A heated debate over the regulation of news organizations has emerged after Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez called for regulating Fox News and other news organizations in a Sunday interview with MSNBC host Jen Psaki.
During the interview, Ocasio–Cortez singled out Fox News host and Daily Caller co–founder Tucker Carlson, saying, “I believe that when it comes to broadcast television like Fox News, these are subject to federal law, federal regulation in terms of what’s allowed on air and what isn’t. And when you look at what Tucker Carlson and what some of these other folks on Fox do, it is very, very clearly incitement of violence, very clearly incitement of violence.”
The comments sparked a fierce debate on the role of media organizations, with Republicans accusing Ocasio–Cortez of attempting to limit free speech.
“Congresswoman Ocasio–Cortez’s comments are an affront to the First Amendment and an attempt to stifle free speech,” said Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “It is our constitutional right to listen to and watch different news outlets, and the Congresswoman should respect that.”
The American Civil Liberties Union also weighed in, saying, “The government cannot and should not regulate speech in the news media. It is a violation of the First Amendment to do so.”
In response to the criticism, Ocasio–Cortez defended her comments, saying, “We have very real issues with what is permissible on air and we saw that with January 6th and we saw that in the lead up to January 6th. And how we navigate questions not just of freedom of speech but also accountability for incitement of violence. These are, this is the line that we have to really explore through law as well.”
The debate over news regulation is likely to continue, as both sides dig in their heels and refuse to back down but comments like AOC’s are frightening because they lend themselves to heightened governmental control.
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