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Tipsheet

Why Gigi Sohn, Biden's Angel of Death for Conservative Media, Might Be In Trouble

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

We must deal with Joe Biden having oatmeal for brains. Russia might invade Ukraine. China could get more aggressive with Taiwan. Joe Rogan is fighting attempts to get him canceled. CNN did have a horrible week as their sexual misconduct circus finally came crashing down. Still, there is one person who is slated to be our grim reaper in conservative media. That would be Gigi Sohn. She’s Joe Biden’s FCC commissioner nominee, and she’s been more than open about her intent to destroy conservative outlets, Fox News specifically. She recently made a pledge to recuse herself from some matter (via Daily Caller):

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Gigi Sohn, President Joe Biden’s nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), pledged to recuse herself from key broadcast issues amid an ongoing legal dispute over her involvement with a shuttered streaming service.

Sohn agreed to a temporary recusal on certain issues related to retransmission consent and television broadcast copyright if confirmed as FCC commissioner, according to a letter sent to FCC general counsel P. Michele Ellison. Sohn pledged to recuse herself for the first four years of her term from issues related to retransmission consent rules that she helped craft and from general retransmission consent and broadcast copyright matters for the first three years of her term.

The recusal comes amid an ongoing dispute over Sohn’s involvement with Locast, a streaming service that retransmitted local television broadcasts over the internet. Locast was sued by broadcasters and was found to be in violation of copyright law, and the organization was ordered to pay statutory damages totaling $32 million.

Yeah, not good enough. This nomination must be derailed. It’s literally letting the fox inside the henhouse. It’s been in limbo for months, which isn’t a good sign.  Before Groundhog Day, a scheduled committee vote on her nomination was yanked (via Fox News):

A confirmation vote scheduled in the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday for Gigi Sohn, one of President Biden's nominees to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has been pulled.

In addition to the confirmation vote being pulled, a Senate aide also confirmed to Fox News that a request from Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., for an additional hearing into Sohn’s conflicts of interest has been granted.

Sources tell Fox News another hearing on Sohn's nomination will be held on Feb. 9.

In a statement last month, Wicker called for a new hearing into Sohn, specifically her time on the board at Locast — a broadcast TV streaming service that was shuttered after it lost a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Wicker was provided a confidential copy of a settlement agreement reached over Locast, provided by the four broadcast networks.

"My initial review of the confidential settlement raises several troubling questions about Ms. Sohn’s nomination," Wicker said. "The possibility of the nominee’s future financial liability to a number of companies regulated by the FCC, and the timing of this settlement in relation to her nomination, demands a full discussion by the committee to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the ability for this nominee to act without any cloud of ethical doubt."

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Is this the beginning of the end? One could hope. If this woman assumes her official role at the FCC, she will wage an all-out war against any outlet that doesn’t have an editorial direction that isn’t like CNN, MSNBC, or Venezuelan state media. Let’s hope the GOP stands firm and grills her on this Locast issue. It’s a 50-50 Senate. Democrats are also down one due to the medical recovery of Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), who is recovering from a recent stroke. They’ll probably keep this nomination in limbo; Lujan is out 4-6 weeks. Still, Sohn is a nominee that won’t get much bipartisan support, and who knows where Manchin or Sinema will fall on her. 

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