Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell Suggests Banning US Troops from Watching Fox News
Eric Swalwell knows Fox News is popular. And for Swalwell, that’s a problem.
The Democratic California congressman, best known for his suspected fling with a suspected Chinese spy, suggested to MSNBC over the weekend that the best solution might be banning U.S. servicemen and women from even watching the biggest network that challenges the Democratic Party on a regular basis.
And in the process, he showed more about himself — and his party — than he intended.
The topic arose Saturday when Swalwell was interviewed by MSNBC’s Katie Phang on “The Katie Phang Show.” (If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not the only one.)
The two were discussing the ongoing defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News when Phang (not to be confused with Fang Fang, Swalwell’s alleged CCP paramour) brought up the federal government potentially taking action against the network.
Check it out here:
“I’m worried a lot about Americans, and the disinformation and misinformation that was pumped out of Fox News,” Phang began, about the 1:25 mark.
“Has there been any discussions in Congress about maybe congressional oversight, regulations, maybe the FCC getting involved? I know we all respect the First Amendment, congressman, but shouldn’t there be some type of gatekeeping that happens, so that this doesn’t happen again?”
The question was bad enough coming from Phang, a lawyer who is supposed to actually understand that the Constitution means what it says. (“We all respect the First Amendment, but …” is another way of saying, “We don’t respect the First Amendment, so …”)
Swalwell’s answer was worse. He cited a group called VoteVets, which bills itself on Twitter as an organization of veterans and their families working to elect politicians who fight for “progressive values.”
In a Twitter post on March 6, the group demanded that Fox hosts be “removed from all TVs on military installations NOW.”
FOX hosts’ election lies and disinformation splits the ranks, hurts unit cohesion, and weakens America’s national defense. They must be removed from all TVs on military installations NOW.
Share if you agree! pic.twitter.com/1a6WiYB0hV
— VoteVets (@votevets) March 6, 2023
“I think about our troops,” Swalwell said. “And I’ve been all over the world. And I’ve visited our troops in some of the harshest places, and nothing makes them feel more like home than their access, you know, to American television programming. And a popular channel is Fox News.
“And, again, I don’t want to get into the business of telling troops what they can and cannot watch, but if you have a news station that a court is going to rule is, in its evening hour, you know, perpetuating dis- and misinformation, I don’t know if I disagree with VoteVets who is saying we need to take a look at how this is being broadcast to our troops.
“And I hope that’s an incentive for Fox News to clean up its evening hour, you know, starting with Tucker Carlson and going on later in the evening with Laura Ingraham. …
“I don’t think we’re without complete recourse.”
And that is about as Orwellian an approach to American freedoms as can be imagined in a single question-and-answer interaction.
First, Phang claimed, “We all respect the First Amendment, but …” and asked how Congress can violate the First Amendment for Fox.
Swalwell responded that he didn’t “want to get into the business of telling troops what they can and cannot watch,” then proceeded to say openly that he wants to limit what American troops can and cannot watch.
It’s no secret why Democrats like Swalwell despise Fox. It’s a wildly popular cable network that regularly dwarfs its liberal rivals — CNN and MSNBC — in nightly ratings.
Programs like Carlson’s show Americans views they literally will not see elsewhere — as in the case of the footage Carlson aired last week of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion that gave a vastly different perspective of events than the one that had been force-fed the country by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 committee.
And whatever the result of the Dominion defamation lawsuit — to call it constitutionally shaky would be putting it mildly — it won’t change the fact that what frightens progressives like Swalwell is not that what Fox reports is truly “dis- or mis- or mal-” or whatever kind of negative prefix they want to affix to “information.”
What frightens them is that Fox stands like a bulwark against the monopoly of lies progressives have been foisting on the American public through the major networks and their cable handmaidens.
And that’s what Swalwell showed Americans in this interview.
Swalwell doesn’t want his country’s military to watch Fox?
He no doubt would prefer subjecting those who wear the uniform of the United States to the steady, poisonous drip of MSNBC and CNN, maligning patriotic Americans who care about their rights.
Fox is popular with Americans because it fosters American values. It’s popular with service members because it salutes — on a regular basis — the sacrifices they are making and projects an image of a nation that is worth sacrificing for.
But for Swalwell, his fellow Democrats, Katie Phang (and the lovely Fang Fang herself, no doubt) that’s a problem.
Which side would you rather be on?
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