Democrats Goal Cable Suppliers for Carrying Fox, Newsmax, OANN
“Are you planning to continue running Fox News, OANN and Newsmax on your platform now and after the renewal date? If yes why?”
Congressional Democrats target cable operators to run conservative news networks like Fox, Newsmax and One America News Network, accusing the networks of “spreading disinformation and extremism” by providing “conspiracy theories and misleading or blatantly false information” about the COVID pandemic and send the November presidential election.
The New York Times reported Monday on a letter from the House Democrats to cable providers:
Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, entitled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media,” members of the House’s Energy and Trade Committee sent a letter to Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Dish, Verizon, Cox and Altice and on Monday asked about their role in “spreading dangerous misinformation”.
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Committee members also sent the letter to Roku, Amazon, Apple, Google and Hulu, digital companies that distribute cable programs.
… “To the best of our knowledge, the cable, satellite, and over-the-top companies that distribute this media to American viewers have done nothing to respond to the misinformation broadcast by these outlets,” said two Democratic officials from California , Anna G. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney wrote in the letter, which was reviewed by the New York Times.
… In the legislature’s letter, companies are asked: “What steps did you take before, on and after the elections of November 3, 2020 and the attacks of January 6, 2021 to monitor the spread of disinformation, including encouragement? responding and mitigating it, or inciting violence through channels your company distributes to millions of Americans? “
“Are you planning to continue running Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax on your platform now and after the renewal date?” The letter goes on. “If yes why?”
House Energy and Commerce Committee press release on Wednesday hearing:
E&C COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES HEARING ON THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL MEDIA IN PROMOTING DISINFORMATION AND EXTREMISM
Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Mike Doyle (D-PA) announced today that the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will be held on Wednesday , February 24th, will hold a completely removed hearing at 12 noon: 30pm (EST) entitled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.”
“The ongoing severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attack on our Capitol on January 6th brought home a frightening reality: the spread of disinformation and extremism through traditional news media poses a tangible and destabilizing threat,” said Pallone and Doyle . “The increasing reliance of some broadcast and cable networks on conspiracy theories and misleading or blatantly false information raises questions about their commitment to journalistic integrity. We look forward to hearing from media professionals about what is being done and what else can be done to address this growing problem in the future. “
This hearing is held remotely through Cisco Webex video conferencing. Members of the public can watch the hearing via live webcast on the Energy and Trade Committee website. Please note that the webcast will only be available at the beginning of the hearing.
Additional information about this hearing, including the committee memorandum, testimony, and live webcast, will be posted HERE as it becomes available.
The witness list: Soledad O’Brien, Anchor, CEO of Matter of Fact, Soledad O’Brien Productions; Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Media, Columbia University; Kristin Danielle Urquiza, Co-Founder, Tagged by COVID.
Excerpt from the committee’s memorandum for the hearing:
The role of the media in spreading disinformation
For nearly a year, disinformation about the severity of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of precautionary measures such as wearing masks and social distancing have helped make the pandemic worse7, and those who relied on suspicious traditional media sources were more likely to believe in COVID- 19 Conspiracy theories. 8 Most recently, after months of false claims that the November 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, amplified and repeated in certain traditional media, the world watched in horror as rioters stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to reverse the election results; 9
It was only after the riot in the Capitol, after five people were killed and over 100 injured, that a radio group that broadcast programs by many popular talk radio hosts who regularly spread disinformation did not distribute a memo calling on personalities from the air more to claim that the election was stolen.10 In legal action, some cable media companies have broadcast programs withdrawing electoral fraud claims made on their networks.11 Similarly, a particular broadcast media conglomerate has broadcast a segment that Dr. Anthony Fauci helped develop COVID-19, but this outlet continued to broadcast other disinformation about the pandemic
The first amendment to the constitution:
Congress must not enact law that respects the establishment of a religion or prohibits its free practice. or restrict freedom of speech or the press; or the right of the people to peacefully assemble and apply to the government for redress for complaints.
In a ominous sign, the first amendment was repealed last week in the old Newseum in Washington, DC, between the Capitol and the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
The first change signs come to the Newseum. pic.twitter.com/62xddMlnrn
– Megan Smith (@megan_kristin) February 17, 2021