The House Democrat, who tweeted about his concerns the company was stifling free speech after it blocked the Post’s blockbuster coverage of Hunter Biden, said Sunday he was open to hearings in Congress on press freedom.
“It is wrong to censor newspapers. It’s wrong to censor journalists,” California MP Ro Khanna said on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.
“The New York Post hasn’t written a single word about me in my six years in Congress. They’re a newspaper with conservative stances,” he continued. “But that doesn’t mean you can stop publishing your plays or articles, or censor your journalists from sharing stories.”
Twitter’s suppression of The Post’s October 2020 disclosure about President Biden’s son “just goes against the fundamental principles on which our country is founded,” Khanna told host Maria Bartiromo.
He said he was “open to hearings in Congress” on protecting the media’s publishing rights.
“There are two competing values. On the one hand, we don’t want censorship. We don’t want people to be censored, marginalized, shadow boxed and removed from Twitter because of their views,” Khanna said.
“On the other hand … we don’t want accounts that are filled with anti-Semitism or just spit racism or hate on those accounts,” Khanna added. “And I think Congress should have an honest, thoughtful conversation about how we uphold those two values.”
Twitter owner Elon Musk first released internal company documents — known as the “Twitter Files” — through a report by journalist Matt Taibbi on December 2.
This installment of documents detailed how a group of top executives decided to flag The Post’s October 2020 coverage of the first son as “hacked material” and then blocked distribution on the platform.
Taibbi’s report revealed that after the decision, Khanna wrote to the then-Chief Legal Counsel and confided in Vijaya Gadde to express his concerns about violations of the First Amendment.
“Generating a huge backlash on the hill regarding freedom of expression,” Khanna said in an email to Gadde.
Gadde, who has since been fired by Musk, responded by explaining Twitter’s “hacked material” policy.
“A journalist should not be held responsible for the source’s illegal actions unless they actively supported the hack. So restricting the distribution of this material, particularly in relation to a presidential candidate, does not appear to be consistent with NYT v. Sullivan policy,” Khanna said, referring to the landmark 1964 Supreme Court case protecting press freedom.
In his Sunday interview on Fox, Khanna said, “I just campaigned for our Constitution and our First Amendment.”
Since Musk first published the account of Twitter’s handling of The Post’s story about Hunter Biden, Musk has posted three more episodes of the “Twitter files.”
The most recent on Saturday detailed how Twitter employees were working behind the scenes to ban former President Donald Trump from the platform following the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
The others covered how the company secretly “blacklisted” conservative figures and how Twitter suppressed the views of right-wing users but stayed away from liberal users.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/11/rep-khanna-says-twitter-wrong-to-censor-newspapers/ Rep. Ro Khanna backs The Post, says Twitter ‘wrong to censor newspapers’