and our constitutional framework are serious and substantial. We must fight this trend before it is too late. There is no better issue on which Republicans and Democrats can work together to address in our first full committee hearing than to address the scourge of cancel culture in the United States,” Jordan concludes.

Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter @JennieSTaer

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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