Yesterday, ThinkProgress published an audio clip of Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL) discussing the WikiLeaks controversy on an Internet radio program last week. West declared that “we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled” WikiLeaks, and that such media outlets were “aiding and abetting” a “crime.” After ThinkProgress reported on West’s comments, CBS News, the Huffington Post, Raw Story, and several other outlets picked up on our post.
On his Facebook page, West responded with a note claiming that he never called for censoring the media. “I am heard on the African-American Conservative Radio Show saying the media should be censured- meaning ‘harshly criticized,’” wrote West. View a screenshot of his response below:
However, a close listening of the audio confirms that West indeed called for “censoring” American media outlets, not “censuring.” Below is the audio clip of West calling for media censorship:
Even if West had meant only punishing the media and said “censure” — which he did not — he would be violating the spirit of the First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” West, who campaigned for Congress holding a copy of the Constitution, has either never read the document or simply does not understand the freedoms it enshrines.