Sohn: Fox News Criticism Does Not Extend to Viewers

Gigi Sohn
(Image credit: C-SPAN)

Senate Republicans hammered FCC Democratic nominee Gigi Sohn over past tweets critical of Fox News, suggesting that her criticism extended to Fox fans everywhere, but Sohn has responded that is not the case.

That is according to her written answers to questions posed by Republican committee members following her February 9 nomination hearing, the second hearing in that committee after her nomination was resubmitted in January.

Also: Sohn Tells Senate I Will Be Fair, Unbiased, Impartial

No fewer than eight questions from Republican senators related to Fox News and Sohn's tweets about the network "destroying democracy" and being "state-sponsored propaganda."

Committee ranking member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), asked that given she had tweeted several times that Fox News was destroying democracy did she believe that the "millions of Americans who watch Fox News" were complicit in that destruction.

Sohn said 'no." She pointed out that she had friends and family who watch Fox News, as did she "on occasion." She added that she had even appeared more than once as a guest on the network.

Also: Sohn Defends Nomination Against 'Unfair' Attacks

She did not disavow the Fox criticism, which Republicans have used to suggest she could not rule fairly on FCC issues involving Fox, though she has said before and said again in her written answers that she regretted the "sharpness" of her language. But she said that as she had explained at both her nomination hearings, the tweets about Fox News were "part of a series of discussions around hearings concerning big tech platforms and their role and responsibility to moderate content on those platforms, including political misinformation and disinformation."

Her point about Fox was that if Congress wanted to get a "full picture" of the impact of misinformation, it should look at it in the mainstream media, as well, the implication, of course, being that Fox provided an example.

She said her reference to "state-sponsored propaganda" was a reference to "the close relationship between the previous [Trump] Administration and Fox News." ■

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.