Controversy over TV ‘misinformation rumor mills’

Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo (Calif.) and Jerry McNerney (Calif.) on Monday sent letters to cable and streaming service companies questioning their “ethical principles” involved in deciding which channels to carry and when to take action against misinformation on a channel.

“Some purported news outlets have long been misinformation rumor mills and conspiracy theory hotbeds that produce content that leads to real harm,” they wrote.

The letter specifically calls out Newsmax, One America Network (OANN) and Fox News.

Newsmax and Fox News both pushed back on the letter, as did some Republicans who accused it of being an attempt to stifle free speech.

The letter, and the GOP pushback on it, comes just days ahead of a House Energy and Commerce committee hearing scheduled for Wednesday about “disinformation and extremism in the media.”