Earlier this week, two House Democrats questioned 12 television and content providers about why they carry Fox News, One America News Network, and Newsmax, blaming the right-leaning outlets for spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney both ironically from California, sent letter to television content providers such as AT&T, Roku, Comcast, Verizon, Amazon, Google, Hulu and Apple asking them why they carried the three “purported” news outlets that they say function as “misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm.”
The Democrats asked the content providers if they plan “to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN,” and if so, why.
A Fox News Media spokesperson said that the letter “sets a terrible precedent.”
“As the most watched cable news channel throughout 2020, FOX News Media provided millions of Americans with in-depth reporting, breaking news coverage and clear opinion. For individual members of Congress to highlight political speech they do not like and demand cable distributors engage in viewpoint discrimination sets a terrible precedent.”
Newsmax also released a statement defending its coverage.
“The House Democrats’ attack on free speech and basic First Amendment rights should send chills down the spines of all Americans. Newsmax reported fairly and accurately on allegations and claims made by both sides during the recent election contest.”
Republicans are pushing back on the two Democrats latest attempt to censor free speech.
“The Majority is flirting with violating the First Amendment,” a Republican aide said. “Should the government be pressuring private industries to censor legally protected content and suppress the freedom of the press? No. If a free and independent press is still valued and mainstream in America, this censorship campaign should alarm every single journalist and member of the media.”
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr, called the letter a “chilling transgression of the free speech rights that every media outlet in this country enjoys.”
“To the House Democrats that used their offical letterhead to launch this inquiry, I would say this: Your demand to know the ‘moral principles’ that guide a private entity’s decision about what news to carry cannot be reconciled with bedrock principles of free speech and journalistic freedom,” he said. “I call on my FCC colleagues to join me in publicly denouncing this attempt to stifle political speech and independent news judgment,” Carr added.
This is the latest example of Democrats going to war with the people who vocally supported Donald Trump, and use the Jan. 6 Capitol riots as leverage to push for free speech regulations, many of whom, according to Democrats, were influenced by Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax.