Chair Rosenworcel Rejects Calls to Use FCC to Block Newsmax, Conservative Brands Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel (Alex Wong/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 16 December 2021 05:50 PM
Newly confirmed Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, has made it clear she opposes the calls of "some liberal organizations" to use the FCC to remove, censor or block Newsmax and other conservative news outlets.
Rosenworcel's written responses to questions from Republican lawmakers on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee after her Nov. 17 confirmation hearing were succinct, NextTV reported.
Republicans have long been concerned about leftist calls to censor and block conservative news outlets online.
"There have been efforts by some of our colleagues in the House of Representatives to pressure MVPDs into removing Fox News, Newsmax, and other conservative channels from their lineups," Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked Rosenworcel in her written questions, referring to "Multichannel Video Programming Distributors" (MVPDs). "There have also been calls by some liberal organizations to have the FCC revoke the licenses of broadcasters like Sinclair. Are you in favor of these calls to use the FCC to remove certain viewpoints from the airwaves?"
Rosenworcel responded with only a one-word answer, according to the report: "No."
"Will you commit to ensuring the FCC does not factor political content or viewpoints when issuing licenses, making regulatory decisions, or approving mergers and acquisitions?" Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asked in his written questions.
Rosenworcel reportedly wrote back with one word: "Yes."
"The FCC has authority over broadcast licenses; as a nominee for this bipartisan commission, do you believe the government has the authority to censor opinions?" Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., asked in his written questions.
"No," Rosenworcel reportedly wrote back, referencing a law that says the FCC has no authority to censor speech. "FCC authority is limited by the First Amendment and Section 326 of the Communications Act."
Nominated by President Joe Biden this year, Rosenworcel was confirmed to a new five-year term by the full Senate 68-31 on Dec. 7.