After complaints among many conservative figures that their viewpoints and voices were being “canceled” by left-leaning corporations, it appears right-wing media outlets are increasingly under scrutiny by many of the same progressive forces.
A group of House Democrats, for example, are taking cable providers to task with a campaign to pressure them to scrutinize, if not drop altogether, networks like Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax TV.
“Including encouragement or incitement of violence”
The latest effort was spearheaded by U.S. Reps Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of whom are Democrats representing California districts.
They sent a letter to Roku, Apple, Hulu, and major cable providers like Comcast and Verizon in which they asked the companies to investigate allegations of false or misleading information being peddled by the right-leaning outlets.
“What steps did you take prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks to monitor, respond to and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans?” Eshoo and McNerney asked.
Their missive did not pull any punches in calling for additional information, asking the streaming and cable services if they intended to continue carrying the networks, and if so, “why?”
Of course, no liberal-friendly networks were mention, despite evidence that they are not immune to misleading or fake news.
“It is positively glacial”
As for the bigger picture, the lawmakers’ letter came just days before they held a hearing on Wednesday on the topic of media misinformation, which they dubbed “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.”
That hearing was set to include testimony from a number of experts, including George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, who warned that censoring free speech by certain media outlets constituted a “slippery slope.”
Turley was especially critics of the letter penned by the California legislators, holding nothing back in his criticism of their implications that networks like Fox News should be censored.
“From the perspective of free speech and the free press, the letter is not just chilling: it is positively glacial,” he said. “This is an example of members trying to do indirectly what they cannot do directly.”
Eshoo and McNerney are clearly attempting to twist the arms of companies carrying the right-leaning networks, but only time will tell where increasing calls to cancel these conservative voices will end.