A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner has accused Democrats of crossing a ‘clear line drawn by the First Amendment’ in pressuring the agency to block the sale of a popular Miami Spanish language radio.
Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last week called on the FCC to halt the sale of WSUA-AM to America CV, owner of the conservative network América TeVé.
Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr opposed it in a tweet on Monday.
“Democrats in Congress are pressuring the FCC to block the sale of a radio station based on the political views it would broadcast to the Hispanic community in South Florida,” Carr tweeted. “It crosses a clear line drawn by the First Amendment and would turn the FCC into an arm of the DNC.”
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In an interview with Fox News, Carr said the buyer’s policy and the opinions of the station itself were irrelevant to the FCC, calling it “none of our business”.
“The argument that has been made is a purely political argument,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anything to me as a Republican if the buyer is conservative or if the buyer is progressive. That consideration shouldn’t come into the fray.”
The FCC is led by interim Democratic chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who was nominated by President Biden in January.
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Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., said the halt in the sale was necessary because “dangerous rhetoric cannot go unchecked.”
“It’s interesting that he doubled down on this assertion that the FCC should act based solely on the policy positions of this radio station,” Carr said in response.
A person familiar with the situation told Fox News that the FCC’s main concern in a licensing agreement is to ensure that there are a number of different owners in a given market, but that the policy is not there. dont play. A certain market could, in theory, have all liberal or conservative station owners.
As President Biden won the 2020 presidential election, he lost florida to Republican Donald Trump by a larger margin than Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump’s gains among Latino voters, particularly in the Miami area, were instrumental in his victory there, alarming Democrats who fear that one of the largest states in the country escapes them.
America CV has already fired the WSUA’s Raul Martinez, Hiahleah’s former Democratic mayor and top-rated host, according to Newsweek. That angered House Democrats like Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz, chairman of the political arm of Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLDPAC.
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“What’s happening is independence is starting to erode,” he said. Newsweek. “For a lot of these communities it’s the only source they look at, a lot of them don’t go through and look at other outlets like CNN, so they end up being siloed in terms of the information that they get. They only go to the reliable source, so when that source gets corrupted, you basically have a population that gets a point of view.”
Florida Democrats were particularly upset by rhetoric that their party supported “socialist” policies, knowing that the word has a powerful influence on Florida residents whose families have fled left-wing regimes for the United States.
The dust on the WSUA sale comes after a few liberals recently called for the to return to of the doctrine of fairness as a means of censoring opposing voices. The widely criticized FCC rule required broadcast licensees to present both sides of the issue fairly.
Conservatives hailed the FCC for dropping the rule in 1987 because it stifled free speech, as some networks avoided controversial topics for fear of violating it. Others said it would be disastrous for FCC regulators to figure out what isn’t “fair” in the name of balance.
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“The Fairness Doctrine results in media coverage that feels like 1990s airline food, as opposed to a diverse environment with different viewpoints,” Carr told Fox News.
Carr said his fellow commissioners should speak out against Democrats calling on the FCC to thwart the sale, saying they were simply upset that a progressive outlet is going conservative. As far as he was aware, the process of applying to transfer control of the WSUA license to its new owner was likely to go smoothly.