The "strong alliance" between the American left and "mega-corporations" is a danger to free speech and free market principles of "competition and innovation," Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told "Life, Liberty & Levin" in an interview airing Sunday.
Host Mark Levin posited to Hawley that Big Tech companies "are very concerned about people who disagree with the establishment or disagree with the Democrat Party.
"For instance," the host continued, "if you post a comment that disagrees with [White House chief medical adviser] Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, you're likely to get dinged. Even if you're an expert from Stanford or an expert from Oxford or an expert from Yale or Johns Hopkins. if your viewpoint doesn't comport with the government-stated viewpoint out of the federal bureaucracy, you're likely to pay a price."
Levin went on to dismiss "third parties" who help review posted articles for alleged misinformation "are hacks. They're not objective people.
"So we have this massive censorship machine going on," Levin said. "Then you have little Parler [a social media company that includes Fox News contributor Dan Bongino among its stakeholders] that's trying to start up and they all collude and they all get together, as if they're all on the phone with each other, and ... they cut them off ... They take them off their store. They take them off their platform ... It's anti-American."
Hawley agreed, telling Levin: "That is anti-American. That is anti-free speech. It's anti-First Amendment ... and make no mistake, the left is cheering them on.
"You hear the Democrats sometimes talk about these companies -- they love the power that these companies have," the senator added. "They love it. They love the power over speech that Facebook and Twitter have, and they want them to do more.
"The left wants Facebook to censor more. They want Twitter to censor more. They want Google to censor more. So there is a strong alliance between the left wing in this country and these mega-corporations."
Hawley, the author of the forthcoming book "The Tyranny of Big Tech," added that "the left can achieve with these companies what they could never do with government because the First Amendment would actually stand in the way, thank goodness, if it were government that were explicitly trying to censor us and tell us what we could say."
However, he went on, "when the left uses these mega-monopolies to do it, well, then it's fine.
And that's why they go out there and say, 'Oh, the First Amendment doesn't apply to Facebook,' 'The First Amendment doesn't apply to Google, so censor away,' and they want to combine the power of government and the power of these corporations. And boy, is that dangerous for free speech."
Hawley warned that "if the American people can't decide what we want to read and not, if we can't decide what kind of news we want to see and if we can't talk about it together, if I'm not allowed to to share what I want to share in terms of [saying] 'I think you ought to read this news story, I want to comment on this', if there's some censor out there who can effectively shut me down any time I express a contrary view, how is our democracy going to survive?"