Republican senators slammed President Joe Biden’s FCC nominee Gigi Sohn during her Feb. 9 Senate confirmation hearing. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and others hit her both for her bias and for a “sweetheart deal.”
“Did you disclose that sweetheart deal?” Cruz pressed Sohn, who ultimately admitted, “No.” Sohn has historically supported censorship and is involved in an ethics scandal.
“The Biden administration has a pattern of abusing their power. You have demonstrated a hostility to conservative speech in particular,” Cruz said. “The FCC is a very dangerous place for a regulator to have the authority to silence political views with which you disagree.” The Senator then detailed the alleged ethics scandal.
He explained that Sohn joined the board of the nonprofit Sports Fans Coalition of New York, which operated Locast Streaming Service, after the service was sued for copyright infringement. Locast reportedly lost the legal battle. The public settlement coincided with Sohn’s FCC nomination, although three of the four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) that sued Locast received money as a result of a secret settlement, according to the New York Post.
Cruz asked if she had disclosed the deal. Sohn ultimately fumbled, “No, because I was not allowed, okay, I was not permitted.” Cruz read from the agreement. “What provision of the agreement says you're not allowed to?” he asked. “There's nothing in this agreement that prohibits you from disclosing it to the Senate. You did not disclose it to the Senate.” After grilling Sohn further, Cruz pointed out that one major network not party to the deal was Fox News, though Fox News was originally involved in the legal proceedings, according to the New York Post. Sohn has repeatedly targeted Fox News for cancelation.
Cruz emphasized the seriousness of the deal. “I've been in the Senate ten years, now,” he said. “I have never seen a nominee for any regulatory board who at the exact moment of her nomination saw the companies that would be regulated by her effectively give a $31,300,000 gift to a company on whose board she sits. That is truly stunning, and it’s disturbing.”
Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-WA) interrupted the cross-examination and claimed that Sohn had answered Cruz’s question. Cantwell ultimately retorted to Cruz, “You keep putting misinformation out there, and she'll answer it, and I'll answer it.”
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) cited several of Sohn’s extreme tweets, expressing “free speech”-related concerns. He said he thinks average Americans are “tired of this.” “The number of Biden nominees who come out and have tweeted about Republicans being white supremacists and racists, it seems like that’s how you get nominated in this administration,” Sullivan said.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell previously called Sohn, who has deep ties to leftist billionaire George Soros, “an enemy of free speech.” Sohn has mocked those uncovering anti-conservative censorship online and was formerly president of leftist group Public Knowledge, which seeks more government control of media.
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