Sanders, Warren and Other Dems Call for FCC to 'Investigate' Sinclair Broadcasting

P. Gardner Goldsmith | April 13, 2018
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Remember tales of the Medieval Era, when kings and queens lorded over crushed masses and employed goofy court jesters to entertain them at royal feasts?

Today, the jesters still do their tricks, but they are also the political masters, and they populate Washington, DC.

The newest example of the craziness: on April 12, 12 U.S. Senators, including Her Majesty Elizabeth Warren and His Highness Bernie Sanders, agitated for the Federal Communications Commission to “investigate,” and possibly pull the licenses of, Sinclair Broadcasting stations.

Those would be the stations that terrified leftists a little over a week earlier when a video showed all the Sinclair stations reading an editorial decrying “fake news” and promising to do their darndest to give their viewers straight info.

The foundational irony that these leftist media sinecures at PBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and others, miss is that they have been engaged in biased, mantra-like repetition of scripted material for decades.

Heck, shortly after they were created by the corrupt federal licensing system, many of the major news networks became mouthpieces for the CIA in what has been revealed as the long-running federal propaganda program called Operation Mockingbird.

The dinosaur pop media are not decrying this move. They remain silent as these political jesters agitate on a federal level, asking the Federal Communications Commission to shut down free speech in order to protect “free speech.”

Let’s look at the big picture, at the system. Just the title "Federal Communications Commission" ought to set off alarm bells for many Americans concerning the loss of freedom between the adoption of the Bill of Rights and today. Imagine promoting the false notion of “free speech” through its exact opposite: a commission that controls communication.

Why do we keep seeing contemporary parallels to George Orwell’s “1984” and what he called “Doublethink” – holding two opposing ideas simultaneously through government pressure to do so?

As the insightful Matt Welsh notes for Reason, Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey is also one of the signatories to this call for the FCC to investigate Sinclair, to possibly stop it from purchasing Tribune Corporation TV stations, and to yank its broadcast “license”. And, no surprise, Ed Markey was on the exact opposite side of the issue a few months ago. Contacting FCC Chair Ajit Pai to express worries that President Trump might try to use the FCC to revoke licenses, he wrote he was…

…urging the chairman to pledge that the FCC would not follow up on President Donald Trump's suggestion to challenge and possibly revoke the broadcast licenses of network news providers. 


I’ve had my own run-in with Ed Markey on the subject of the FCC, shortly after the Timberlake/Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” at the Superbowl in 2004. As I left my hotel room in Michigan, I saw him on television, pushing for higher FCC fines for so-called “indecency” on TV. I thought, “Oh, man. Would I love to give him the word on how anti-constitutional and fascistic this is.”

Thanks to flight changes, I ended up on a plane in Washington later that day, and well-coiffed Markey strolled right down the isle. Let me paraphrase our interaction:

GG: Congressman (he was a lowly congressman, then), I think your proposal is awful.

Eddie: (Charm shimmering across his elitist, disingenuous smile) Really? Which would that be?

GG: Your FCC proposal.

Eddie: I think that’s very important. You have no problem with things like the stunt pulled at the Superbowl?

GG: I have a problem with the FCC. It isn’t constitutional. Your Constitution explicitly forbids federal rules over speech. Yet since the 1920s and the Federal Radio Commission, you’ve used an open-ended interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause to say that any radio or cable signal going over state borders can be controlled and licensed by the federal government.

Eddie: the Supreme Court disagrees.

GG: I’m talking about the actual wording of the Constitution. You also use another tired argument that the radio spectrum is a “limited resource,” and jump to the conclusion that since it’s limited, the government has to control it. There are only a limited number of useable trees on the planet at any given moment, but I don’t see you lobbying for the federal government to control the content of books.

Eddie: I think you’ll find you’re outnumbered, which is what counts.

That’s how he, Sanders, Warren, and their collectivist ilk see principles and rights. 

Mob mentality trumps individual rights every time.

Which is ironic, considering the fact that if they really want to rely on “democracy”, then they can leave the decisions about what to view and what to shut off in the hands of the market. The government hacks responded to the Sinclair stations’ editorial after the internet went wild talking about it, after millions of people expressed their frustration and dislike.

How about letting the market have more power, rather than less? How about stopping the FCC licensing racket altogether? Let market paradigms rule broadcast airwaves and cable just like private property and the market control what shops move into buildings, what shops thrive, and what shops atrophy and die, leaving room for new ventures?

Freedom is not what collectivists support. Even as they talk of “free speech.” As we see with this new move, they actually use Doublethink to push for more political control.