Time to ACTUALLY wake up! Government attempts to censor the “news media”

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drbwh

Federal Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
10,290
3,792
1,743
#1
February 22, 2021
Mr. John T. Stankey, CEO AT&T, Inc.
208 South Akard Street Dallas, Texas 75202
Dear Mr. Stankey,
Our country’s public discourse is plagued by misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies. These phenomena undergird the radicalization of seditious individuals who committed acts of insurrection on January 6th, and it contributes to a growing distrust of public health measures necessary to crush the pandemic. We are concerned about the role AT&T plays in disseminating misinformation to millions of its U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV subscribers, and we write to you today to request additional information about what actions AT&T is taking to address these issues.
Nearly half of Americans get their news primarily from TV.1 However, not all TV news sources are the same. Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm.2 Misinformation on TV has led to our current polluted information environment that radicalizes individuals to commit seditious acts and rejects public health best practices, among other issues in our public discourse.3
Experts have noted that the right-wing media ecosystem is “much more susceptible...to disinformation, lies, and half-truths.”4 Right-wing media outlets, like Newsmax, One America News Network (OANN), and Fox News all aired misinformation about the November 2020 elections.5 For example, both Newsmax and OANN “ran incendiary reports” of false information following the elections and continue to support “an angry and dangerous subculture [that] will continue to operate semi-openly.”6 As a violent mob was breaching the doors of the Capitol, Newsmax’s coverage called the scene a “sort of a romantic idea.”7 Fox News, meanwhile, has spent years spewing misinformation about American politics.8
These same networks also have been key vectors of spreading misinformation related to the pandemic. A media watchdog found over 250 cases of COVID-19 misinformation on Fox News in just one five-day period, 9 and economists demonstrated that Fox News had a demonstrable impact on non-compliance with public health guidelines.10 One online platform suspended and demonetized OANN’s channel online because it was spreading COVID-19 misinformation.11 Newsmax has amplified allegations that members of the Chinese Communist Party helped to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.12
Sadly, these facts are not new. One popular television show aired a segment about OANN last April that included a dire warning: “the kind of misinformation [OANN] is spewing right now could end up getting people killed.”13
Yet, to our knowledge, the cable, satellite, and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets to American viewers have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets. 14 AT&T currently carries Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV.15 As a company that serves 17 million Americans,16 AT&T plays a major role in
1

the spread of dangerous misinformation that enabled the insurrection of January 6th and hinders our public health response to the current pandemic.
It is for these reasons we ask that you provide us with responses to the following questions about AT&T’s policies toward content carried on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV by March 8, 2021:
1. What moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity, violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?
2. Do you require, through contracts or otherwise, that the channels you carry abide by any content guidelines? If so, please provide a copy of the guidelines.
3. How many of your subscribers tuned in to Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV for each of the four weeks preceding the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol? Please specify the number of subscribers that tuned in to each channel.
4. What steps did you take prior to, on, and following the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks to monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans? Please describe each step that you took and when it was taken.
5. Have you taken any adverse actions against a channel, including Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN, for using your platform to disseminate disinformation related directly or indirectly to the November 3, 2020 elections, the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, or COVID-19 misinformation? If yes, please describe each action, when it was taken, and the parties involved.
6. Have you ever taken any actions against a channel for using your platform to disseminate any disinformation? If yes, please describe each action and when it was taken.
7. 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?
Most gratefully,
E______________________ Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress
______________________ Jerry McNerney
Member of Congress
1 Amy Mitchell et al., “Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media Are Less Engaged, Less Knowledgeable” (Pew Research Center, July 30, 2020), https://www.journalism.org/2020/07/30/americans- who-mainly-get-their-news-on-social-media-are-less-engaged-less-knowledgeable/.
2 Bill Keveney and Maria Puente, “How Conservative Media Stoked Baseless Election-Fraud Claims That Motivated DC Rioters,” USA Today, January 11, 2021,

https://mcnerney.house.gov/sites/mc...Nerney-Eshoo TV Misinfo Letters - 2.22.21.pdf

Do people not see what is actually going on in this country?


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CocoCincinnati

Federal Marshal
Feb 7, 2007
16,334
17,097
1,743
Tulsa, OK
#6
You will think how the corporatists want you to think or you will be silenced.

It cracks me up that the people who complain the loudest about the evils of capitalism and the wealth gap also fight the hardest to make sure the corporate owned media is the only source people should believe. Idiots.

Anybody who wants to silence some media and not others does NOT believe in the 1st amendment.
 
Last edited:

drbwh

Federal Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
10,290
3,792
1,743
#8
You will think how the corporatists want you to think or you will be silenced.

It cracks me up that the people who complain the loudest about the evils of capitalism and the wealth gap also fight the hardest to make sure the corporate owned media is the only source people should believe. Idiots.

Anybody who wants to silence some media and not others does NOT believe in the 1st amendment.
95% of the people in the United States only believe in the First Amendment when it’s for themselves. I’m telling you this country has been manipulated by the television and print press for 70 years. It’s never been worse in the last five. Yes very scary. When the US falls the whole world falls


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Sep 29, 2011
2,481
554
743
61
Breckenridge, CO
#9
You will think how the corporatists want you to think or you will be silenced.

It cracks me up that the people who complain the loudest about the evils of capitalism and the wealth gap also fight the hardest to make sure the corporate owned media is the only source people should believe. Idiots.

Anybody who wants to silence some media and not others does NOT believe in the 1st amendment.
95% of the people in the United States only believe in the First Amendment when it’s for themselves. I’m telling you this country has been manipulated by the television and print press for 70 years. It’s never been worse in the last five. Yes very scary. When the US falls the whole world falls


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Absolutely


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Jul 23, 2018
91
40
68
106
USA
#10
February 22, 2021
Mr. John T. Stankey, CEO AT&T, Inc.
208 South Akard Street Dallas, Texas 75202
Dear Mr. Stankey,
Our country’s public discourse is plagued by misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies. These phenomena undergird the radicalization of seditious individuals who committed acts of insurrection on January 6th, and it contributes to a growing distrust of public health measures necessary to crush the pandemic. We are concerned about the role AT&T plays in disseminating misinformation to millions of its U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV subscribers, and we write to you today to request additional information about what actions AT&T is taking to address these issues.
Nearly half of Americans get their news primarily from TV.1 However, not all TV news sources are the same. Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm.2 Misinformation on TV has led to our current polluted information environment that radicalizes individuals to commit seditious acts and rejects public health best practices, among other issues in our public discourse.3
Experts have noted that the right-wing media ecosystem is “much more susceptible...to disinformation, lies, and half-truths.”4 Right-wing media outlets, like Newsmax, One America News Network (OANN), and Fox News all aired misinformation about the November 2020 elections.5 For example, both Newsmax and OANN “ran incendiary reports” of false information following the elections and continue to support “an angry and dangerous subculture [that] will continue to operate semi-openly.”6 As a violent mob was breaching the doors of the Capitol, Newsmax’s coverage called the scene a “sort of a romantic idea.”7 Fox News, meanwhile, has spent years spewing misinformation about American politics.8
These same networks also have been key vectors of spreading misinformation related to the pandemic. A media watchdog found over 250 cases of COVID-19 misinformation on Fox News in just one five-day period, 9 and economists demonstrated that Fox News had a demonstrable impact on non-compliance with public health guidelines.10 One online platform suspended and demonetized OANN’s channel online because it was spreading COVID-19 misinformation.11 Newsmax has amplified allegations that members of the Chinese Communist Party helped to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.12
Sadly, these facts are not new. One popular television show aired a segment about OANN last April that included a dire warning: “the kind of misinformation [OANN] is spewing right now could end up getting people killed.”13
Yet, to our knowledge, the cable, satellite, and over-the-top companies that disseminate these media outlets to American viewers have done nothing in response to the misinformation aired by these outlets. 14 AT&T currently carries Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV.15 As a company that serves 17 million Americans,16 AT&T plays a major role in
1

the spread of dangerous misinformation that enabled the insurrection of January 6th and hinders our public health response to the current pandemic.
It is for these reasons we ask that you provide us with responses to the following questions about AT&T’s policies toward content carried on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV by March 8, 2021:
1. What moral or ethical principles (including those related to journalistic integrity, violence, medical information, and public health) do you apply in deciding which channels to carry or when to take adverse actions against a channel?
2. Do you require, through contracts or otherwise, that the channels you carry abide by any content guidelines? If so, please provide a copy of the guidelines.
3. How many of your subscribers tuned in to Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV for each of the four weeks preceding the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks on the Capitol? Please specify the number of subscribers that tuned in to each channel.
4. What steps did you take prior to, on, and following the November 3, 2020 elections and the January 6, 2021 attacks to monitor, respond to, and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans? Please describe each step that you took and when it was taken.
5. Have you taken any adverse actions against a channel, including Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN, for using your platform to disseminate disinformation related directly or indirectly to the November 3, 2020 elections, the January 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection, or COVID-19 misinformation? If yes, please describe each action, when it was taken, and the parties involved.
6. Have you ever taken any actions against a channel for using your platform to disseminate any disinformation? If yes, please describe each action and when it was taken.
7. 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?
Most gratefully,
E______________________ Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress
______________________ Jerry McNerney
Member of Congress
1 Amy Mitchell et al., “Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media Are Less Engaged, Less Knowledgeable” (Pew Research Center, July 30, 2020), https://www.journalism.org/2020/07/30/americans- who-mainly-get-their-news-on-social-media-are-less-engaged-less-knowledgeable/.
2 Bill Keveney and Maria Puente, “How Conservative Media Stoked Baseless Election-Fraud Claims That Motivated DC Rioters,” USA Today, January 11, 2021,

https://mcnerney.house.gov/sites/mcnerney.house.gov/files/McNerney-Eshoo TV Misinfo Letters - 2.22.21.pdf

Do people not see what is actually going on in this country?


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The news media is 90%+ leftist, period. Entertainment and university academics are the same, and to the extent ideology leaks down into K-12 education, it is also leftist. Conservatives, libertarians, and anyone not buying the statist message have been relegated to receiving information from a few cable news channels, radio, internet sites and social media. Social media continues to devolve so that the big tech companies have become information curators, and they are actively filtering information they don’t like. Some national Democrats are calling for the establishment of truth commissions and other absolute nonsense.

Information disseminated to the public that does not follow the accepted ideology has been deemed unacceptable for a myriad of reasons. This increased radicalization of information filtering also hits us at a time when our government is advancing the most radical policy direction in our history. However, instead of debating policy in the arena of ideas, the left wants to discredit, filter, and ultimately silence any dissent and move toward single-party rule, i.e. the California model. This admin is absolute garbage from a rational policy perspective, but those identifying as a “D” will blindly cheer as this country deteriorates in their wake.
 

drbwh

Federal Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
10,290
3,792
1,743
#12
I find it extremely concerning nobody cares about this, but then again, I am not the least bit surprised.


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StillwaterTownie

Federal Marshal
Jun 18, 2010
17,236
1,887
1,743
Where else but Stillwater
#13
I find it extremely concerning nobody cares about this, but then again, I am not the least bit surprised.


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So people must continue to have the freedom to be gullible enough to fall hook, line and sinker for what they hear on the news media, especially the opinionated segments? The cure for being that dumb is to be responsible enough to censor it yourself from your life. Either that or just enjoy it as entertainment, like a movie based on fiction.`
 

drbwh

Federal Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
10,290
3,792
1,743
#14
I find it extremely concerning nobody cares about this, but then again, I am not the least bit surprised.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So people must continue to have the freedom to be gullible enough to fall hook, line and sinker for what they hear on the news media, especially the opinionated segments? The cure for being that dumb is to be responsible enough to censor it yourself from your life. Either that or just enjoy it as entertainment, like a movie based on fiction.`
That’s just fine. The government should have no say in what is available to watch or be heard. I can assure you, I would be just as disturbed if the congresspeople had a R after their names and it said CNN, MSNBC and PBS.


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