Biden’s FCC nominee who said Fox News is ‘state sponsored propaganda’ faces grilling in the Senate 

Biden’s FCC nominee who said ‘not all her Republican friends are insane’, tore in Trump and said Fox News is ‘state sponsored propaganda’ faces grilling in the Senate

  • Republicans grilled Bidens pick over her past tweets about politics
  • She called Fox ‘state-sponsored propaganda’ and flagged story where senior national security officials raised doubts about Donald Trump 
  • ‘You’re referring to my tweets that are now pretty famous’
  • GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri pressed her on the tweets 

Republican senators on Wednesday grilled President Biden’s nominee for the Federal Communications Commission Gigi Sohn over her past tweets calling Fox News ‘state sponsored propaganda.’

Sohn, a Georgetown University law professor, acknowledged that her tweets were ‘concerning to some’ but stood by her record and said any internal bias would not influence her work. 

‘I’ve got a list of comments here about Fox News, are you biased against them?’ Blunt asked her.  

‘You’re referring to my tweets that are now pretty famous,’ she said, smiling, when Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) questioned her during a Senate confirmation hearing.

‘You’re referring to my tweets that are now pretty famous,’ said Biden FCC nominee Gigi Sohn during Senate testimony Wednedsay

‘I understand they’re concerning to some, and anyone who knows me knows i’m pretty direct, she said. And anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty direct. But they were made in my role as a public advocate.’

Maybe the tone was a little sharper – maybe I should have dulled it a little bit,’ she said. She said it was part of her job as a public interest advocate.

Blunt then asked her about the ‘state sponsored’ comment. 

‘My opinions as a public interest advocate will have no bearing on how I will behave as a policymaker,’ she responded. She said it would have no bearing on how she would rule in a proceeding with any of those companies. 

Sen. Roy Blunt questioned Sohn about calling Fox News 'state-sponsored propaganda' in a tweet

Sen. Roy Blunt questioned Sohn about calling Fox News ‘state-sponsored propaganda’ in a tweet

Republicans have been focusing on her past tweets in going after the nomination, although ranking Republican Sen. Thom Tillis penned a letter to President Biden calling her an ‘anti-copyright activist.’ He accused her of working against ‘commonsense measures that would crack down on illegal piracy.’

Democrats can still push through the nomination if they can marshal 50 votes. Democrats would gain a majority on the panel if Sohn is confirmed. 

Also weighing in against her was former Trump Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, which shares a parent company with Fox.

He also brought up her past tweets, including one saying: ‘I have Republican Friends—They’re Not All Insane” and “if g-d forbid Trump wins, the only thing protecting our Republic is the Ds taking over the Senate.”

Whitaker also flagged a tweet where Sohn accused former President Donald Trump  “I don’t give a rat if you want to still be a Republican. But if you think @realDonaldTrump is destroying the Constitution and this country, you must vote for @JoeBiden, full stop.” 

She had highlighted quotes from a June 2020 article with top military officials and national security leaders including former White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly who were not getting behind Trump.  

Whitaker, who Trump appointed after firing Attorney Jeff Sessions amid the Russia probe, accused her of ‘rabid partisanship.’

Conservative Trump loyalist networks Newsmax and OAN each came out in support of Sohn, despite some differences. 

In addition to calling Fox ‘state-sponsored propaganda,’ she previously blasted a proposed merger involving Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Broadcasting in 2018, asking whether Sinclair is “qualified to be a broadcast licensee at all.” She said it would have created a ‘media mega-monster.’

Sohn previously served as counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler during the Obama administration.

Sohn also said at the hearing it might take up to a year to bring back net neutrality rules scrapped in the Trump administration.

She said of any FCC regulation of broadband rates: ‘No. That was an easy one.’ 


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