Tags: fcc | chairman | pai | sinclair

FCC Chairman Pai: Government Won't Investigate Sinclair Broadcasting

Image: FCC Chairman Pai: Government Won't Investigate Sinclair Broadcasting

 Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai speaks during NAB show's We are Broadcasters Celebration at the Las Vegas Convention Center on April 10, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 13 April 2018 12:12 PM

FCC chairman Ajit Pai told Senate Democrats that the agency won't be investigating a private news company, calling it "chilling" to free speech, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

A letter signed by 12 Democrats was sent to Pai, chair of the Federal Communications Commission, dated Wednesday asking it to investigate Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the Free Beacon said.

"We write to express our grave concerns regarding Sinclair Broadcasting Group's conduct," the Democratic senators wrote. "… In particular, we have strong concerns that Sinclair has violated the public interest obligation inherent in holding broadcast licenses.

"Multiple news outlets report that Sinclair has been forcing local news anchors to read Sinclair-mandated scripts warning of the dangers of 'one-sided news stories plaguing our country,' over the protests from local news teams," the letter continued.

Pai said in his response to Democrats that he was declining to start an investigation due to his commitment to freedom of the press and the First Amendment, per the Free Beacon.

"A free media is vital to our democracy," Pai said in his letter, according to the Free Beacon. "That is why during my time at the commission I have consistently opposed any effort to infringe upon the freedom of the press and have fought to eliminate regulations that impede the gathering and dissemination of news.

"Most relevant here, I have repeatedly made clear that the FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content of a particular newscast," Pai continued.

National Public Radio reported earlier this month that Sinclair "forced" its anchors to read a promotional script that warns viewers about "fake news" on other stations and media as part of the company's so-called "must-run" segments that include conservative commentary.

Sinclair has pushed back against the criticism, with its senior vice president of news Scott Livingston calling the promos a "well-researched journalistic initiative focused on fair and objective reporting," CNN wrote. He charged that other media outlets have done "misleading, often defamatory stories" about the company, per CNN.

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FCC chairman Ajit Pai told Senate Democrats that the agency won't be investigating a private news company, calling it "chilling" to free speech, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
fcc, chairman, pai, sinclair
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2018-12-13
Friday, 13 April 2018 12:12 PM
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