Congressmembers Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California, sent letters to the leaders of Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and other cable and satellite providers to encourage them to remove conservative channels Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN from their lineup.
In addition, the two congressional leaders sent similar letters to Amazon, Apple, Google, Hulu, and Roku to tell the streaming providers to end these channels. What happened to free speech?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -First Amendment
Eshoo and McNerny wrote in the letter that “Fox News … has spent years spewing misinformation about American politics,” adding that all three networks have spread “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The left-leaning members of Congress placed the onus on regulating the speech of the networks on the cable providers, writing:
Cable, satellite, and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets to American viewers have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets. AT&T currently carries Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV. As a company that serves 17 million Americans, AT&T plays a major role in the spread of dangerous misinformation that enabled the insurrection of January 6th and hinders our public health response to the current pandemic.
Apparently, the First Amendment only applies to Leftist-approved free speech. Plus, it’s also clear conservative outlets serve as competition to mainstream propaganda networks that offer biased support to Democrat political views.
However, this latest effort marks a new level of intimidation. We are not talking about some radical group with a petition–these are sitting US Congress members telling television networks to drop conservative channels.
Fox News was the nation’s most-watched news channel in 2020. Newsmax was perhaps the fastest-growing news channel, distributed on cable and freely across digital platforms, with OANN not far behind.
It’s not up to Congress to decide whether Americans can access conservative content from their cable or satellite providers. It’s up to America’s companies, who at least remember they have to make a profit and air what Americans choose to watch.
It doesn’t matter if Democrats “feel” Fox News or Newsmax present so-called “disinformation.” The same Constitution that allows CNN to report “mostly peaceful” Antifa protests also allows Newsmax to confront leftist nonsense.
If America is to remain the land of the free, it needs Congress to stay out of the entertainment business and mind their own business. If you don’t like conservative cable networks, create something better instead of attacking the competition.