The Left believes in free speech, but only when convenient… and only for themselves.
In 2018, billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the Los Angeles Times. He added new staff and tried to create new digital revenue to head off the Times’ collapse. He took the financial hits on the chin to the tune of $30–$40 million annually, according to reports.
Well, apparently even billionaires get tired of losing money. And Soon-Shiong has decided to lay off 115 reporters and other staffers because of it.
Now members of Congress are weighing in. Politico reports that 10 California representatives—all Democrats—are urging voluntary buy-outs instead of layoffs, and said in a letter to Soon-Shiong that the Times is “a linchpin of information and expert opinion for our community.” They also wrote that “preserving democracy is contingent upon a free press.”
It’s usually a bad idea when politicians get involved in private business decisions. But it’s especially hypocritical when some of these members of Congress only seem to like free speech and media-provided information when it’s convenient.
The first name on the congressional letter to Soon-Siong belongs to Representative Jimmy Gomez of Los Angeles. While still in the California legislature, then-Assemblyman Gomez authored retaliatory legislation to criminalize citizen journalists like David Daleiden, who exposed Planned Parenthood’s horrific practice of selling aborted body parts. Ironically, even fellow Democrats and liberal activists thought Gomez’s zeal to stifle speech went too far and he was forced to water down the bill to get it passed.
It’s also not the only time Gomez has tried to stifle pro-life speech. In 2015, he voted for California’s “Reproductive FACT Act” requiring pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to provide information on obtaining abortions. Fortunately, the Supreme Court struck down this law on the grounds that it placed undue burdens on free speech.
Of course, no list of California left-wing radicals would be complete without Los Angeles Congressman Adam Schiff, who is currently the leading candidate for open U.S. Senate seat. Last year, Schiff again introduced a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn the First Amendment by giving the federal government the power to restrict campaign speech. He has also used his position as a sitting member of Congress to pressure Elon Musk to censor speech on Twitter, accusing Musk of being a “free speech absolutist.”
Then there’s Beverly Hills Rep. Ted Lieu, who has no barrier between his brain and his mouth and said exactly what he was thinking when he told a CNN reporter, “I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech.”
In case there was any doubt about his feelings on free speech, Lieu also lamented on Twitter earlier that day that the First Amendment prevented him from regulating Fox News.
And last, but not least, there’s Rep. Judy Chu. She’s a big supporter of the repressive regime in communist China, one of the world’s biggest violators of free speech. According to a Daily Caller investigation, Chu has received honorary leadership positions with the All America Chinese Youth Federation (AACYF) and Forums for Peaceful Reunification of China. Both have ties to CCP intelligence. Chu also opposed the creation of a select committee focused on countering China’s growing influence around the world.
Got it? Preserving free speech is vital… for some people. And it’s the position not just of some current California politicians, but also one former California elected official.
You know her as Vice President Kamala Harris. But before she was VP, before she was a Golden State U.S. senator, she was California’s attorney general. And she hated free speech so much that she helped Planned Parenthood write a law to ban pro-life investigative journalism—the same law Gomez introduced. Even the Times found the law offensive. But some media groups dropped their opposition when the law only went after the investigative journalists and left the media outlets that reported on the investigative work alone.
Harris’ harassment of an influential conservative journalist also included sending law enforcement to invade his home.
So, in short: when it’s convenient, a slew of California politicians love the First Amendment. But when it’s not, it’s out the window.
Paul Revere is the pseudonym of a conservative writer