Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (W.V.) was forced to walk back his complaint that free speech is a “problem” in America because official narratives are being challenged.
“The problem that we have is the open press system and basically all the platforms,” he said at Davos alongside other U.S. lawmakers, including Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.), Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
Joe Manchin argues against the First Amendment at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos:
"The problem we have is the open press system and basically all the platforms." pic.twitter.com/c8pX3WN34N
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) January 17, 2023
“So if you’re able to have five social platforms, you can basically personify the extremes, somebody who is extremely right or extremely left. And it seems like that is the majority speaking. They’re not the majority, but they’re driving everybody to make a decision: ‘what side are you on, this side or this side?’
“And in America, there is only one side, the American side. It’s not the Republican side or Democrat. We should be coming together to solve the problems from a different angle,” Manchin added.
Following fierce online backlash, Manchin walked back his remarks on Wednesday, claiming that he just meant that he’s frustrated people aren’t accepting official narratives at face value.
“I totally apologize,” Manchin said on Fox Business. “I didn’t explain it properly. That was the problem. The open press that we have, which is absolutely the bedrock of democracy, ok? But there’s so much access. So, it used to be to where something was said, and it was accepted, and that was it.”
“Now, it’s said to where you can find a social media platform, you can find somebody to agree with you,” he added.
Manchin wasn’t the only person at Davos complaining about free speech.
European Commission VP Věra Jourová claimed on Tuesday that America will “soon” pass laws criminalizing so-called “hate speech” in spite of the First Amendment.
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