On Monday, MPs Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), senior members of the House's Communications and Technology Subcommittee for Energy and Home, sent letters to several cable and streaming services sharing theirs “Ethical principles” called into question decisions about which channels should be transmitted.
The letter states: "Some alleged news outlets have long been rumors of misinformation and breeding grounds for conspiracy theory, producing content that leads to real harm."
The letter goes on to say, "TV misinformation has resulted in our currently polluted information environment, radicalizing individuals into seditious acts and, among other things, rejecting public health best practices in our public discourse."
In the letter, broadcasters are punished for not taking "measures" against the conservative outlets that they blame for the Capitol uprising:
Have you taken negative action against any channel, including Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN, to use your platform to disseminate disinformation related, directly or indirectly, to the November 3, 2020 election, the January 6, 2021, or the Capitol Riot COVID-19 related? Misinformation?
The letter to Verizon, Comcast, Amazon, Google, Apple, Roku, and Hulu appears to be a call on TV companies to explain why they run conservative channels that the Democrats specifically mentioned: Fox News, One America News Network (OANN) and Newsmax TV.
Conservatives and Republicans see the letter as an implicit threat or demand that vendors take unauthorized outlets off the air.
Two House Democrats sent a letter to every major cable operator essentially demanding that the conservative news networks Fox, Newsmax and One America News cease to operate, as reported by Politico.https: //t.co/WFG3u7kr0P
– American size (@theamgreatness) February 23, 2021
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Democrats want to silence conservative voices
The elections were hardly over before the Democratic Party decided to declare war on its ideological opponents, and the media was more than happy to back them.
CNN was one of the first to publicly question why Fox News Channel was allowed to air.
On January 8th, Fox News' Tucker Carlson announced on his broadcast that not only was it happening, but that “CNN employees are already contacting and submitting the six major cable operators in this country, the companies that are bringing our signal into your home Put pressure on them to drop Fox News. "
“On what pretext can you ask? Under the guise that this show and others on the channel are directly responsible for the violence in the US Capitol this week, ”Carlson said.
Even the name of the hearing seems to illustrate exactly what the intentions of the Democrats, who seem to have trouble with other views, are: "Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media".
The committee's statement made an even creepier idea.
“The spread of disinformation and extremism through traditional news media poses a tangible and destabilizing threat. The increasing reliance of some broadcast and cable networks on conspiracy theories and misleading or blatantly false information raises questions about their devotion to journalistic integrity. "
#Censorship is coming! "The Communications and Technology Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled" Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media. "
Look out for #conservativemedia
The scholar @soledadobrien will testify before the convention. https://t.co/oI4wRc1LCP
– Todd V. McMurtry (@ToddMcMurtry) February 23, 2021
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The response was quick and to the point
In a report by The Hill, all the news channels mentioned in the letter reacted quickly. The Fox News Channel statement read:
“As the most watched cable news station in 2020, FOX News Media provided millions of Americans with in-depth coverage, breaking news, and clear opinion. It is a terrible precedent for individual members of Congress to highlight the political speech they dislike and urge cable distributors to take action from a discrimination standpoint. "
Newsmax also defended their coverage, denouncing the letter:
“The House Democrats' attack on freedom of expression and basic first adjustment rights should chill all Americans. Newsmax reported fairly and accurately on allegations and allegations made by both sides during the recent election campaign. "
Republicans were also quick to respond to what they said, an attempt to quell any contradiction against the Democratic opposition and to silence any viewpoints they disagree with.
MEP Cathy McMorris-Rogers (R-WA) said it was a "dangerous escalation" that could lead to a revival of the Fairness Doctrine.
McMorris-Rogers continued, "Tackling misinformation is a common goal, but we don't want to follow the lead of an authoritarian country."
There have long been allegations by Republicans of conservative bias from the media and tech giants.
They point to the blocking of a story in the New York Post in October 2020 that reported potentially harmful information about Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, on Twitter.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican, was a little more to the point.
When does the Democrats' Book Burning Party begin? https://t.co/OcI6sXxYcd pic.twitter.com/8ef5rUFX4h
– Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) February 22, 2021
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Who decides what “misinformation” is?
Progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald asked perhaps the most relevant question.
"Since when has it been the job of the US government to convey and enforce regulations of" journalistic integrity "?"
"If you don't believe in the government's right to regulate and control what the press says – a power that the first amendment specifically forbids – how can anyone feel comfortable when members of Congress impose upon themselves the power to dictate which media are allowed? report and control how they discuss and analyze the news of the day? "
One America News Network's Jack Posobiec tweeted a response condemning NBC's Soledad O’Brien who, according to Posobiec, had once misleadingly edited a video attack on a Michigan Republican Senate candidate, John James.
O & # 39; Brien was a witness at the hearing.
FLASHBACK: In October 2020, @soledadobrien posted a deceptively edited video to smear battle veteran John James
Today Soledad is a Democratic "expert" in a misinformation hearing. Http://t.co/Qpf0cqKzhV
– Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) February 24, 2021
Greenwald highlights parts of the letter sent to the cable companies and expresses the idea that there can be no doubt about their intent.
Progressive journalist Matt Taibbi may have summed up the Democrats' real intent:
What people who refer to @ggreenwald as right-wing are actually saying that his views – opposition to monopoly, surveillance and censorship, skepticism about secret police agencies, belief in journalistic fairness – are inconsistent with the current orthodoxy of the Democratic Party.
– Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) February 19, 2021
We are beginning to take a very dangerous line when elected officials can openly demand the cessation of their ideological opponents.