90 Miles From Tyranny : FCC Rejects Petition that Would Have ‘Dangerously’ Curtailed Free Speech

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

FCC Rejects Petition that Would Have ‘Dangerously’ Curtailed Free Speech

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of General Counsel and Media Bureau rejected a petition by the progressive Free Press on Monday to “weaponize” the agency against broadcasters and conservatives to censor political speech.

Free Press recently petitioned the FCC to censor broadcasters from showing President Donald Trump’s press conferences on the coronavirus outbreak.

“When the president tells dangerous lies about a public health emergency, broadcasters have a choice: don’t air them, or put those lies in context with disclaimers noting that they may be untrue and are unverified,” Free Press wrote in its petition. “And certainly the FCC has a duty to rein in radio broadcasters that seed confusion with lies and disinformation.”

The FCC denied the petition in a letter to the Free Press, contending that the proposal “misconstrues the Commission’s rules and seeks remedies that would dangerously curtail the freedom of the press embodied in the First Amendment.”
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told Breitbart News in an interview last week that the petition is a “dangerous and sweeping attempt by the left to weaponize the FCC against broadcasters and conservatives and politicians.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement Monday that under his administration, the agency will continue to protect free speech.

Pai said:

Under my leadership, the FCC has always stood firmly in defense of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press. And so long as I am Chairman of this agency, we always will. The federal government will not—and never should—investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments simply because a special interest group is angry at the views being expressed on the air as well as those expressing them. In short, we will not censor the news. Instead, consistent with the First Amendment, we leave it to broadcasters to determine for themselves how to cover this national emergency, including live events involving our nation’s leaders.

Under my leadership, the @FCC has always defended Americans’ 1st Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press. That's why we've rejected a special interest's demand that we investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments. @FCC staff decision: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-385A1.pdf 
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In its letter to Free Press, the FCC concluded that:

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