Publicado: Vie, Abril 13, 2018
Financiera | Por Marilu Caballero

Senators Call for Investigation Into Sinclair for 'News Distortion' Following Viral Video

Senators Call for Investigation Into Sinclair for 'News Distortion' Following Viral Video

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said on Thursday the government would not heed calls from Senate Democrats to investigate a private broadcaster for its "news activities". "In light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press, I must respectfully decline", Pai wrote.

The senators - 11 Democrats and Independent Sen. Gowdy says EPA isn't complying with travel probe Dems want to delay confirmation of Trump pick at EPA Dems ramp up bid to oust Pruitt MORE (D-N.M.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTax rules will be subject to more OMB review under new memo NRA accepted donations from 20 Russian-linked contributors Five things to watch in Zuckerberg's testimony MORE (D-Ore.) are among those who signed the letter.

In a letter written to Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Indiana, Pai declined a request from a dozen lawmakers, including 11 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont to investigate Sinclair's broadcast license after the company had anchors of its news stations across the US read a script warning viewers of "fake news". The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for ensuring that broadcast licensees use the public airwaves to serve the public interest.

Chairman Pai emphasized in his letter, "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".

"I understand that you disliked or disagreed with the content of particular broadcasts, but I can hardly think of an action more chilling of free speech than the federal government investigating a broadcast station because of disagreement with its news coverage or promotion of that coverage", Pai wrote in response to the senators.

In no way does the Senators' letter reference "a particular newscast" or the "content of particular broadcasts". Currently, Sinclair owns 193 stations in 89 markets. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), sent a letter on Thursday expressing concerns to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai about a video showing local news stations owned Sinclair Broadcasting Group reciting a company-mandated script that warns viewers of an increased proliferation of "fake news".

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It said Tuesday an initial probe shows the video was taken in December during "violent riots". There were no immediate reports on casualties from the retaliatory strikes.

The Washington Post reported an imaginary meeting between Pai and President Trump last June, alleging unethical coordination between the White House and the FCC. FCC investigators should speak with current and former personnel at stations that have openly challenged Sinclair's directions to broadcast scripted segments or segments produced by Sinclair's national news operations.

Livingston said in a statement on April 2, "It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable".

Sinclair also owns KEPR in Tri Cities and KIMA in Yakima.

Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto/Sipa USA/NewscomHow stupid is the panic over Sinclair Broadcast Group's hamfisted, "must-run" promotional video decrying "fake news"?

Trump has publicly defended Sinclair on Twitter, saying "Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC".

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