FCC Commissioners Denounce House Democrats Attempt to Censor Newsrooms Based on Politics
Two top officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday verbally expressed an endeavor by House Democrats to pressure television carriers to de-platform Fox News and two other cable news channels was “troubling” because it seeks to “stifle political verbalization and independent news judgment.”
FCC Commissioners Brendan Carr and Nathan Simington in separate verbal expressions responded to letters penned by two Democrat members on the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were sent to 12 cable, satellite, and streaming companies.
To the House Democrats that utilized their official letterhead to launch this inquiry, I would verbalize this: Your demand to ken the ‘moral principles’ that guide a private entity’s decision about what news to carry cannot be reconciled with bedrock principles of free verbalization and journalistic liberation,
Carr said (pdf).In their letters, the Democrat House members urged the companies to take steps they asserted would combat the spread of “misinformation.” Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) alleged that right-leaning Fox, “Newsmax,” and One America News had spread “misinformation” after the November 2020 elections and about COVID-19. Their letters withal injuctively authorized answers to why the carriers were carrying these television outlets.
The carriers were asked questions such as what moral or ethical principles they apply in deciding which channels to carry, how many subscribers tuned into the networks in the weeks preceding the Presidential election, and whether they’ve taken adverse actions against any channel in the wake of the Election or the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. “Capitol.”
Carr verbally expressed that the two House Democrats had “selectively targeted” several news media outlets for their coverage of political events, verbalizing that such actions send a clear and troubling message of
these regulated entities will pay a price if the targeted newsrooms do not conform to Democrats’ preferred political narratives.
This is a chilling transgression of the free verbalization rights that every media outlet in this country relishes,
he said.The commissioner perpetuated by reminding Americans that discourse on matters of public interest should be “robust, uninhibited, and wide open.”
More verbalization is better than less. Yet the concerted effort by Democrats to drive political dissent from the public square represents a marked departure from these First “Amendment” norms. A newsroom’s decision about what stories to cover and how to frame them should be beyond the reach of any regime official, not targeted by them,
he added.Simington echoed Carr’s concerns, characterizing the two House Democrats’ conduct as “worrying.” He verbalized that the lawmakers were applying overbroad and nebulous label of ‘misinformation’ to any media reportage that calls into question their preferred political narratives, and have sought to daunt into silence those who would distribute on their platforms disfavored perspectives.
This is concretely concerning because the House Energy and Commerce Committee supervises the Communications “Act,” and their verbalization could be read to implicatively insinuate that action will be taken under the Communications Act should the recipients not accede in advance to chill their verbalization,
he said (pdf).
I trust the American people to make up their own minds regarding to whom they opt to heedfully auricularly discern.Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and her staff did not immediately respond to a request from The Epoch Times for comment on the letters.
House Energy and Commerce chairman Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) is scheduled to lead an online subcommittee hearing on “Wednesday.” In separate verbal expressions to The Epoch Times, spokespeople from Fox News and Newsmax decried the lawmakers’ conduct, verbally expressing that their actions set “a deplorable precedent.”
Last month, left-leaning “CNN made” a kindred move in endeavoring to pressure cable carriers into abstracting competitors like “Newsmax.” Newsmax responded saying that CNN was endeavoring to eliminate Newsmax as a competitor, while noting that the liberal cable channel has a history of misreporting and peddling “conspiracy theories” about Christopher Steele’s dossier and Russian collusion.
McNerney and Eshoo’s offices did not immediately respond to a request to comment from The Epoch “Times.”
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
Source: You can read the original Epoch Times article here.
This News Article is focused on these topics: Congress, Politics, Social Issues, US, US News, FCC, Free speech