Radio & Television Business Report:
With Greg Walden now retired as a Member of Congress and at the helm of brand-new K Street strategic advisory firm Alpine Advisors, the Ranking Member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Commission has become Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers, from the state of Washington.
She’s making her mark in fast fashion. And, she’s steaming mad at her Democratic colleagues for actions she and Communications and Technology Republican Subcommittee Leader Bob Latta (R-Ohio) believe put a threat to freedom of speech, and Freedom of the Press.
GOP Rep. Accuses Dems of Attempting to ‘Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine’ in Media
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Ore.) alleged that Democrats are attempting to reimplement the Fairness Doctrine, during a Wednesday House hearing on media “disinformation.”© Mark Makela/Reuters Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers addresses the media in Philadelphia, Penn., January 25, 2017.
The hearing by the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology came after two Democratic members sent a letter to U.S. cable providers asking what they have done to curb “disinformation” from right-news outlets, including Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN. The authors, Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D., Conn.) and Jerry McNerney (D., N.M.), also asked cable providers if they were “planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN” and “if so, why?”
Those networks are facing defamation suits by voting machine companies, alleging that the networks falsely claimed that their machines were faulty after the November elections. However, Rodgers blasted the letters in comments during the hearing as an example of government overreach.
“Today’s hearing, along with the majority’s letters…are really a dangerous escalation in the left’s crusade to silence anyone who does not agree with their ideology,” Rodgers said. “It appears to me that the Democrats may want to revive the Fairness Doctrine.”
The Fairness Doctrine, implemented by the Federal Communications Commission in 1949 and repealed in 1987, required broadcasters to present two opposing sides of controversial public issues. Conservatives have historically opposed the policy, which they perceive as stifling to right-wing views.
“It’s un-American when you’re setting control, for you to redefine for yourselves what is true,” Rodgers told Democrats in her opening statement. “You think Republican members of Congress agree with all the content in media? No. Have we sent TV companies threatening letters to stop carrying certain channels? No.”
Rodgers also termed the committee hearing as a “force of a state religion of liberal ideology.”
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