As Ted Cruz and Others Attack Sohn, Millions Lose Out
Gigi Sohn has been through the wringer.
Since President Biden nominated her to fill the tiebreaking seat at the Federal Communications Commission in October 2021, she’s faced an unprecedented flood of opposition from powerful media and telecommunications firms seeking to deadlock the agency at 2–2 and prevent a majority vote on a number of critical issues. She’s also had to deal with homophobic and antisemitic attacks from right-wing media — attacks that have only grown more appalling over time.
Sohn faces another circus in the Senate
Sohn recently sat down for a THIRD confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee. Obstructionist lawmakers bombarded her with attacks and lies on issues that have nothing to do with decisions she would make as a commissioner at the FCC. Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, claimed that she would censor conservatives and Fox News.
Not to be outdone, Sen. J.D. Vance made it clear that he views challenging white supremacy as disqualifying. He also demanded that she respond to racist hypothetical tweets that she never even posted. Other lawmakers attacked her with National Sheriff Association and Fraternal Order of Police-backed claims that Sohn hates the police — which is an anti-Black dog whistle used to discredit those who support ending state-sanctioned violence against Black people.
Not all lawmakers went on the offensive during the hearing. Others actually acknowledged Sohn’s 30-year history as a public-interest champion. Sen. Ed Markey submitted documents demonstrating support for Sohn’s confirmation from more than 400 groups and individuals. These include organizations from across the political spectrum, including businesses, consumer advocates, civil-rights organizations, educational groups, state and local elected officials, and community groups.
There’s so much at stake
We’ve had to wait for far too long for a fully functional FCC — and the endless delays and bigoted attacks have prevented the deadlocked agency from adopting crucial policies that would help people connect and communicate. Later this year, the agency will adopt rules to combat ISP discrimination that leaves low-income neighborhoods and communities of color with subpar internet service. A few days before Sohn’s third hearing, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board wrote that senators should reject Sohn to prevent the agency from crafting strong consumer-protection rules.
Confirming Gigi Sohn to serve at the FCC is the best thing the Senate can do to ensure that media, tech and broadband policy actually serves the public. No other nominee in the FCC’s history has had to wait so long for a confirmation vote.
If the Senate genuinely wants to improve the lives of internet users, cellphone customers, TV watchers and radio listeners — aka, all of us — it can start by rejecting the attacks and immediately confirming this excellent public servant to the FCC. Rush a donation to Free Press Action today so we can keep pushing senators to confirm Gigi Sohn.