Florida Republicans Respond to Democrat Bullying of the FCC, Miami AM Radio Station

May 14th, 2021 5:52 PM

Congressional Republicans have responded to Democrats’ brazen attempt to hijack the communications licensing process in order to impose partisan viewpoint censorship upon a Miami AM radio station. 

In a joint letter to FCC Acting Chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel, U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rick Scott blasted the move by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus seeking to exert viewpoint censorship of a Miami Spanish-language AM radio station via meddling in its licensing process as “laughable”: 

We are concerned by these attempts to impose on the FCC’s independence and politicize its decisions by encouraging content-based censorship. Preventing the assignment of the radio station licenses based on its anticipated programming would set a dangerous precedent, and likely would violate the First Amendment’s protections of free expression and a free, independent media. Instead, as you consider the application, we respectfully request that you reject any politicization of the FCC, and engage the application on its merits alone. 

Furthermore, given the overwhelming predominance of left-leaning bias in print, cable, and broadcast media, it is laughable that left-leaning partisans have found reason to object to the sale of one radio station in South Florida. It is similarly telling that simply because the purchaser is expected to have an anti-Castro, anti-Communist, anti-Socialist viewpoint, it has been deemed “too conservative.” Should the FCC begin basing its decisions on content, conservatives certainly would have plenty of left-leaning media outlets that they similarly could refer to the FCC for censorship based on lack of balance in the media marketplace and excess liberal content. As the FCC’s Public and Broadcasting manual states— 

Broadcasters – not the FCC or any other government agency – are responsible for selecting the material they air. The First Amendment and the Communications Act expressly prohibit the Commission from censoring broadcast matter. Our role in overseeing program content is very limited. 

As we previously noted:

Past and present members of the far-left Congressional Hispanic Caucus are now seeking to marshal the full power of the federal government in order to stop a conservative ownership group from taking ownership of an AM radio station in Miami, Florida. 

In brief, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (a body largely composed of folks who couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in Miami-Dade County including, to wit, a literal Castro Brother) is using a labor dispute as cover to attempt to remove ideological opponents from the airwaves.

This effort to suppress Hispanic conservatives is by no means a new initiative, but began in earnest during the 2020 election and has been ongoing since. As the Trump campaign’s anti-communist message took hold, the left began to cry “disinformation”. Latinxtroturf organizations and defeated Democrats (like former congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who asked her former CHC colleagues to intervene in Radio Caracol’s licensing) joined forces to try to pressure Miami stations into silencing conservative voices. 

Successful implementation of this plan, a grotesque abuse of power, would set an extremely dangerous precedent and enable easy implementation of viewpoint censorship against media outlets with a dissenting editorial line. Today, it’s a Spanish-language AM radio station in Miami. Tomorrow, it could be Sean Hannity’s affiliates, or cable providers carrying Fox News. 

We commend Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Rick Scott for recognizing this blatant abuse of power for what it is, and forcefully speaking out against it. We encourage other leaders to step up and do likewise as this story continues to develop.