Soros Liberal Front Group Asks FCC to Cancel Fox Television's Licenses

They've tried and failed repeatedly to install the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" as a means of using the government to silence conservatives, now a George Soros-connected "ethics" group is taking another route to censorship.

The Hill reports that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the Federal Communications to cancel Fox's broadcasting licenses in the United States because of the phone hacking scandal involving a newspaper owned by a sister company utterly separate from it in the United Kingdom.

Calling CREW merely an “ethics watchdog group,” The Hill reports that CREW “sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday, arguing that U.S. law states that broadcast airwaves shall only be licensed to people of 'good character' and used 'in the public interest'.”

CREW wants the FCC to revoke broadcast licenses for the 27 stations the Fox network owns in the United States. Rupert Murdoch heads News Corp., the parent company of Fox. Murdoch's former newspaper, News of the World, is under investigation in England for allegedly bugging phones in order to obtain stories.

CREW's letter to the FCC asserts the phone hacking scandal in Great Britain is evidence of a "significant character deficiency" that could disqualify Fox from holding a license in the United States. Because no Fox/News Corp. media companies in the United States have been charged with any criminal wrongdoing or involvement in the phone-hacking scandal, the CREW crew make their argument a personal attack on Rupert Murdoch and his family, saying “the Murdochs clearly do not have the requisite character to retain their broadcast licenses.”


Note that the company which actually owns the FCC licenses is called Fox Television Stations and is completely separate from the similarly named company which operates the Fox News Channel.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement that "if the Murdochs don’t meet the British standards-of-character test, it is hard to see how they can meet the American standard.”

“The watchdog group also sent letters to the House and Senate Commerce committees asking for hearings into whether the Murdochs meet the FCC’s character standards,” reports The Hill.

The Hill doesn't label CREW as a liberal organization, a fact that would seem to have some bearing on whether CREW's request to the FCC is a partisan-driven attempt to damage the one media conglomerate that gives conservative voices a fair shot in the marketplace of ideas.

CREW's request is not the disinterested effort of a neutral “ethics watchdog,” but just another example of a left-leaning organization trying to use the levers of power to silence, censor or hamper the speech of conservatives.

Some facts about CREW:

CREW was founded in 2003 by co-founder Norman Eisen, as a counter-weight to conservative watchdog groups like Judicial Watch.

Since 2005, CREW has published seven annual reports naming the politicians CREW identifies as the most corrupt members of Congress. In every report, most of the politicians targeted are Republicans.

Even liberal media outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times routinely label CREW as a “liberal watchdog group” or as “Democratic-leaning,” “left-leaning” or “progressive.”

Sloan, the founding and current executive director of CREW, previously worked for Congressional liberal Democrats John Conyers, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden.

In 2010 Politico's Ben Smith described CREW's founding as "one of a wave of new groups backed by liberal donors" and called CREW "a vehicle for assaults on largely – but not entirely – Republican targets".

In 2006 Congressional Quarterly reported that CREW, in its first three years, “has taken aim almost exclusively at GOP members of Congress,” investigating 21 lawmakers, but only one Democrat.

Donors to CREW include such liberal groups as George Soros' Open Society Institute and the Service Employees International Union.

It's highly unlikely that the Obama-dominated FCC is going to consider the claim as being worth anything but watch this space. Will more Soros front groups join in the call to censor Fox broadcasting?

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013