Regulating speech: cable vs. broadcast television 📺

Fox News is the exact thing that the FCC was designed to prevent, but

  • regulatory capture

  • dubious technological loophole

so too bad for America then


The FCC can’t prevent fox news because it’s a cable station not broadcast - the 1st Amendment applies.

The proliferation of right wing AM talk radio and concentrated tv station ownership by Sinclair, now those the FCC could have mitigated because they use the public airwaves and licensing can include restrictions and public good clauses as part of the access to the limited spectrum.


“forced air one” - buddy of mine


the same bandwidth limitations exist on a wire as through the electromagnetic field in the air

it’s like saying they can’t regulate cable because cable is an orc and the legislation specified goblins


Yeah, no. Different companies can run their own lines, there isn’t a shared public spectrum on private cable. It’s not the same as broadcast under Federal statute / case law. Wishes are not constitutional law.

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The Communications Act of 1934 was explicitly

AN ACT To provide for the regulation of interstate and foreign communication by wire or radio

TPTB gave cable a pass for a long time because cable didn’t matter, and then more recently it’s been fashionable to pretend it’s not possible to regulate cable, which is absurd


Oh, it’s possible to regulate cable, but not in a way that contradicts the First Amendment.

So, common carrier net neutrality (required agnosticism towards content, not enforced balance of political views)? Yes.
Restricting the speech of Fox news? No.

These are not new issues. It’s already settled that the first amendment means that the FCC can’t regulate the political content of cable news.

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