The Washington Times posted an article today about a request made to Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai by Senate Democrats to investigate Sinclair Broadcasting Group for “news distortion.” Yup. Right after they investigate CBS, NBC, ABC, and The New York Times for ‘news distortion.’ The request was denied.
The article reports:
“Thank you for your letter requesting that the Commission investigate a broadcaster based on the content of its news coverage and promotion of that coverage,” said Mr. Pai in his letter. “In light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press, I must respectfully decline.”
His reply was dated April 12, the day after the request from 11 Senate Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent, who cited Sinclair’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Company.
“We are concerned that if the Sinclair-Tribune merger continues without a thorough review of these new facts, Sinclair’s practices of news distortion will proliferate to even more local stations, which Americans rely upon every day for fair and impartial news,” said the Senate letter.
Signers, including Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, said they were “alarmed” by Sinclair’s local anchors being required to read a promotional message last month about “biased and false news.”
The promo touted the stations’ commitment to balanced journalism and warned that “some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think.”
In their letter, the senators said that such “must-run dictates from Sinclair harm the freedom of the press guaranteed in the First Amendment by turning local journalists into mouthpieces for a corporate and political agenda.”
Mr. Pai responded that the FCC lacks the authority to yank broadcast licenses “based on the content of a particular newscast.”
Up until about 1991, when Rush Limbaugh arrived on the national scene, the political left had a monopoly on news–the networks and the major newspapers. Their monopoly has been slowly slipping away from them since then. Needless to say, the mainstream media does not like the competition. They have been trying to put Fox News out of business since it began by name calling and boycotting sponsors. This request is one of many examples of the need for the alternative media. It is also an example of the attack on free speech (further illustrated by what is happening on some of our college campuses).