FCC Nominees Pledge to Speak Out Against Media Attacks

A majority of the potential full (five-member) FCC has committed to speak out against violence against and intimidation of journalists.

That came in a Senate nomination hearing for FCC chair Ajit Pai and potential commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr, all of whom promised to speak out on behalf of the media.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) had pointed to various incidents of alleged intimidation, including an incident involving a reporter trying to ask a question of FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly earlier this year.

Pai also reiterated that the White House had not contacted him about retaliating against negative news stories, and said he would not do so if asked.

Udall also cited a story that said the White House could use the AT&T-Time Warner deal as a way to punish CNN for its stories, and suggested the administration might want to reward Sinclair by approving its Tribune deal.

Pai said the FCC would not be used to punish media companies or reward others, and would be troubled by any attempt to pressure it to do so.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.