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

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.

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