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Leftist group called ‘Free Press’ blasted for attempting to ‘weaponize’ FCC, urging Trump briefing censorship

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Despite a steady wave of attacks from much of the media in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented national emergency, President Donald Trump’s ratings on handling the crisis have been strong.

The nightly White House briefings have much to do with that, as the president stands before the nation and gives them an update on the actions being taken to counter the coronavirus — updates that come without the typical liberal media filter.

It is in that regard that an influential far-left media group has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to develop a wide-ranging censorship plan of Trump’s press conferences, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway reported.

The group, identified as “Free Press,” stressed that it’s a “life and death” issue — and it may be for the Democrats’ hopes for victory in November.

“They are asking the FCC to limit the public’s right to hear directly from the president about the federal government’s handling of the global pandemic, that any broadcasts of his press conferences come with a pronounced disclaimer, and that media figures with different political views than the progressive organization be further censored,” Hemingway wrote.

For the record, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr was not too keen on the request.

“This is a sweeping and dangerous attempt by the far left to weaponize the FCC against conservative media outlets and elected officials,” Carr said. “They want to turn the FCC into a roving speech police empowered to go after the left’s political opponents.”

Hemingway explains the group’s reasoning:

To make their case, they cite President Trump’s discussion of an anti-malarial treatment that some doctors had been using to treat COVID-19. He specifically said that even if it didn’t work as treatment, it had been used for so long in humans, that the risk was low. “It’s been around for a long time, so we know if things don’t go as planned, it’s not going to kill anybody,” he said.

Free Press argued that a man without COVID-19 who died after ingesting fish tank cleaner at home, outside the direction of any medical professional, was a victim of Trump’s remarks and that therefore its censorship plan should be adopted. Citing anti-Trump activists who blamed Trump for this death, Free Press called Trump’s support for the treatment “deadly disinformation.” The group also claimed that Trump had engaged in a “mischaracterization of the efficacy” of hydroxychloroquine.

 

It takes a certain degree of audacity to use the case of a couple opting to self medicate by consuming a chemical used to clean fish tanks — even more so when considering that the woman involved is a “prolific” Democratic donor who backed Hillary Clinton.

At the same time, as Hemingway noted, the FDA approved hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and even the New York Times has conceded that the drug “helped to speed the recovery” of a group of infected patients.

Funny how that always seems to work out for Trump, who says something unexpected and is then roundly criticized, on to learn over time that the president was on the mark to begin with.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison

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