In a letter to cable providers and streaming networks, Democrat lawmakers Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of whom represent California in the House of Representatives, warned that their platforms are contributing to “the spread of dangerous disinformation.” In the letter, which was sent to Comcast, Dish, Viacom, AT&T, Spectrum, Verizon, Roku, Apple, Hulu, and more, the Democrats demanded to know what these companies were doing to keep their viewers from being exposed to right-leaning news and information.
“To our knowledge, the cable, satellite and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets to American viewers have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets,” the letter said. “Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date? If so, why?
“What steps did you take prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks to monitor, respond to and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans?” the letter continued.
In a statement Monday, Brendan Carr of the Federal Communications Commission blasted the lawmakers for what he termed a “chilling” attack on freedom of speech.
“Today, two senior Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee selectively targeted a handful of news media outlets for their coverage of political events,” Carr said. “By writing letters to the cable providers and other regulated entities that carry these news media outlets, the Democrats are sending a message that is as clear as it is troubling-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 speech rights that every media outlet in this country enjoys.
“Debate on matters of public interest should be robust, uninhibited, and wide open. More speech is better than less,” he said. “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 government official, not targeted by them.”
It’s hard to imagine politicians, all of whom swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, possibly thinking that a letter such as this was a good idea. But then, we’re talking about a party that has been primed for war against the Second Amendment for a long time. It should probably be no wonder that they are now focused on the First.