By SUZANNE DOWNING, PUBLISHER
In Gigi Sohn’s world, police officers are armed goons.
The law-enforcement-hating nominee who is fighting to join the Federal Communications Commission, if confirmed, would be in charge of the nation’s airwaves, and she’s shown time and again that she doesn’t have the judgment to police our news and our views.
The FCC, created in 1934 as a nonpartisan regulatory body, rules over interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Governed by a board of five, there are currently two conservatives and two liberals on the commission.
Sohn has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve in the fifth seat, where she could tip the balance of power to the worst inclinations of the Left, which these days prefers to dictate what speech is acceptable.
Yes, the federal regulatory agency has the power to have a chilling effect on news reporting, as it has a limited role in governing news coverage and accepting and reviewing complaints about bias on the airwaves.
President Biden could not get this radical, defund-the-police nominee through the confirmation process in 2021 and 2022, and for good reason. Sohn’s history of statements deeply offensive to at least half of America’s voters shows that she is not ready to protect conservatives, because, in fact, she’s on a mission — a partisan mission.
Sohn has, on the record, called Fox News “state-sponsored propaganda,” that is “dangerous to democracy.” She called police, who have opposed her nomination, “armed goons.”
Sohn shared a Twitter post that called former President Donald Trump a “raggedy white supremacist president.” She called Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh an “angry white man” during his confirmation hearing. We can only imagine the response from Democrats if a nominee had called President Barack Obama a “raggedy black supremacist president” or had called him an “angry black man.” These are racist comments on their face and show that Sohn doesn’t have the judgment needed to serve in this important role.
Sohn once called on the FCC to investigate whether Sinclair Broadcast Group, a conservative-leaning local TV network, deserved a broadcast license. Judgments like that should matter very much to upstart broadcasters such as OAN or NewsMax.
How offensive is Sohn? She’s so partisan, she’s even become an embarrassment to Democrats. Last year, although she made it through Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer didn’t bring Sohn’s name to the floor for confirmation. He could not muster the votes among members of his own party. That is saying something. What do they know about Sohn that the rest of us don’t know?
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) sits on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and believes Sohn is unfit for this powerful role in regulating communications.
“You’re baffled that [police] are opposing you after you called them armed goons?” Sullivan asked the nominee, who made her appearance before the committee on Tuesday. Sullivan was responding to Sohn saying she was baffled that the National Association of Police Organizations opposes her nomination.
NAPO wrote, “It’s profoundly concerning to us that a nominee for a commissioner of the FCC has harbored such an openly hostile and defamatory view of the police.”
In response, Sohn said she was baffled because out of 18,000 Twitter messages she had written or reposted, there are only 11 that she believes have raised concerns.
“Those 11 tweets, most of them were ‘Police brutality is bad,’ ‘Police shouldn’t have tanks and be in an armored vehicle.'” She was taking editorial license and Sullivan was having none of it.
Sullivan pushed back, “Armed goons?”
Sohn responded, “Again, that’s one tweet out of 18,000.”
Sullivan pointed out that an FCC commissioner has “enormous power, particularly as it relates to free speech, particularly as it relates to liberty in our country.”
As for Sohn’s past statements about Fox News, Sullivan said, “You are now up for confirmation of one of the most powerful positions on free speech. I think that disqualifies you completely.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) warned that the FCC can’t afford to capitulate to the movement among Big Tech to deplatform conservatives: “Putting Ms. Sohn on the Commission would create deep mistrust of the FCC among half our population.”
The FCC has the power to throttle how America communicates, what news citizens can access, and it needs to be nonpartisan. Gigi Sohn isn’t just highly partisan, she’s an extremist.
The people of America deserve better. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of communications experts who would be qualified as nominees for this position and who would not have the biased baggage.
We can’t trust Gigi Sohn with her own Twitter hot takes, and we sure cannot trust her to regulate the airwaves.
Suzanne Downing is publisher of Must Read Alaska.