Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Monday asked House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler to host a hearing on “cancel culture.”
While the New York Democrat is likely to deny the request, it reflects an emerging conservative focus that’s likely to bear on other hearings and emerge as an issue in the 2022 midterm elections.
“The wave of cancel culture spreading [in] the nation is a serious threat to fundamental free
speech rights in the United States. From newsrooms to college campuses to social media giants, we have seen a dangerous trend toward silencing and censoring certain political speech,” Jordan, the ranking member on the committee, wrote.
“As the committee entrusted with upholding the Constitution and our fundamental liberties, our first full committee hearing for the 117th Congress must examine this cancel culture sweeping America.”
The term “cancel culture” describes the punishment of unpopular political or social ideas, generally by firing or censoring the speaker.
“Our society must always promote the free exchange of ideas, not cancel the
ideas with which we disagree. If cancel culture continues unchallenged, it is not just the
unpopular or controversial viewpoints that are at risk,” Jordan wrote.
The Ohio congressman contended that “our shared commitment to free speech principles is eroding under demands for the censorship and silencing of certain speech.”
“College campuses have canceled lectures because students disagree with the speaker. An editor for America’s newspaper of record was forced to resign for publishing an opinion piece by a Republican Senator with which the newsroom disagreed,” Jordan wrote.
“Amazon has refused to sell books reflecting certain political views, and Twitter and Facebook have censored and de-platformed prominent conservatives—including the sitting President of the United States. Most recently, two Democrat Members of Congress wrote to twelve cable companies demanding that they not broadcast certain news networks.”
A spokesman for Nadler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.