FCC Commissioner Warns That Conservative News Websites Could be Regulated—Naming One in Particular

The Federal Communication Commission might be setting its sights on a new target: conservative-leaning websites. At least according to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.

As CNS News reported, during a panel discussion at Washington, D.C.’s “Right Online” conference, Pai warned that it is possible for the government to take aim at conservative news outlets:

“It is conceivable to me to see the government saying, ‘We think the Drudge Report is having a disproportionate effect on our political discourse. He doesn’t have to file anything with the FEC. The FCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate anything he says, and we want to start tamping down on websites like that.’”

Pai doubled down on his claims that federal government could try to regulate web traffic, claiming that certain news outlets could be seen as “playing unfairly” when it comes to reporting current events:

Is it unthinkable that some government agency would say the marketplace of ideas is too fraught with dissonance? That everything from the Drudge Report to Fox News… is playing unfairly in the online political speech sandbox? I don’t think so.”

Pai has routinely warned against heavier internet regulation. In Februrary, Pai penned a Politico op-ed, along with the FCC’s Lee Goodman, that acknowledged early regulation of political speech on the internet was “counterproductive and highly unpopular.”

In the joint op-ed, Pai also paraphrased President Reagan, writing:

Internet regulation isn’t the solution to a problem. Internet regulation is the problem.

President Obama has previously called for “net neutrality,” which would place a series of regulations on online activity. In February, the White House issued a statement calling for measures to be taken that would impose net neutrality to create a “level playing field.”


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