There is a piece of legislation making its way through both the House of Representatives and Senate that could have real implications for freedom of speech in the media and on the internet. On Wednesday, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 (S.2219), which seeks “to examine the prevalence of hate crime and hate speech on the Internet, television, and radio to better address such crimes.” Meanwhile, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) introduced a companion bill in the House – H.R. 3878.
“This really bothers me a great deal. Senator Ed Markey and Representative Hakeem Jeffries… are taking their Hate Crimes Reporting Act and they’re trying to jam it through and get passage in both the House and the Senate. It’s happening simultaneously… Is that part of Cass Sunstein’s old stomping grounds? The information administration looking to analyze all media outlets including radio to determine if they are working to advocate and encourage hate crimes. This is good, huh?”
In a Wednesday press release, Sen. Markey a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, explained why this legislation is particuraly important given the recent shooting in Kansas.
“We have recently seen in Kansas the deadly destruction and loss of life that hate speech can fuel in the United States,” Sen. Markey said, “which is why it is critical to ensure the Internet, television and radio are not encouraging hate crimes or hate speech that is not outside the protection of the First Amendment.”
Glenn happened to have a German radio from the Nazi era on his desk this morning, and he explained the great lengths taken by the Nazi government to ensure the German people only heard what they wanted them to hear.
“This [radio has] the German swastika on it, the German eagle is on it. This was an S.S. approved radio. It would only pick up the right radio stations, so you couldn’t tune into to the BBC or anything else. They just took those frequencies away,” Glenn explained. “I love the people who say the Nazis are extreme right. No, they’re not. The battle of World War II in Europe was communist versus Nazis – communists versus the national socialists… Both of them wanted world domination… Both of them were socialist… It’s the same group of guys.”
As Stu explained, the end result of Sen. Markey and Rep. Jeffries legislation is yet another tool that can be used by those in power against their opponents.
“It winds up being a political tool,” Stu said.
“This new bill [will] not only will regulate the hate speech as deemed by the government on talk radio but also all the Internet,” Glenn concluded. “It will change absolutely everything.”