'We will not censor the news': FCC won't investigate airing of Trump coronavirus briefings
Added 04-06-20 04:23:02pm EST - “The Federal Communications Commission cited the First Amendment in rejecting an emergency petition from an activist group calling for an investigation into broadcasters that air President Trump's coronavirus briefings.” - Washingtonexaminer.com
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The Federal Communications Commission cited the First Amendment in rejecting an emergency petition from an activist group calling for an investigation into broadcasters that air President Trump’s coronavirus briefings.
“Under my leadership, the FCC has always stood firmly in defense of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press, and so long as I am Chairman of this agency, we always will,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement on Monday. “The federal government will not — and never should — investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments simply because a special interest group is angry at the views being expressed on the air as well as those expressing them. In short, we will not censor the news.”
Free Press, a left-leaning media reform advocacy organization, filed a seven-page petition in late March, claiming that comments by Trump during White House coronavirus task force briefings and by others on the radio posed a risk to public health.
“When the president tells dangerous lies about a public health emergency, broadcasters have a choice: Don’t air them, or put those lies in context with disclaimers noting that they may be untrue and are unverified,” Free Press said. “The FCC has a duty to rein in radio broadcasters that seed confusion with lies and disinformation.”
But the FCC countered in a five-page ruling that it "does not — and cannot and will not — act as a self-appointed, free-roving arbiter of truth in journalism."
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