(USA Features) The Federal Communications Commission on Monday dismissed a demand from a Leftist group for the agency to investigate networks that air live President Donald Trump’s now-daily coronavirus press conferences.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai slapped away the request from a group called Free Press because First Amendment rights generally inviolable and far too important, he said in a tweet Monday announcing the decision.
“The federal government will not — and never should — investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments,” Pai said in the statement. “We leave it to broadcasters to determine for themselves how to cover this national emergency, including live events involving our nation’s leaders.”
Under my leadership, the @FCC has always defended Americans’ 1st Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press. That's why we've rejected a special interest's demand that we investigate broadcasters for their editorial judgments. @FCC staff decision: https://t.co/2DGUjwTw9P pic.twitter.com/MUCyLUj39R
— Ajit Pai (@AjitPai) April 6, 2020
He added: “Under my leadership, the FCC has always stood firmly in defense of Americans’ First Amendment freedoms, including freedom of the press. And so long as I am Chairman of this agency, we always will.”
The FCC leader’s tweet and press statement came after Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan demanded on Saturday that news networks end their live broadcasts of Trump’s briefings.
“The media must stop live-broadcasting Trump’s dangerous, destructive coronavirus briefings,” Sullivan tweeted along with her column.
First Amendment experts say the demand even by some journalists to censor the president appears to be unprecedented.