Sen. Moran: FCC Overreach a Tremendous Affront to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Feb 26 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) reacted on the Senate floor Monday to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) announcement that it will suspend its inappropriate attempt to impact the editorial decisions in newsrooms nationwide through a Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CIN Study). Congress has never asked the FCC to send “monitors” into newsrooms across the country to evaluate the content of the news, determine how stories are selected, and investigate their news philosophies. Sen. Moran expressed concerns that the survey would have been an abuse of regulatory authority and First Amendment Rights. The proposed “media study” was the latest case in an alarming pattern of over reach and over regulation by the Obama Administration.
Highlights from Sen. Moran’s remarks can be found below, along with links to video downloads.
(2:50) “It seems to me whether you have a conservative or liberal bent or you are down the middle of the road, you ought to have great concern when the agency that regulates the broadcasters decides they want to get into the newsroom to discover how news is developed at that station. That is not part of what the mandate of the FCC is, and it ought to raise genuine concerns from those who care about free speech. It certainly raised those concerns from me.
(3:25) “I came back to Washington, D.C., today with the intention of highlighting this issue for my colleagues, making the American people more aware of this tremendous affront to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The good news is that Chairman Wheeler at the FCC announced just a couple days ago that this proposal, as it included questions about how news was developed, was being withdrawn.
(5:10) “I am here to make certain that this kind of approach is something in the past. I serve on the Appropriations subcommittee that is responsible for the FCC's budget. When they come to tell us about their appropriations request, again I will thank Chairman Wheeler for withdrawing these questions, but I want to make certain there is a genuine concern on behalf of all of us in the Senate, Republicans and Democrats, whatever brand of philosophy you claim to espouse or believe, you ought to be worried when the FCC is making inroads into how news and opinion is formulated at broadcasting stations – television and radio – across the country.”
FTP LINK: Click here to download his floor speech. (Save to your desktop.)
YOUTUBE: Click here to watch his remarks on YouTube.
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- 2-25-14 Letter to FCC.pdf (559.9 KBs)