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Yes, Fox News is a problem, but so are NBC, CBS and ABC when they give a platform to GOP clowns and liars like Rand Paul, Ron Johnson and Steve Scalise, and the hosts sit there and let them spew their crap about the last election. The hosts shouldn't have to ask these guys if they believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected, that's a question the producer should ask before the booking is completed. If the answer is no, the invitation should be withdrawn. And it would be nice if the carriers had an obligation to ask subscribers what they want to watch. I would dump Fox, Newsmax, OANN and all 50 home shopping channels DIRECTV sticks me with.

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Steve Scalise (R), sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee tasked with exploring why Direct TV, Comcast and Verizon are allowed, and are allowing, the Big Lie to air.

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MONEY

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founding

Tucker will need a new sponsor now that the My Pillow Guy is getting sued by Dominion and Smartmatic. The wind power companies should also sue the Tucker Carlson for falsely claiming wind power doesn’t work in the cold. That belief is a huge threat to that industry.

This is off topic but definitely a media issue. Chris Hayes recently posted a link to this article reporting on the results of two surveys about how satisfied parents really are withe the choices they have for their kids’ education during the pandemic:

“ Polls show most — though not all — parents are getting the type of instruction they want for their kids”

https://www.chalkbeat.org/2021/2/18/22289735/parents-polls-schools-opening-remote

Silly me, I expected those studies to have gotten more attention in the media. Contrary to what the media has been telling us about how dissatisfied parents are with remote learning, most of the parents surveyed say their kids are getting the form of education they want for them. 89% of parents whose kids are full remote are satisfied with that choice. A USC survey found that only 15% of parents they surveyed want more in person education. The experience in my city bears that out. Our schools went back to full remote since before Christmas. Schools recently went back to offering part time in person classes. 26.,000 families chose that option while a whopping 60,000 chose to stay full remote which surprised me. And majority of parents here who have chosen to keep their kids remote are African Americans worried about the increased risk to them of Covid.

The article points out that the parents demanding schools reopen “may have outsized sway with politicians.” The article should have also said that it is not just politicians who are only listening to the parents demanding in-school education, it’s the mainstream media that is once again listening to complainers and ignoring those who are satisfied with what their schools are doing.

The right is using this issue to bash a favorite target — teachers’ unions. Unfortunately the media is aiding them — again. The media seems to have no clue that there are states like mine that have the same education problems as unionized states and often those problems are worse in non-union states. That is strong evidence that the problem with our education system isn’t unions.

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very curious to watch the My Pillow lawsuit and how it might impact the massive inventory he buys on Fox News

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Yes, as we all know they are afraid of nothing but lawsuits. Lies, terrorism, nothing else bothers them, so let's see.

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I believe this is the ultimate "kitchen table" issue, schools. It is also a local issue, controlled by school boards and not yet by state statute. But it may be coming to that: https://www.the74million.org/

Our area reflects your point. We were offered return to full 5-day in-person instruction and most declined. I have three--all remote--and I know this is anecdotal but the instruction now is lightyears better than Spring 2020 when everyone was caught flat-footed by Covid. But my youngest is starved for more social interaction, and I worry about the type of development.

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The question I have about remote learning is what happens to the students who don't have access? No computer or network at home, and so on. We've been leaving students behind for decades because of who they are or where they grow up. If we're going to go to remote learning, we need to make sure that everybody can do it at a minimum level.

Some of those remote students are doing their homework on a parent's phone. How do they keep up? What can school districts do to make SURE they keep up? Are the school districts doing that? How do they handle the children of single parents who can't afford not to work, but also can't afford full-day babysitting?

One of the best responses I saw to the access problem was the wifi buses South Carolina rolled out last spring. But a lot of those kids were still doing their homework on Mom's phone. And it doesn't solve the baby-sitting problem. https://www.ksl.com/article/46736322/school-shutdowns-raise-stakes-of-digital-divide-for-students

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We need a new version of the Fairness Doctrine. The rules and standard practice of journalism as taught and practiced (for the most part) in the legitimate press should be the standard. Meanwhile, watch the fox trumptoads scream and whine starting today about how the "Biden Congress" is trying to deprive everyone of their first amendment rights. Their viewers believe the election was "stolen", Antifa raided the Capitol, and anything else that hannity and carlson can think up. Fox is an entertainment business. There ought to be a warning label on their product.

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I’d love to to see some legislative proposals

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Fox doesn't even retract their lies anymore. They aren't even trying to pretend to be news.

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good pt...they’re completely shameless

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When streaming technology rivals broadcast quality, the prospect of a la carte channel lineups may be fully realized. The true marketplace could decide. For now, the corporate entanglements are such that a carrier enforced fairness can be met with blackmailing by withholding popular entertainment destinations until they cry uncle. (eg: Premier League is fine on NBCSN but sucks on Peacock. If you don't use xFinity/Comcast you would have to pay to find that out.) So the blackmail is at least a two headed serpent.

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excellent point. snd that’s why today tiu abd me as subscribers are paying Fox News....not ideal!

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In a word: boycotts. Honestly, if I was independently wealthy, I think I'd quit my job, which I love, to form an organization that would set up boycotts.

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It’s about time. One can’t help wonder how many of the 500 thousand lost souls might have been saved with accurate information

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And that is...It! What a different place it could be.

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Eric, I love and appreciate your work, but are you completely unsympathetic to the arguments raised by Glenn Greenwald yesterday? I vehemently disagree with many of his positions, but in this case I think he has a point. Inviting influence over cable networks' selection of content providers, however well intentioned, is to me the definition of a slippery slope. Fox today, MSNBC tomorrow? Of course there are dramatic differences, but are we really willing to empower Congress to police them? And who next? Al Jazeerah?

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oh gee Greenwald, among my least fav voices:)....I think the pitch he makes on this front is generally hysterical and is designed to protect Fox News where he often appears. *in theory,* yes the larger push could be a slippery slope. But it’s not something I worry abt. I mean, if MSNBC stays out of the biz of inspiring insurrections they should be fine in terms of being targeted by carriers. In other words, the situation today is so extreme with right-wing lies/propaganda I don’t see it being part of a slippery slope of normalizing action against channels

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Thanks Eric. I don't traffic in Fox and wasn't aware that Greenwald often appears there. Puts his rant in a new light. I have reconsidered. Even Fox is safe from interference as long as they have huge ratings. It *is* a theoretical problem, but as someone else commented, hearings are not legislation and this hearing is v unlikely to lead to any. I *will* be curious to see if anyone of the Big Cable execs get grilled beyond medium rare. I do hope so.

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Art--sunlight first, through hearings, and hopefully a shift of public awareness. No one is proposing legislation, and it must be preceded by pubic opinion. We all witnessed a horrifying event, and Eric's analogy to social media is solid.

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Good point Ed. Can't argue with sunlight.

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Thanks Eric. I didn't have this on my radar and it is good news.

AT&T, (Direct TV) Comcast, and Verizon are powerful players and have managed for the most part to avoid the spotlight, and any responsibility, during the Trump years.

But there is no doubt complicity here, and we need sunlight. For example, you write, "[Fox News] rakes in nearly $2 billion each year from the hidden subscriber fees, twice as much as CNN and three times as much as MSNBC. Those sky-high fees in turn protect Fox News when advertisers abandon the network." I had no idea there was a disparity this large, and numbers like this will cause a stir.

Lets hope the committee members are up to the task of asking the right questions.

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yep, the carrier fees basically allow Fox News to act w/ immunity; not fear as boycotts

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Yes, today is the day that will decide the future of the free press, the mendacious lies spewed from right-wing misinformation campaigns parading as news...

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well, at least it will be in the spotlight !

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Finally!

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As I understand, Faux Snooze bills its self as an "entertainment" channel and doesn't have to be monitored as a "news" channel.

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Wouldn't we just see this play out in the court of public opinion if a carrier truly turned off fox news? Fox would then respond by crying foul and pulling all Fox programming from the carrier, which I suspect the public would not tolerate. Seems like a no win situation from the carriers stance. Filling our airwaves with lies ought to have repercussions, none of us want state run programming regardless of party alignment.

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I don't Photoshop but for any who do I freely offer this idea for an editorial cartoon. Playing off the infamous 60s photo of side by side drinking fountains in the South, one marked 'whites only' and the other, 'coloreds.'

Two TVs side by side, one a tattered old tube type, b&w with rabbit ears, marked 'whites only' and displaying on screen, 'Fox news.'

And the other a wide screen wall mounted thin panel marked 'full colored,' showing all news channels and a worldwide information cornocopia, like, blue planet -- world of color.

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I've been asking Spectre-I-mean-Spectrum for years why I can't buy just the cable channels I want off a menu, and Time Warner before them. I've never gotten a good answer. I don't even know which channels I would subscribe to, but I know Faux News wouldn't be one of them.

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Thanks for letting us know about today's hearings. I am listening now. I can only imagine some of the "crap", we shall hear..

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Eric I totally agree, but I have a few nits to pick around the edges

The Fairness Doctrine is the precedent for “Both Sides.” And that’s worked out well.

If anyone thinks that the Fairness Doctrine is a solution, I would like to point their attention to "Hannity & Colmes” which is what Fox News pointed to whenever challenged on their claim of Fair & Balanced.

Broadcast television from the start was regulated as a public good (there’s a legal definition), and cable and internet are not. But cable and internet are probably modern utilities and can/should be regulated to bring them inline. It just seems wrong that they are held to a different standard. If broadcast television aired the kind of programming that Fox News airs, they would have their license yanked by the FCC.

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What do you think is going to happen Eric?

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I’m glad this discussion is beginning in Congress. There will be factual record crested and these carriers will understand that they’re being watched. Ie it’s a good beginning

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Do they care? So far, they have pretty much gotten away with most things, they know it and because they know it, they don't care.

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