House Passes Media Diversity Bills

The House Tuesday passed a bill and a resolution aimed at achieving greater media diversity. The votes on each were 319-105 — they were part of a block vote on a handful of communications-related bills.

Antitrust Overhaul Passes Its First Tests. Now, The Hard Parts

When the Judiciary Committee began approving a suite of bills on Wednesday, fault lines were exposed that could make final passage difficult.

Lawmakers, Taking Aim At Big Tech, Push Sweeping Overhaul Of Antitrust

A bipartisan group of House members introduced five bills targeting Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Alyssa Milano Confirms She Is Considering Run For Congress

COMMENTARY BY SALLY JENKINS

In A Secret Deal, The NCAA Sold Out Women’s Sports

Sally Jenkins: “Someone on Capitol Hill, please explain why the dystopian, reform-resistant NCAA should get one more dime or tax favor from an American electorate that is more than half female. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has remarked that we need to recognize the NCAA ‘for the civil rights issue that it is,” a system in which “80 to 90 percent of the adults who are getting rich off college athletics are White men.’ While we’re at it, let’s recognize how it uses and demeans women.”

House Committee OKs Big Tech Antitrust Blueprint

The House Judiciary Committee lhas formally approved a report on monopoly power in digital marketplaces. The over 400-page document depicting ways that Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook allegedly abuse their market power was approved on a 24-17 party-line vote.

Lawmakers Call YouTube Kids a ‘Wasteland Of Vapid’ Content

In a letter sent Tuesday to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the U.S. House Oversight and Reform subcommittee on economic and consumer policy said YouTube does not do enough to protect kids from material that could harm them. Instead it relies on artificial intelligence and creators’ self-regulation to decide what videos make it on to the platform, according to the letter.

Tech CEOs To Face Questions On Disinformation

The chief executives of Twitter, Alphabet and Facebook (l-r: Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg) will appear before a House panel, where they will face questions about social media’s role in fomenting discord and their decisions to suspend or ban former President Trump.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH GORDON SMITH

TVN Executive Session | NAB Prioritizes Antitrust Exemption, Relaxed Ownership Rules

NAB President Gordon Smith says the organization is shifting into offense with the new Democrat-led FCC, pairing with newspaper publishers for an antitrust exemption in dealing with Big Tech along with pressing for a relaxation of antiquated TV ownership rules. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

Bill Would Televise Supreme Court Proceedings

A bipartisan group of senators is looking to bring the Supreme Court to television, aiming to have the high court reach a new technological frontier after nearly a year of hearing arguments via teleconference due to the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Majority Whip and Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee’s top Republican, introduced a bill on March 18 that would require the Supreme Court to allow public court proceedings to be televised.

Rep. Cicilline: Big Tech Power Could Spell Local News Extinction

Facebook and Google’s market power, especially over digital advertising, has translated to a potential “extinction level event” for local news operations, broadcast, online and print. That was the underlying message of House Antitrust Subcommittee chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) at a hearing Friday on “Saving a Free and Diverse Press.”

Rep. Clyburn Reintroduces $100B Internet-For-All Bill

As advertised, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), has reintroduced a bill to close the digital divide by connecting everyone to the internet at high speeds — 1 Gig is the goal.

U.S. To Introduce Bill Making Google, Facebook Pay For Publishers’ Content

A U.S. bill being introduced Wednesday by U.S. lawmakers would make it easier for news organizations to negotiate collectively with platforms like Google and Facebook to get a better price for their content that serves up in search engines or news feeds. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. David Cicilline are leading the bill.

House To Hold Multiple Big Tech Antitrust Hearings

The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee plans to hold a series of hearings on proposed bills to rein in “the rise and abuse of market power online” and adjust antitrust laws accordingly. Both Republicans and Democrats have concerns that antitrust laws were not nimble enough to capture Web giants’ efforts to buy start-up competitors before they became full-fledged competition and, importantly for antitrust law, before they triggered Hart Scott Rodino automatic antitrust reviews.

House Dems Accuse Broadcast, Cable Of Promoting Extremism

Move over social media, traditional media like broadcasting and cable are now in Congress’ sights for what top Democrats say is those media outlets’ role in “promoting disinformation and extremism,” suggesting the Capitol insurrection provided evidence of that. The House Energy & Commerce Committee said Wednesday that it will hold a hearing Feb. 24 entitled “Fanning […]

House E&C Approves $7.6B For Distance Learning

Democratic Congress Preps To Take On Big Tech

Lawmakers say the attack on the Capitol has generated more support for tougher regulation of the industry.

TRUMP SUPPORTERS STORM CAPITOL, SPURRING LOCKDOWN

Protesters loyal to President Trump stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, halting Congress’s counting of the electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory as the police evacuated lawmakers from the building.

McConnell: Senate Will Launch Look At Sec. 230

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that this week the Senate “will begin a process” of bringing the priority of reviewing and potentially revising Section 230 “into focus.” That came in his opening remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday as the Senate prepared to vote Wednesday to override the president’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Draft Would Overhaul Digital Copyright Enforcement

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.) is floating a plan to revise copyright enforcement, requiring tech companies to take a more active role in policing their sites for piracy by users.

Funding Bills Pass Congress

The House and Senate both voted late Monday on a paired-up package of a COVID-19 relief bill and an omnibus government spending bill loaded with billions of dollars for broadband, new small business loan aid for broadcasters and a provision making the theft of video streams a felony for the first time.

Congress Votes To Raise Media Ownership Diversity

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that reaffirms Congress’ commitment to media diversity and strategy of working with media organizations to better represent the American people. The bill, H. Res 549, was introduced in 2019 by Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.). It’s official wording is: “[A] resolution reaffirming the commitment of the House of Representatives to media diversity … and pledges to work with media entities and diverse stakeholders to develop common ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.”

Zuckerberg, Dorsey Face Harsh Questioning From Lawmakers

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter testified Tuesday about their platforms, misinformation and the 2020 election.

Social Media CEOs Get Earful On Bias, Warning Of New Limits

The CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Google were scolded by Republicans at a Senate hearing Wednesday for alleged anti-conservative bias in the companies’ social media platforms and received a warning of coming restrictions from Congress. Lawmakers of both parties are assessing the companies’ tremendous power to disseminate speech and ideas, and are looking to challenge their long-enjoyed bedrock legal protections for online speech.

3 Social Media CEOs Face GOP Senators

The Senate Commerce Committee has summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai to testify for a hearing Wednesday. The executives agreed to appear remotely after being threatened with subpoenas. With the presidential election looming, Republicans led by President Donald Trump have thrown a barrage of grievances at Big Tech’s social media platforms, which they accuse without evidence of deliberately suppressing conservative, religious and anti-abortion views. Above (l-r): Dorsey, Pichai and Zuckerberg.

Bill Would Check POTUS Power Over Networks

A bill that would limit the president — of either party’s — ability to “shut down the internet” has been introduced. The bill, from Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), would limit the president’s power to “control or shut down communications networks, including the internet.”

House Democrats Slam Pai Over 230

House Democrats blasted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday over his announcement that the commission would move forward with the Trump administration’s petition to clarify the meaning of a law that grants tech companies a legal liability shield over content posted on their websites by third parties. Democratic leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee accused Pai of attempting to help a “flailing President Trump” through his decision to move forward with the administration’s push to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Simington FCC Confirmation Hearing Set

It looks like Senate Republicans are going to try and get Nathan Simington confirmed to the FCC before the end of the year and the exit of Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who he will be replacing. The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled his confirmation hearing for Nov. 10.

Partisanship Fractures Big Tech Opposition

A House report on how to limit the reach of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook has been delayed as Democrats and Republicans split on remedies.

Hill Preps For Big Tech Thursday

Thursday will be a busy day on Capitol Hill on the issue of the power of Big Tech and what, if anything, to do about it. The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee is holding an afternoon hearing on “Proposals to Strengthen the Antitrust Laws and Restore Competition Online.”

VOA Chief Flouts House Subpoena, Angering Reps

The head of the government’s main international broadcasting agency flouted a subpoena for congressional testimony Thursday, angering both Democrats and Republicans already alarmed by his management tactics. Michael Pack, chief executive of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees Voice of America and similar institutions, was issued a subpoena by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week after he reneged on a promise to appear before the panel citing unspecified “administrative proceedings,” according to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.)

Republicans Ask DOJ To Prosecute Netflix Over ‘Cuties’

Saying that the Sundance award-winning film Cuties meets the definition of child pornography, almost three dozen Republican members of Congress led by Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana have called on Attorney General Bill Barr to prosecute Netflix for distributing it.

Pai: FCC Not Generally In Business Of Censorship

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has told a member of the House that the agency is generally not in the business of dictating what viewers can and can’t see. Pai was responding to a letter from Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who was concerned about a TV show, La Comay, airing on Mega TV in Puerto Rico and containing what she called “a pattern of xenophobic and racist remarks.”

NAB, Others Urge Funds For Tower Crew Training

Facing 5G wireless buildouts, broadcast NextGen TV buildouts and the C-band transition, communications associations are pushing Congress to pass legislation to help train the workforce that is needed for those infrastructure deployments.

The 5 Biggest Little Lies Tech CEOs Told Congress

No, Google, we’re not really in control of our data. And yes, Facebook, you profit from harmful information.

Tech Hearing Suggests Antitrust Crackdown Could Come Soon

Analysis: heated exchanges raise concern over anticompetitive behavior as chair warns of companies’ “monopoly power.”

Why The Tech Giants May Suffer Lasting Pain From Their Hill Lashing

Lawmakers investigating Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple made it clear that their allegations of antitrust abuses come with a lengthy paper trail.

House Batters Tech CEOs, Don’t Land Many Blows

Invective flew Wednesday as legislators questioned Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust. For the last year, that panel has probed the business practices of the Silicon Valley giants with an eye to determining if they need to be regulated more heavily, or even broken up.

UPDATED, WEDNESDAY, 5:54 PM ET

4 Big Tech CEOs Get Grilled By Congress

The powerful executives sought to defend their companies amid intense grilling by lawmakers on Wednesday. The executives provided bursts of data showing how competitive their markets are, and the value of their innovation and essential services to consumers. But they sometimes struggled to answer pointed questions about their business practices. They also confronted a range of other concerns about alleged political bias, their effect on U.S. democracy and their role in China.

Sen. Inhofe Puts Hold On O’Rielly Nomination

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has reportedly put a hold on the renomination of Republican FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly over the senator’s opposition to the FCC’s decision to approve Ligado’s use of satellite spectrum for terrestrial broadband.