Idaho Senators Tell FCC Not To Try And Control Free Speech


By Paul Johnson

Washington D.C. ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have joined all their Republican colleagues demanding to know the reason the Federal Communications Commission ordered a study regarding newsroom decisions. Both Crapo and Risch said the plan was ill-conceived and inappropriate. In a letter to the FCC, the Senators, led by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri want to know the reasons behind why the FCC undertook the study. That study has been suspended.
In recent weeks, Idahoans along with the rest of the country learned that the FCC was attempting to move forward with a Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CIN Study), which posed highly inappropriate questions to news editors about how they select stories, station bias, and even about their “news philosophy.” After the study received national condemnation from across the political spectrum, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler suspended the study last Friday and indicated that the survey would be subsequently “revised.”

“It is impossible to imagine a rationale for the Commission to consider using the CIN Study under any circumstance given its flagrantly unconstitutional implications,” the Senators wrote. “We demand an explanation of how the Commission internally justified the CIN Study as fulfilling its statutory requirement to report on market barriers to entry, as well as the costs incurred by the Commission on this blatantly inappropriate study. We also insist all commissioners be involved in future statutorily required studies in order to guard against the clear potential for abuse.”

Crapo and Risch pledge to remain vigilant on this matter and ensure the Administration make no further threats to Idahoans’ freedom of speech.

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