Some say there's a war brewing against conservative media, while others argue it's just another example of Democrats trying to censor viewpoints and political speech they don't like or agree with.
On Wednesday, the Democrat-led House Energy and Commerce Committee held a virtual hearing labeled "Disinformation and Extremism in the Media."
"When truth becomes a commodity to be traded upon for profit, and facts and consequences don't matter to those who report them, our democracy is undermined," argued Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) during the hearing. "It is the responsibility of this Sub-Committee to hold these institutions to a higher standard."
Before the hearing, Democratic representatives Jerry McNerney and Anna Eshoo of California, wrote letters to TV providers, including Comcast, AT&T, COX, and Verizon demanding to know how they plan to stop what they called "the spread of dangerous misinformation" from right-leaning news outlets like Newsmax, One America News Network, and Fox News.
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"Let me put it bluntly: Misinformation is killing Americans and damaging our democracy," claimed Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).
Democrats accused the outlets of being a "destabilizing threat" to the country and functioning as "rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds" with their coverage of the presidential election and the global pandemic.
Republicans on the committee pushed back calling the hearing an attack on the First Amendment.
"Elected officials, using their platforms to pressure private companies to censure media outlets they disagree with, that sounds like actions from the Chinese Communist Party not duly-elected representatives of the United States Congress," responded Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
In their letter, Eshoo and McNerney asked the TV providers to give their "moral" reasoning for allowing tens of millions to watch Fox News and other networks. They also asked the carriers if they'll continue hosting conservative news and, if so, why.
Jonathan Turley, professor at the George Washington University Law School, was among those called to testify.
"From the perspectives of free speech and the free press, the letter is not only chilling, it's positively glacial," said Turley. "I may be a relic in my views, but I continue to believe that the greatest protection against bad speech is better speech."
"Those seeking limits on free speech look at it like it's a swimming pool that must be carefully monitored for safety," Turley went on to testify. "I view it more as a rolling ocean, it's indeed dangerous but it's also majestic and inspiring. Its immense size allows for a natural balance."
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-PA) also sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee.
He recounted how he and dozens of members of Congress miraculously survived a gunman's attack on a baseball field in June 2017.
"I was shot by a gunman motivated by rhetoric on leftist media platforms," Scalise said in a Tweet. "But right now Dems are trying to ban Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax. Why not MSNBC and CNN?" he asked. "It's clear: These authoritarian Dems want to silence all opposing viewpoints and control your life."
I was shot by a gunman motivated by rhetoric on leftist media platforms.
But right now Dems are trying to ban Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax.
Why not MSNBC and CNN?
It's clear: These authoritarian Dems want to silence all opposing viewpoints and control your life.
Watch ↓ pic.twitter.com/IFF6bazvar
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 25, 2021
Dr. Frank Wright of D. James Kennedy Ministries knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of censorship.
Earlier this month, the ministry's weekly Christian program was forced off Lifetime TV after it aired, among other things, a pro-life special.
"The ultimatum we received was basically your programming going forward must have all non-controversial topics in order to continue to air on our network," Dr. Wright told CBN News. "You know if you're a biblical Christian these days there's not much in the culture that's not considered controversial."
And the censorship is happening online as well with big tech companies.
This past Sunday, Dr. Ryan Anderson's book which challenges progressive ideas about gender, was pulled from Amazon's cyber shelves.
"We are going to have to think through how we as conservatives approach both the governmental side and the big business side because both of them seem to people with traditional American values," Anderson told CBN's Newswatch program.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear next month from the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
BELOW: Watch Wednesday's Full Hearing