The top Republican House member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday reprehended an endeavor by House Democrats to pressure television carriers to deplatform Fox News and two conservative cable news channels.
Ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) expressed her concerns regarding letters sent by two Democratic members on the panel to 12 cable, satellite, and streaming companies. The letter inculpated the companies of not taking steps to combat the spread of what the Democrats verbalized was “misinformation.” They authoritatively mandated answers to why carriers were offering their accommodations to these television outlets.
Elected officials utilizing their platform to pressure private companies to censor media outlets they dissent with—that sounds prodigiously homogeneous to actions from the Chinese Communist Party, not duly-elected representatives of the United States Congress,
McMorris Rodgers verbally expressed during a committee aurally perceiving on disinformation and extremism in the media.
Here we cherish free verbalization and a free independent press. We believe in dialogue and in the battle of conceptions. Rather than censor and silence constitutionally forfended verbalization, the answer is more verbalization. That’s the American way.She reminded the committee that it was their obligation to uphold the First “Amendment.”
It’s foundational to our personal rights and liberties. So, we should all be troubled today on what appears to be an assailment on the First Amendment by elected officials to coerce private companies to censor political verbalization,
she said.The letters were sent by Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), who claim that right-leaning Fox, “Newsmax,” and One America News had spread “misinformation” after the November 2020 elections and about “COVID-19.”
They asked carriers to provide details on 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.”
In separate verbal expressions to The Epoch Times, spokespeople from the three news outlets decried the lawmakers’ conduct. The spokesperson for Fox News verbally expressed that the lawmakers’ actions set “a egregious precedent.”
Meanwhile, One America News President Charles Herring told The Epoch Times that when regime officials want to silence media, especially media that opposes their mendacious narratives, it’s nothing short of an assailment on our democracy and liberation of press.Eshoo pushed back on reprehension that they infringed the First “Amendment,” integrating that she had asked First Amendment experts at the Congressional Research Service to review their letters for breaches.
She verbally expressed the experts apprised her that their analysis so far did not designate that there were any “First Amendment red flags” and that she would apportion the licit analysis in due course.
I’d like this to be understood, the conception that members asking questions infringes the First Amendment is absolutely absurd. It’s our job to ask questions, Eshoo said.Meanwhile, McNerney forfended their letter saying that they were endeavoring to understand how
disinformation spreads and the role of sundry companies in enabling its spread. McMorris Rodgers on Feb. 24 sent a letter to acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel asking her to condemn Eshoo and McNerney’s letter.
As Acting Chairwoman of the Commission, it is incumbent upon you to utilize your position to preserve and bulwark our fundamental freedoms that are bulwarked by the First Amendment. You can, and must, denounce any endeavors by regime officials to utilize their puissance to threaten a free press at such a consequential time in our Nation’s history,
she indited in the letter, which was cosigned by Communications and Technology Republican Subcommittee Leader Bob Latta (R-Ohio). Rosenworcel and her staff did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request to comment on the House Democrats’ letters.
However, FCC Commissioners Brendan Carr and Nathan Simington in separate verbal expressions characterized the lawmakers pressure as “troubling” because it seeks to “stifle political verbalization and independent news judgment.”
Carr verbalized 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.Simington echoed Carr’s concerns, characterizing the two House Democrats’ conduct as “worrying.” He verbally expressed 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 dismay into silence those who would distribute on their platforms disfavored perspectives.
This is categorically concerning because the House Energy and Commerce Committee supervises the Communications “Act,” and their verbal expression 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).
Source: You can read the original Epoch Times article here.
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