MTG eyes legislation to force media to give same effort to correcting lies as to spreading them

"The freedom of press is not the freedom to lie," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said.

Updated: November 30, 2021 - 11:33pm

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is exploring possible legislation that would hold media outlets accountable for lies and distortion by forcing them to devote the same level of effort and attention to correcting false narratives as they did to spreading them.

"The freedom of press is not the freedom to lie," the outspoken Georgia Republican told the John Solomon Reports podcast Tuesday. "And that is the biggest thing we have to focus on. There needs to be accountability, and I think that's something we really need to look at."

Noting that CNN pushed the since-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative for three years, she argued they should spend just as much time correcting that discredited tale.

They "should be held accountable now that it's been proven a lie," said the populist firebrand. CNN's "accountability should be that they should spend three years telling the truth about Russian collusion. And that's what media companies need to have in mind when they are busted."

The sort of legislative fix she is contemplating would prevent "the lie by letting them know that there is going to be consequences," she said. "If you're caught lying, then your network has to devote just as much time to telling the truth as you did telling the lie, not just a correction at the bottom of some article that gets buried and no one ever sees."

Greene has her staff looking at "some sort of legislation that will protect the freedom [of the press], because that's so important, but also force accountability," she added.

Legal scholar and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley warned against such a legislative proposal, comparing it to laws censoring social media companies.

"Such a law would raise serious constitutional concerns," Turley told Just the News. "The best solution to bad speech is good speech.

"There are certainly well-documented cases of the media advancing false stories in the last few years. However, I would not advocate any type of federal laws to combat media disinformation any more than I support the censorship of social media companies. It would be very hard to draft a law that would pass constitutional muster and I believe the costs of such a law to the free press would outweigh any benefits."