Claim they are battling “misinformation” and “conspiracy theories”

Thomas More
The Hill

February 23, 2021

House lawmakers on Wednesday will examine the role misinformation on cable news played in the Jan. 6 insurrection in a hearing that will test the boundaries between congressional oversight, regulation and issues of censorship.

Representatives of Fox News have already complained about the premise, saying it “sets a terrible precedent” when members of Congress “highlight political speech they do not like.” Newsmax also decried the hearing as “an attack on free speech and basic First Amendment rights,” adding that the event “should send chills down the spines of all Americans.”

While those companies aren’t scheduled to testify Wednesday, when media experts will be providing testimony, some Democratic lawmakers are leaving the door open to bringing in top executives from some of the most prominent cable news networks.

“I wouldn’t rule out additional hearings, that’s for sure,” said Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. “But you know there are two categories. There are the providers like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and there are the misinformation channels, like Fox News and OANN and Newsmax.”

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