Trump Nominates Guy Who Wants To Police Speech Online To Be The Next FCC Commissioner
from the not-great,-bob dept
As was rumored late last week, the White House is, in fact, nominating Nathan Simington to the FCC, taking over the seat of of Mike O’Riely, whose nomination was withdrawn just days after O’Rielly expressed his strong support for the 1st Amendment and made it clear what he thought of idiots calling for the government to force websites to host content:
The First Amendment protects us from limits on speech imposed by the government?not private actors?and we should all reject demands, in the name of the First Amendment, for private actors to curate or publish speech in a certain way. Like it or not, the First Amendment?s protections apply to corporate entities, especially when they engage in editorial decision making. I shudder to think of a day in which the Fairness Doctrine could be reincarnated for the Internet, especially at the ironic behest of so-called free speech ?defenders.? It is time to stop allowing purveyors of First Amendment gibberish to claim they support more speech, when their actions make clear that they would actually curtail it through government action. These individuals demean and denigrate the values of our Constitution and must be held accountable for their doublespeak and dishonesty. This institution and its members have long been unwavering in defending the First Amendment, and it is the duty of each of us to continue to uphold this precious protection.
While there are many things we’ve disagreed with O’Rielly about, on this one, we agree 100%. And, the thanks he gets is effectively being fired by the President… and then replaced with someone who appears to believe the exact opposite.
Simington is apparently the guy who wrote the utterly nonsensical, blatantly unconstitutional Executive Order that President Trump signed after he got mad that Twitter placed two fact checking notices on his dangerous and misleading tweets.
Note the situation here. Twitter (and the rest of the internet) is now being punished for providing more speech. This is, of course, what people like Simington like to claim they support. But when it comes down to reality, they seem to want to just force the internet to host the speech of their friends, and never to do anything such as present counterarguments. On top of that, they wish to force private companies to host speech they do not support and do not believe in. All of this is unconstitutional.
Yet, now the author of this nonsense gets rewarded with a potential FCC Commissionership.
It’s not clear if the Senate would find the time to do confirmation hearings before the election, but there’s a decent chance that now rather than there being just one (Hi, Brendan Carr) FCC Commissioner who relishes using the power of the FCC to punish companies he doesn’t like, we’ll have two FCC Commissioners who have abandoned all pretenses that the Republican FCC Commissioners support the 1st Amendment and favor a “light touch” regulatory regime. They seem to only favor that for the telcos so many FCC Commissioners end up going to work for after leaving the FCC. For internet companies? They seem to think the opposite.
Considering Simington’s direct role in writing the executive order, and then working at NTIA while it crafted the petition for the current FCC review of Section 230, you would think that, should he actually be approved by the Senate, he should at the very least recuse himself from this particular matter. But, given this particular administration and their unwillingness to actually obey the law and follow the rules when it comes to “owning the libs” or whatever their motivation is, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take part in any vote.