Free Speech Is In Danger In America

I have DISH cable tv. Currently I am very unhappy that I don’t have Fox News on my cable. Fortunately, I also have Sirius internet, so I can still listen to Special Report and the Journal Editorial Report even though I can’t watch them. I do not have the option of changing cable service, because it is part of the community I live in. However, if FOX News does not come back soon, I may begin to look into other ways I can get it. So what is this fight between DISH and FOX News about?

On January 13, mrctv posted an article about the ongoing battle between DISH and FOX News.

The article reports:

Dish Network dropped Fox News and its sister network Fox Business Channel at the end of last year and the network still remains blacked out for Dish’s 14 million subscribers.

Dish Network claims that they dropped the nation’s number one cable news network because of a contract dispute.  Fox News disagrees, claiming that the move is an effort by Dish Network to censor their content. 

While it’s not entirely clear who’s in the right in this matter, digging into the background of Dish Network’s  founder and chairman Charles Ergen may help to illuminate why animosity between Dish and FNC has reached such epic proportions.

The article explains that Charles Ergen donated $64,000 to the Democratic Senatorial campaign Committee in 2014. The main recipients of the donation were Kay Hagen(NC), Mark Pryor (ARK.),  Mark Warner (Va) and Mark Begich (Alaska). That in itself is not a problem, but the story continues:

In 2012, a federal complaint was filed against Ergen in which several company executives alleged that he had intimidated them into making contributions to specific candidates, the majority of which were Democrats.

The claim was filed by an unnamed company insider who accused Ergen of “forcing” Dish Network’s Chief Operating Officer Bernard Han to donate to a Democratic Party candidate in the 2009/2010 election cycle.

The complaint also claimed that Han was “encouraged” to attend Democratic functions and fundraisers and that other Dish employees were strong-armed by Ergen in a similar way.

According to the insider, Ergen insinuated to Han that he would still have his job if he declined to make the contribution, but would suffer consequences if he refused.

This does not sound like someone who is interested in either free speech of a balanced playing field.

Our community will review its cable tv choice this spring. If FOX News is not back on DISH, I hope we will change providers.