Sen. Hawley slams liberal media, says they want to be the ‘gatekeepers’ of speech
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., discusses Big Tech and the media’s role in monitoring and shaping public discourse in America
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. tore into the liberal media’s ambition of being “gatekeepers” of free speech in America in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital.
“The liberal media want to be the gatekeepers for speech in this country, what you can or cannot say that’s acceptable speech. And what we found is the American people don’t want them to be the gatekeepers,” Hawley said. “They want them, the media, just to report on the facts. Tell us what is actually happening and let the American people draw their own conclusions. So that’s not what the left-wing media wants.”
“And the media doesn’t like the power that the American people have now to choose among different media outlets. They don’t like the proliferation of different voices. They want to control it all themselves. This is why they love the power of Big Tech because it centralizes control again. So, I ignore all of those media folks who tell me, you know, what I can and cannot say or tell me … what the right answer is or not. You know, they shouldn’t have that kind of power,” Hawley said.
Senator Josh Hawley, R-Missouri., speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Texas Unconstitutional Abortion Ban and the Role of the Shadow Docket", in Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, U.S., September 29, 2021. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS
Hawley, who spoke at the National Conservatism Conference in Orlando, insisted the media is cheerleading the censorship from Big Tech because it “enforces their party line.”
“I think the media has made a dangerous bargain with tech because tech wants to and – if something doesn’t change – will eat the existing media platforms alive,” Hawley said. “Tech wants to own the news industry, tech wants to own the entertainment industry, they want to own the sports industry. So I think that some of these liberal journalists who are cheering on Big Tech’s war on conservative speech, I think that they’re going to be sadly disappointed when tech turns around and gobbles up their platform and starts telling them what they can print and starts telling them what to do.”
“And we know they’ll do that because Facebook has been trying it. You know, Facebook has said you need to pivot to video. Oh no, you need to … use this format for your news stories. Google doing the same thing. I mean, Google is the most powerful publisher in America now. So I think that the left’s bargain with Big Tech is going to turn out to be a fool’s bargain,” Hawley added.
The GOP senator railed against the “so-called fact-checkers” that have emerged in recent years to combat what they deem is “misinformation” as part of the media’s effort to control speech, calling them “Democratic operatives, many of whom are “paid” to be partisans.
Hawley also spoke about his new podcast “This is Living,” which he co-hosts with his wife, Erin Hawley, and how the emerging medium stands out.
“What I like about podcasting, which is a new medium to me – I haven’t previously done a podcast of my own, is it’s a little bit longer-form format, and so it gives you a chance to be a little less hurried,” Hawley told Fox News Digital. “You can have a conversation and for me, this podcast with my wife, this is something we want to do for a long time. It’s just a sharing about our family, about our married life, I mean, the things that, to us, really mattered the most to life.”
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“I spend my working hours in politics. My wife is an attorney, a constitutional lawyer, a Supreme Court lawyer. And of course, we love those things. We think those are really important, but we think that family and faith and marriage is even more important. And so for us, this is just a fun chance to share some of that journey,” he added.
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