Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr ripped into the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for attempting to use federal force to punish a local news outlet.
The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, led by Marilyn Mosby, filed a complaint with the FCC last week accusing WBFF Fox 45, a local affiliate of Fox News, of endangering the lives of Mosby and her family with “racist” news coverage. Carr responded to the complaint on Monday saying the FCC should dismiss it immediately. Carr also said that Mosby’s complaint is part of a “troubling surge” in Democratic attempts to censor free speech and news coverage.
Carr’s full statement said:
The State’s Attorney’s Office, led by Democrat Marilyn Mosby, has launched a chilling and direct attack on free speech and journalistic freedom. The complaint her office filed with the FCC asks the Commission to censor a newsroom simply because journalists are doing their constitutionally protected jobs and shining a light on the work of the State’s Attorney. Invoking the power of the state to silence journalists for unfavorable coverage strikes at the very heart of the First Amendment.
It is particularly troubling that a public official would work to silence reporters that are investigating her work at a time when federal prosecutors have already opened a criminal investigation into her activities.
Indeed, the day after the State’s Attorney’s Office filed its complaint with the FCC, the targeted newsroom was awarded four prestigious Regional Edward R. Murrow awards for journalism excellence, including for one of its stories covering the work of the State’s Attorney’s Office.
The State’s Attorney’s Office complaint alleges that there is ‘troubling, abhorrent, and outright dangerous’ conduct going on here. They are correct in this respect—it is the conduct of the State’s Attorney’s Office that is troubling, abhorrent, and outright dangerous.
Yet this complaint is part of a recent and troubling surge in efforts by Democrat officials to pressure the FCC and its regulated entities into censoring news coverage and political speech that Democrats don’t like. The FCC should make clear that it will not operate as the DNC’s speech police. That is why the FCC must dismiss this complaint with prejudice by the end of today. No journalists should have a complaint like this from their city’s top prosecutor hanging over their newsroom.
Fox 45 covered the Mosby letter to the FCC, hitting back at the State’s Attorney’s Office in its story.
“FOX45 News is committed to investigating corruption in public officials, asking tough questions and holding leaders accountable. Our award-winning investigative unit is a key part of delivering that commitment. While we understand that it may not be popular with the individuals and institutions upon which we are shining a light, we stand by our reporting,” the outlet said.
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