Another Joe Biden nominee to a vital post in the federal government has conservatives concerned about the administration’s use of the executive branch for radical political activism.
Biden has tabbed Gigi Sohn to serve on the Federal Communications Commission. Many telecommunication experts have expressed worries that the FCC will become another weapon for attacking conservative voices.
Sohn has spoken in favor of increasing the use of the FCC to investigate and constrain conservative media outlets. She has spoken against allowing networks like Fox News to maintain federal broadcast licenses and founded a nonprofit organization devoted to lobbying cable TV providers to stop including the One America News Network in their offered channels.
Now she is slated to become a federal administrative official with the authority to carry out her radical suggestions. Industry experts are now expressing concern about Sohn’s likelihood of continuing her wishes to silence conservative voices.
Katie McAuliffe with Digital Liberty said that there is reason to believe Sohn might “use the broadcast licensing regime to challenge someone’s use of the airwaves.”
Sohn commented on the proposed merger in 2018 between right-leaning network Sinclair and Tribune Broadcasting by doubting whether Sinclair should even be allowed a federal license. She has also said that Congress should investigate Fox News because of the editorial decisions made by the network.
Sohn also promoted the radical group Free Press in its petition last year to the FCC for more aggressive use of the “broadcast hoax” rule. That administrative rule gives the FCC power to act against broadcasts that cause “substantial harm” to the public interest. The group claimed that statements by President Donald Trump about the COVID-19 pandemic might violate the rule.
Sohn is also a co-founder of Public Knowledge, a nonprofit organization that promotes an “open internet” and freedom of expression. That group has worked to get OANN off of cable company offerings and has attacked its operating license.
She will not have an easy confirmation before the Senate, where her confirmation hearings begin on December 1. Four Democratic senators are reportedly considering opposing her nomination because of her stated support for net neutrality, which was ended during the Trump administration.