OANN, Newsmax, Fox — Democratic Lawmakers Say They Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Spread Disinformation
In a letter to media providers, Democratic House members have asked what will be done about networks that spread mass amounts of disinformation and fake news. Further, they asked if Hulu, Apple, Google, Dish Network, Comcast, and other providers of cable services will keep Fox News, Newsmax, and OANN on their lineups after their current contracts end — “And if so, why?”
The New York Times reports that the letter was sent to Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, Dish, Verizon, Cox and Altice, as well as digital media companies Hulu, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Roku.
In the missive, these corporations were asked what, if anything, they did “prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks” to control the spread of disinformation over their services by these three news networks, and respond to the ultimate result of that disinformation.
Fox News and Newsmax have both criticized the letter and the intent behind it.
However, there have been new efforts, in response to the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuits, by these networks to control at least some disinformation dissemination. In a clip below from earlier this month, Mike Lindell appears on Newsmax to discuss his Twitter account being suspended — and is silenced when he tries to make unsubstantiated claims about election fraud.
Newsmax invites Mike Lindell, who advocated for a coup and spews dangerous conspiracy theories, on air. It didn't go well. pic.twitter.com/6xzSgXlHua
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) February 2, 2021
Investigations into the January 6th attack are ongoing, but one point that has received bipartisan emphasis in Congress — even from some members who fought against impeachment of Donald Trump for the same — is that disinformation was a primary contributor that led to the insurrection attempt.