Public-Interest Champion Gigi Sohn Faces More False Attacks as Her Long-Overdue FCC Confirmation Moves Through the Senate
WASHINGTON — FCC nominee Gigi Sohn went before the Senate Commerce Committee for the third time to face down a coordinated smear campaign designed to keep this veteran public-interest advocate from being seated at the Federal Communications Commission.
While the deep-pocketed telecom and broadcast lobby has worked with right-wing operatives to falsely portray Sohn as divisive, her years of experience tell a different story — about a highly regarded expert who has reached across political divides to support policies that benefit the public.
During the confirmation hearing, Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts submitted for the record 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.
Sohn, who for more than 30 years has championed the public interest in communications policy, has faced a phalanx of opposition from powerful media and telecommunications firms seeking to deadlock the FCC at 2–2 and prevent a majority vote on a number of critical issues.
Free Press Action General Counsel and Vice President of Policy Matt Wood said:
“Confirming Gigi Sohn to serve at the FCC is the best thing the Senate can do to ensure 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. She is obviously and supremely qualified to serve as a watchdog for ordinary people across the country.
“As commissioner, Sohn will fight on behalf of working families trying to pay their high monthly phone and internet bills. She will work to ensure that the benefits of broadband reach everyone, and to curb the runaway media consolidation that has decimated local journalism and harmed Black and Brown communities in particular. Without Sohn’s crucial fifth vote at the agency, the FCC cannot fully accomplish its mission.
“Sohn’s impeccable credentials are the very things that have compelled the telecom and broadcast industry to hold her nomination in limbo. We've had to wait for far too long — with endless delays and bigoted attacks that have prevented the deadlocked agency from adopting some crucial policies that would help people connect and communicate.
“Senator Cruz even went so far as to falsely claim that Sohn had lied about her record and campaigned to censor conservative speech. His trumped-up claims are simply aiding and abetting the smear campaign designed to benefit the massive communications firms subject to FCC oversight.
“The Commerce Committee and then the full Senate should advance this nomination without further delays, which only benefit those big companies orchestrating this impasse. If the Senate genuinely wants to improve the lives of internet users, cellphone customers, TV watchers and radio listeners — aka, everyone — it can start by confirming this excellent public servant to the FCC immediately.”