Liberal FEC Outrageously Targets Fox News; Will Media Notice?

Will journalists come to the defense of another media outlet? Maybe not if that organization is Fox News. The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard on Thursday reported that Democrats on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) targeted Fox News for punishment in 2015. Bedard explained, “Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News' sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage.” 

He added, “It is the first time in history that members of the FEC voted to punish a media outlet's debate sponsorship, and it follows several years of Democratic threats against conservative media and websites like the Drudge Report.” The effort failed on a 3-3 vote after Republican members blocked the attack. 

Bedard offered this exclusive

A Republican FEC commissioner leading that fight, Lee E. Goodman, revealed the vote to Secrets Wednesday and said the official report of the May 26 executive vote will be released Thursday.

Goodman has led the fight against several other efforts to censor conservative media by Democrats on the FEC.

"The government should not punish any newsroom's editorial decision on how best to provide the public information about candidates for office," he said. "All press organizations should be concerned when the government asserts regulatory authority to punish and censor news coverage."

On Thursday, Fox and Friends journalists discussed the targeting of their network: 

GARRETT TENNEY: The FEC, they have looked at presidential debate rules in the past, but this is the closest it's come to actually penalizing a news outlet. Last month, the three Democratic members of the Federal Election Commission voted to punish Fox News for changes it made to the criteria for the August 6th debate. At the time, there were 17 candidates on the GOP side and in order to accommodate that large field, Fox added a second earlier debate and expanded the criteria to include any criteria who had shown up in the national polls. The primetime debate featured 10 candidates and the early debate had seven. Well, the FEC’s three Democratic members, Steven Walther, Ellen Weintraub and Ann Ravel, determined that by expanding the debate field, Fox violated election law by essentially making an illegal contribution to the seven candidates in the early debate. Two of the Democratic commissioners took a step further though and voted to penalize Fox. Both moves were blocked by the FEC’s three Republican commissioners who voted against the decision which resulted in a 3-3 tie.

So far, journalists at the networks haven’t show an interest in the government going after fellow reporters. 

A partial transcript of the Fox and Friends segment is below: 

Fox and Friends
6/30/16

CLAYTON MORRIS: Well, Fox under fire, we learned members of the Federal Election Commission considered punishing fox over the first Republican debate. 

STEVE DOOCY: This is the first time that the FEC has ever voted to take that kind of punitive action. 

...

GARRETT TENNEY: The FEC, they have looked at presidential debate rules in the past, but this is the closest it's come to actually penalizing a news outlet. Last month, the three Democratic members of the Federal Election Commission voted to punish Fox News for changes it made to the criteria for the August 6th debate. At the time, there were 17 candidates on the GOP side and in order to accommodate that large field, Fox added a second earlier debate and expanded the criteria to include any criteria who had shown up in the national polls. The primetime debate featured 10 candidates and the early debate had seven. Well, the FEC’s three Democratic members, Steven Walther, Ellen Weintraub and Ann Ravel, determined that by expanding the debate field, Fox violated election law by essentially making an illegal contribution to the seven candidates in the early debate. Two of the Democratic commissioners took a step further though and voted to penalize Fox. Both moves were blocked by the FEC’s three Republican commissioners who voted against the decision which resulted in a 3-3 tie.

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