California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu revealed his desire to censor certain aspects of speech during an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday afternoon.
They were discussing Lieu’s actions during Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Keilar continued, “You took an opportunity to push back on Republican claims of bias in Google searches in the middle of this hearing, you googled Republican Steve Scalise, you googled after that Republican Steve King to show that there were favorable stories, including from conservative outlets about Scalise, negative coverage of King and you made the point essentially, that’s not because of a Google algorithm, it’s because of what these members do and say.”
“Have you thought that maybe you and other Democrats have missed opportunities to use your time to press Google’s CEO at a time when these large tech companies are struggling to manage content perpetuating conspiracy theories, they’re so vulnerable to outside interference,” she continued. “Isn’t that a focus that could have been a missed opportunity?” (RELATED: Republican Matt Gaetz Grills Google CEO For Not Investigating Anti-Conservative Employee Bias)
“So it’s a very good point you make. I would love, if I could have more than five minutes to question witnesses, unfortunately, I don’t get that opportunity. However, I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech. The First Amendment prevents me from doing so and that’s simply a function of the First Amendment, but I think over the long run, it’s better that government does not regulate the content of speech. I would urge these private sector companies to regulate it better themselves but it’s really nothing that I believe government can do, so that’s been my position all along.”
Keilar did not push Lieu to explain what type of speech he’d want to regulate.