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House hearing targets carriers hosting conservative cable networks

The hearing follows criticisms of cable, satellite and streaming providers for broadcasting conservative networks.

Published: February 23, 2021 2:17pm

Updated: February 23, 2021 4:35pm

House lawmakers are set to hold a hearing focused on what they deem misinformation regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and the COVID-19 pandemic broadcast on conservative-leaning cable networks such as Fox News, One America News Network and Newsmax.

The hearing, set for Wednesday at 12:30 p.m, is being held by the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Scheduled witnesses include left-leaning broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien and George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley.

"Free speech scholars argue that for a democracy to function, informed debates and the marketplace of ideas must be able to work off of a shared set of facts," Democratic committee staff claimed in a memo released on Monday.

The memo argued that cable television "played a role in the spread of disinformation."

The hearing follows mounting left-wing pressure on cable, satellite and streaming providers to deplatform conservative networks.

Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney of California sent letters to AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter, DISH, Cox, Altice, Hulu and Google's parent, Alphabet regarding their decision to host the right-wing TV networks, according to Politico.

Democrats have pressed the carriers and asked them whether they would continue hosting the TV networks in the letter.

"Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV both now and beyond any contract renewal date? If so, why?"

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