Senate Democrats Press FCC Chairman Again on Trump’s ‘Enemy of the American People’ Comment

Ajit Pai
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Senate Democrats have sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, again asking him about President Donald Trump’s criticism of the “fake news media” as the “enemy of the American people.”

At an oversight hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Pai was asked whether he agreed with Trump. Pai said that he was a defender of the First Amendment, but when it came to that particular comment, he said, “I don’t want to wade into the larger political debates.”

Democrats on the Commerce Committee, led by its ranking member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), wrote in a letter to Pai, “While you have long claimed to be an advocate for the freedom of the press and the First Amendment, your silence on the matter and refusal to take a stand against threats levied at the media is troubling given your regulatory and oversight role over the industry. Moreover, such a lack of response could call into question the ongoing independence of the FCC under your watch.”

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In addition to requesting answers to Trump’s comment, the senators also asked Pai about the independence of the agency, and whether he would commit “as a condition for your elevation or renomination as chairman of the FCC, to take any action against a specific media entity or generally against broadcast entities, cable network owners, or other media outlets.”

Pai faces reconfirmation from the Senate after Trump renominated him earlier this week to another five-year term.

An FCC spokesman noted that last year, when Pai dissented in a vote to largely retain the FCC’s media ownership rules, he said, “Of course, newspaper reporters continue to do important work throughout our country each and every day. Many were recently reminded of the impact that their stories can have through the 2015 film ‘Spotlight,’ which won the Academy Award for best picture. The movie focused on The Boston Globe’s investigation into widespread child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests in and around Boston — reporting that ended up having a worldwide impact on the Catholic Church. But given the newspaper industry’’ profound financial troubles, it is becoming harder and harder for publications to do this type of investigatory journalism, hold our elected officials to account, and let Americans know what is going on in their communities.”

The FCC spokesman said, “Chairman Pai continues to believe that. Chairman Pai is a strong supporter of the First Amendment rights of the media and all Americans. He has protected those rights at the FCC and will continue to do so as long as he is privileged to serve at the Commission.”

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  1. Sonia says:

    Meanwhile the dem. have made china the richest country in the world. We can get a job and buy a house in china.

  2. Frank says:

    Omg the democrats have to be the stupids. Threatening govn officials to protect their lies. Sanders should really get the blohards sent to prison for interfering with an election. Getting questions in advance and criminal conspiracy, along with all the hrc crimes.
    And now they’re threatening the FCC.
    This is criminal interference with the government, add the judges trying to
    close down a valid presidents order.
    Americans are fed up with these leachs destroying our country and the media lies/half truths.
    Meanwhile have the democrats built any public housing ; have they had their children killed by repeatedly returning criminals illegally entering and hiding in sanctuary cities promoted around the world as safe haven by their idiot mayors and govenors. Another government crime.
    Why are these people arrested and
    held in prison. No we get another blohard attacking the rights of citizens to know the truth in news.
    Truth-yes,
    it’s 100 million unemployed/
    underemployed;
    50 percent not paying taxes;
    45% of immigrants on public services;
    20 trillion dollar deficit.

    • The Truth says:

      What American’s are actually fed up, Frank, are brainless blowhards like you.

      (1) Either you didn’t read the article or you don’t have the capacity to understand it. Anyone who values freedom of the press and individual expression does not want Internet providers empowered to favor one purveyor of content over another. That’s what the questions to FCC Chairman Pai by members of the Senate Commerce Committee are about. Pai supports concentration of media ownership which could potentially squelch healthy competition and differing points of view in the media space. American citizens have a right to know as specifically as possible where Pai stands with regard to the protection of our freedoms, and the querying Senators are doing their jobs on our behalf.

      (2) Obviously you also don’t comprehend that the President’s travel ban order isn’t automatically valid, particularly if it violates our Constitution. At least one district court judge has already ruled so, and more challenges to the ban are in progress. If Trump’s order withstands these challenges — which it may — only then is it legally valid. But an Executive Order is not a royal decree or dictatorial edict that instantly becomes the law of the land. Get your civics shit together.

      (3) And how ignorant can you be regarding public housing? Republicans in Congress and in state and local government have consistently voted down Democratic funding proposals for public housing. Trump has put a totally unqualified goofball in charge of HUD, and his budget proposal cuts $6 billion in HUD funding.

      (4) Finally, if you really care about what’s true, don’t rely on bogus statistics and “alternative facts” from “studies” by alt-right “think tanks.” For example, the only way you get to 100 million unemployed or underemployed is by including retirees and children. Current unemployment rates, which Trump called “phony” during the campaign but now validates as “real,” are close to what is statistically considered full employment. Of the 45% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes, half have no taxable income and the other half get enough tax breaks to erase their tax liability. Trump is promising even more tax breaks. And while the national debt (not “deficit”) is near $20 trillion, Trump’s plan increases it.

      So it’s not the democrats who “have to be the stupids.” It’s you.

    • Cass says:

      lmao. Want a tissue guy?

    • Mark says:

      I didn’t know Ted Kaczynski was still around.

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