800,000 Americans dead from COVID. Republicans serve their billionaire media donors and block the FCC from enforcing its mandate to serve the 'public interest'.
When do corporate political donations overtake a politician's concern about the lives of the people who elected them? Follow the money. This relationship map was created with the free Kumu app to explain:
- What is the FCC's mandate over TV and Radio stations?
- FCC's authority over Section 230 that covers online platforms?
- How do Republicans stack the FCC Board of Commissioners?
- Who are the six billionaires that own these corporations?
- What kind of COVID misinformation are they spreading?
- How to find the COVID death count and active cases where you live?
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Republicans stack the FCC board
"The five-member agency, which is in charge of regulating the TV, radio, and telecom industries, along with ensuring broadband internet access, has been missing one commissioner and a full-time chairman since Biden became president at the beginning of this year. Currently, there are two Democratic and two Republican commissioners at the agency, and acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s term will end at the end of this year, meaning there could be a 2-1 Republican majority in 2022." - Yahoo
"Republicans pushed back on President Biden's nominee to join the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Gigi Sohn, at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing over past comments she's made regarding conservative media." - MSN
Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
"GOP resistance to Biden FCC nominee. Gigi Sohn has a history of advocating for open and affordable communications networks. She is a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. Between 2003 and 2016, Sohn served as a counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. If confirmed, she would also be the first openly LGBTQ commissioner in the history of the agency.
"For all my concerns about #Facebook, I believe that Fox News has had the most negative impact on our democracy. It's state-sponsored propaganda, with few if any opposing viewpoints. Where's the hearing about that?" she tweeted at the time.
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) asked Sohn about comments she made in the past about Fox News, including a tweet from last year where she called Fox News "state-sponsored propaganda."
"This goes directly to the power you're going to have, this is not some kind of random tweet," Sullivan said. "You are clearly indicating your bias against more conservative news sources, and yet you are now up for confirmation at one of the most powerful positions in America on free speech? I think that disqualifies you completely," he added. Sohn responded that the comments she tweeted were made in the context of a hearing that took place about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a controversial provision which provides a liability shield for tech companies over content posted on their sites by third parties." - MSN
Follow the money
Rupert Murdoch is the Executive Chairman of FOX with an annual salary of $ 14,390,000. The Murdoch family is worth $21.4 billion controls a media empire that includes cable channel Fox News, The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal. - Forbes
Political donations by Rupert Murdoch - Open Secrets
Political donations to Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) - Open Secrets
The Communications Act
The FCC was created by Congress in the Communications Act for the purpose of “regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio." (In this context, the word "radio" covers both broadcast radio and television.)
The Communications Act authorizes the Commission to "make such regulations not inconsistent with law as it may deem necessary to prevent interference between stations and to carry out the provisions of the Act." It directs us to base our broadcast licensing decisions on whether those actions will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity." - FCC
Rupert Murdoch - Fox News
"There's no dispute that Fox News has been delivering to its audience, of which almost 60% is in the high-risk over-65 age group, dangerously misleading information about the Covid vaccine and its rollout by the Biden administration. A report released Friday by the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters documents that the majority of vaccine-related segments that Fox News aired over the past two weeks "repeatedly fear mongered about and downplayed the need for continued vaccination campaigns. It's hard to believe that Fox News hosts aren't aware of this. After all they work at a so-called "news" outlet. But as CNN has reported, Fox shows are playing a key role in disseminating anti-vaccine propaganda to their viewers." - CNN
Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook
"The majority of journalists polled about covering the pandemic say Facebook is the biggest spreader of disinformation, outstripping elected officials who are also a top source, according to an international survey of journalism and Covid-19. The social media platform, which announced this week it was updating its hate speech policy to ban content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, was identified by 66% of journalists surveyed as the main source of “prolific disinformation. They also identified Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram as notable disinformation carriers during the pandemic.” - The Guardian
"The president himself was even more direct, saying on Friday that Facebook is “killing people,” and rather than walking that back, the White House doubled down, telling Fox News, “They’ve been withholding information on what the rules are, what they have put in place to prevent dangerous misinformation from spreading, and how they measure whether it’s working.” - New Republic