Dem. Rep. Swalwell talks banning U.S. troops from watching Fox News

March 13, 2023
Robert Ayers

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) seemed to just come out in favor of the idea that U.S. troops, whether stationed abroad or at a military base here in the U.S., ought to be stopped from watching Fox News. 

Swalwell did so during an appearance Saturday on MSNBC.

There, Swalwell joined MSNBC anchor Katie Phang to speak about the lawsuit between Fox News and Dominion. It was while discussing this that Phang led them into the subject of U.S. troops and their viewership of Fox News.

But, before we get to what Swalwell and Phang had to say, we need some context.


Recently, the far-left activist group VoteVets has called for the U.S. Pentagon to at least partially stop Fox News from being broadcast in U.S. military facilities. VoteVets released an advertisement to this effect.

"The most valuable weapon to the enemy is disinformation," the ad's narrator begins.

It continues:

That’s why the Pentagon spends hundreds of millions training our troops to resist it. Yet, at the same time, the U.S. military uses taxpayer-funded facilities to broadcast disinformation on military bases, knowingly letting false propaganda infiltrate the ranks.

The advertisement goes on for another two minutes after this, targeting some of Fox's top personalities, including Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity. The ad accuses the three of being allowed "to spread their conspiracy theories to U.S. troops."

The ad concludes that Fox News "must be removed from all TVs on military installations NOW."

"Should there be some type of gatekeeping"

During Swalwell's appearance, Phang - seemingly parroting the VoteVets ad - claimed to have concerns about Americans receiving "disinformation" and "misinformation" from Fox News.

With this in mind, Phang asked Swalwell:

Has there been any discussions in Congress about maybe congressional oversight, regulations, maybe the FCC getting involved? I know we all respect the First Amendment, Congressman, but should there be some type of gatekeeping that happens so that this doesn’t happen again?

Here, Swalwell brought up the VoteVets advertisement, noting that Fox is particularly popular among U.S. troops. And, Swalwell went on to softly agree with VoteVets' plan.

He said:

I don’t want to get in the business of telling troops what they can and cannot watch. But, if you have a news station that a court is going to rule is, in its evening hour, you know, perpetuating dis- and misinformation, I don’t know if I disagree with VoteVets, who was saying that we need to take a look at, you know, how this is being broadcast to our troops.

There certainly are a lot of qualifiers there. But, at the end of the day, it sure does look as though Swalwell just came out in favor of banning U.S. troops from being able to watch Fox News in military facilities.

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