Sens. Seek Hearing on Fake News, Trump Media Hostility

Partly in response to a reporter's run-in with FCC security guards, Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have asked the Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state  of the media.

Both are members of the committee and both sent a letter to the FCC seeking info on what happened May 18 when a reporter said he was pinned against the wall by security guards for trying to ask a question of a commissioner after a meeting.

The senators cited Trump Administration hostility toward the press, plus the proliferation of "fake news," for wanting the committee to hold the hearing--they said the last committee hearing on the state of journalism was in 2009 and that a new look was needed to "Refresh the record."

“The journalism industry is grappling with a changing media landscape: from the changing dynamics of how people access news, to changing financial calculations, to the proliferation of so-called ‘fake news’ (both actual disinformation campaigns and the use of the term to slander legitimate news reporting), to a challenging relationship between news media and the Executive branch,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) “There have been a series of recent incidents in which hostility has been exercised against members of the press by members of the Administration, including just last week when a reporter was allegedly manhandled and threatened by security guards after a news conference at the Federal Communications Commission headquarters.”

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.