This Democrat senator asked government agencies if they can censor social media to prevent bank runs

Yes, a real, live U.S. senator said this.

In the wake of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, members of Congress joined a Zoom call with officials from key federal agencies to dicuss how to handle the fallout. Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly reportedly wanted to know if the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, or FDIC could censor social media speech that might encourage a run on the banks.

I’m not kidding. A real, live U.S. senator, who allegedly has read the Constitution including the First Amendment, actually said that.

Journalist Michael Shellenberger reported on Monday, “During a conference call about the Silicon Valley Bank bailout yesterday, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) asked representatives from the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation (FDIC) if they had a way to censor information on social media to prevent a run on the banks, according to Republican members of the House of Representatives who were on the call.”

“The members said there were roughly 200 people on the Zoom call, including Senators, House members, and staff members from both parties,” Shellenberger reported at Public. “On our conference call, led by [Senate President Chuck] Schumer, with Fed, FDIC, and Treasury, a democrat senator asked the three agencies if there was a program underway on social media to censor information that would lead to a bank run,’ Rep. Thomas Massie told Public.”

“I believe he couched it in a concern that foreign actors would be doing this,” said Massie, “but he didn’t suggest the censorship should be limited to foreigners or to things that were untrue. The people from the three agencies couldn’t answer him and just sort of took a pass on the question.”

I have chronicled at BASEDPolitics how many on the Left have trended away from honoring or protecting some of the most basic civil liberties that Americans have long enjoyed, with free speech being paramount, and the shift has even made some progressives begin to view free speech as a right-wing value.

Kelly’s request was a member of Congress nonchalantly thinking the U.S. government could just censor away. Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi noticed some of the dismissiveness and plain aloofness congressional members displayed about basic constitutional rights during his House committee hearing last week.

“Civil liberties have officially gone out of style, a phenomenon on full display at the Weaponization of Government Hearing at which I just testified,” Taibbi wrote at his Substack ‘Racket.’

“At the hearing, Pee-Wee’s words of the day were clearly cherry-picked, money, and Elon Musk. Nearly every question asked of Michael Shellenberger and me involved our associations or motives,” Taibbi noted.

He continued, “Florida’s Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said ‘being a Republican witness certainly casts a cloud over your objectivity’ (only a Democratic witness can be trusted), while Dan Goldman tweeted that only someone who signed his version of a loyalty oath — a question about whether or not we ‘agreed’ with Robert Mueller’s two indictments of Russian defendants — can ‘belong’ in the public conversation.”

This is bats*** stuff. From members of Congress.

Who still completely ignored the actual issue of free speech.

Taibbi observed, “These are behaviors we associated with Republicans in the War on Terror years, when Democrats howled over accusations that John Kerry ‘looks French.’ That the roles have been reversed is old news, but the big question remains: why did this happen?”

It happened because at the dawn of the Trump era, the Left rapidly came to the conclusion that stopping the spread of “disinformation” or “misinformation” was more important than the freedom to share information. Free speech took a backseat to these guardians of the establishment galaxy, in which the mainstream press, politicians and federal agencies would mold what the public was allowed to express or share. The ongoing Twitter Files have been full of examples of this which is why they have been so villainized by the establishment class.

That this new Left mission was brazenly anti-constitutional and anti-freedom was glossed over by their shellshock over the mere existence of Donald Trump.

So in 2023, a Democratic senator can ask federal agencies to censor without batting an eye. He thinks this is normal. For many in his bubble, it is.

They want a censorship regime. That’s the goal.

As Taibbi wrote, “Making a furious public less visible doesn’t make it go away. Moreover, as we saw at the hearing, clamping down on civil liberties makes obnoxious leaders more conspicuous, not less. Democrats used to understand this, but now they’re betting everything on the blinders they refuse to take off, a plan everyone but them can see won’t end well.”


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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for