Californi Democrat Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney sent a letter to major TV carriers, implying they help the “spread of misinformation” since they provide Newsmax, Fox News, and OANN.

“We are concerned about the role AT&T plays in disseminating misinformation to millions on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV subscribers, and we write to you today to request additional information about what actions AT&T is taking to address these issues,” they wrote in the letter to AT&T.

They sent the same letter to Roku, Comcast, Verizon, Amazon, Dish Network, Cox, Hulu, and others.

Eshoo and McNerney demanded the providers answer these questions by March 8:

1. What moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity, violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?

2. Do you require, through contracts or otherwise, that the channels you carry abide by any content guidelines? If so, please provide a copy of the guidelines.

3. How many of your subscribers tuned in to Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV for each of the four weeks preceding the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol? Please specify the number of subscribers that tuned in to each channel.

4. What steps did you take prior to, on, and following the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks to monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans? Please describe each step that you took and when it was taken.

5. Have you taken any adverse actions against a channel, including Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN, for using your platform to disseminate disinformation related directly or indirectly to the November 3, 2020 elections, the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, or COVID-19 misinformation? If yes, please describe each action, when it was taken, and the parties involved.

6. Have you ever taken any actions against a channel for using your platform to disseminate any disinformation? If yes, please describe each action and when it was taken.

7. Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV both now and beyond any contract renewal date? If so, why?

Newsmax responded:

“The House Democrats’ attack on free speech and basic First Amendment rights should send chills down the spines of all Americans. Newsmax reported fairly and accurately on allegations and claims made by both sides during the recent election contest. We did not see that same balanced coverage when CNN and MSNBC pushed for years the Russian collusion hoax, airing numerous claims and interviews with Democrat leaders that turned out to be patently false.”

Yes, where were these Democrats when MSNBC and CNN did nothing but push the Russian collusion hoax for four years? How come they allowed failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to whine about President Donald Trump stealing the election from her?

The Democrats complained that Newsmax called the Capitol Hill scene a “sort of romantic idea.”

Do you know who said that? Pepperidge Farms remembers who said that and how Newsmax hosts reacted to the scene:

The claim was made on Newsmax by a Touro College law professor and prominent liberal, Thane Rosenbaum, who was describing the rally before any violence or illegal activity had taken place at the Capitol.

In fact, Newsmax hosts began condemning the illegal activity that took place at the Capitol in real time, and did so repeatedly throughout the day.

Fox News responded:

In response to the allegations, Fox News Media said in a statement, “As the most watched cable news channel throughout 2020, FOX News Media provided millions of Americans with in-depth reporting, breaking news coverage and clear opinion. For individual members of Congress to highlight political speech they do not like and demand cable distributors engage in viewpoint discrimination sets a terrible precedent.”

The House Energy and Committee telecom subcommittee has a hearing on Wednesday to discuss “misinformation and disinformation hosted on cable and broadcast networks.”

They do not have any of the networks on their witness lists.


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