No, the FCC Can't Shut Down Fox News


As Matt Welch noted earlier, the only direct reference to "shutting down" Fox News in The Daily Caller's story this morning was a question by UCLA law professor Jonathan Zasloff, who asked "is there any reason why the FCC couldn't simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?" But as the Progress & Freedom Foundation's Adam Thierer points out, there's a really easy answer to that question: Yes, there's most definitely a reason why the agency couldn't pull the permit; Fox News is a cable channel and therefore not licensed by the FCC.

Here's my (potentially) controversial—but on the record!—question: Do we need the FCC at all?

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  1. Not licensed by the FCC ? You mean it….unregulated ?! This calls for regulation.

    1. There was a recent effort to do this in the congress. If more people listened to Rush they would know.

      1. You’re talking about the band, right? You must be talking about the band.

      2. They talk about it here too, you’re just too busy saying good morning and listening to some spittle-flecked coma-inducer.

      3. That’s gonna upset some applecarts.

  2. “But there aren’t any ebola strains that can tell the difference between people who prefer McCartney and people who prefer Lennon and bleed them out accordingly. So it’s like not even a rhetorical question!”

    Seriously. Do you each have to individually TEAM BLUE! this story? Shit’s gonna be boring.

  3. Public opinion can shut down Fox News. Everybody, let’s stop watching!!!

    1. Way ahead of you. I can’t manage that crap for more than six minutes without losing an IQ point.

      1. That’s evident.

    2. Very true. It is going to shut down the New York Times and MSNBC soon enough.

      1. No it won’t. Why? I have two words for you: Bailouts as far as the eye can see.

        1. That’s eight words.

          1. His message was too big to fail.

        2. But Obama just promised no more taxpayer funded… shit.

  4. Given the current climate of legislation I feel this title is more appropriate.

    No, the FCC Can’t Shut Down Fox News…Yet

    1. Workin’ on it! Can’t do miracles here! I have an entire private sector to get under My Bootheel. Do you think that’s easy?

      1. Besides, I inherited FOX News.
        Can’t a brother get a break?

        1. I hear Bush started FOX news. At least that’s what Gibbs tells me.

          1. And Fox News created the New Black Panther Party.

            Pretty tricky. Someone must have a time machine.

            1. Look, everybody knows FOX “News” isn’t a legitimate news organization like us. They’re biased! Impure! They wish they had our objective, unbiased nighttime lineup of Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

          2. I heard that FOX news created Bush.

            1. I heard that Hitler created FOX.

    2. “Yet”

      Exactly. Would it be illegal? Yes. Did that stop the administration from heavy-handedly rewriting bankruptcy law in order to give GM and Chrysler to the unions & gov’t? Nope.

      They always have ways…

  5. I cant believe someone suggested this, have these people ever heard of a remote control?

    1. It’s not themselves they’re worried about.

      1. That’s right! WE don’t want ANYONE to be able to watch or listen to stuff WE don’t like! Go FCC!

        1. What you said!

    2. Of course they’ve heard of it, but the kind of technology needed to control people’s minds remotely won’t exist for decades. We need a solution now!

  6. The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC to limit pornography on the air. I am for that. I think pornography should be limited. But you can’t say ‘government hands off’ in one area to a commercial enterprise, but ‘you’re allowed to intervene’ in another. That’s not consistent.

    And, for the record, I am indeed a brain-damaged cuntbag… with Senatorial power, bitches.

    1. The only thing that should be limited with porn on tv is the commercial interruptions.

  7. What you say is true, but lately we’ve seen a push by the FCC to expand their responsibilities.

    If they’re gonna regulate the Internet, why couldn’t they demand to regulate cable television, too?

    1. Most of the thugs who want that kind of FCC power, are currently in the majority… but never underestimate the right, as they have their own anti-free speechers in their ranks as well.

      Neither Team Red nor Team Blue like the idea of we ordinary people calling them names and questioning their authority. If they had their way, it would be illegal to dissent.

    2. Because “Warner”, as in cable, is the only profitable wing of the entity previously known as AOL-Time Warner. How can they subsidize the bootlicking, money-hemhorraging Time if the FCC regulates cable out of profitability?

      1. Once Obama gets rid of that pesky “profitability” problem, it won’t be an issue… for anyone.

        1. Ahhh “dissent”… under Bush : The HIGHEST Form Of Patriotism!
          …under Obama : The Most Common Form of RACISM!!!

  8. a question by UCLA law professor Jonathan Zasloff, who asked “is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires

    I would think this is grounds for yanking Zasloff’s law school teaching permit. What an idiot!

    1. The idiocy of the law professor not knowing the law is, of course, also Bush’s fault – like everything else in universe.

  9. So much of the Jornolist is basically “The right wing has an echo chamber that’s not agreeing with our echo chamber!!! That sux!”

    Put on your big-boy shoes and deal with it, guys.

  10. “People love it when you lose, they need dirty laundry…”

  11. Obama just said “There will be no more tax funded bailouts. Period.” Wild applause from the invited peanut gallery. Pelosi wet herself a little. Everybody knows he’s lying. Life in Washington. Who needs a hell?

    1. They will be funded with debt. The debt will be funded by taxpayers. See lying is easy when you get used to it.

      The fine folks at journolist will point you in the right direction.

      1. I can’t believe that Dodd and Frank would lie to me like that. You must work for Faux News. Homophobe!

  12. The lesson of journolist seems to be less that there is a shadowy cabal of lefty journalists than that lefty journalists are somehow dumber and more childish than previously though possible.

  13. “law professor Jonathan Zasloff, who asked “is there any reason why the FCC couldn’t simply pull their broadcasting permit once it expires?” […..] Yes, there’s most definitely a reason why the agency couldn’t pull the permit; Fox News is a cable channel and therefore not licensed by the FCC.”
    So what? Obama didn’t need any legal basis to shake down BP.

    1. Pretty much. The FCC is always trying to expand its authority (it wasn’t that long ago that regulation of cable was a major issue, for pity’s sake), and this administration has proved itself more than willing to rewrite the law on the fly to suit its needs. So dismissing the question with “it’s against the law” is hardly a satisfying response. All kinds of things done in the past decade have been against the law, and most of the time that hasn’t made a damned bit of difference.

      Frankly, Reason‘s “meh, who cares?” reaction is both surprising and disappointing, given that it is usually pretty on the ball with issues involving an expansion of government control. (And we just had weeks of full-court first amendment coverage in re: Stagliano.)

      1. “and this administration has proved itself more than willing to rewrite the law on the fly to suit its needs”


        That’s why Obama used a recess appointment to put union goon leftist (former head lawyer for the SEIU) on the NLRB – a guy who believes that the board can unilaterally rewrite union election rules to make them more union friendly without any sort of approval from Congress.

        Oh and the guy has also refused to recuse himself from cases involving his former employer, the SEIU.

    2. Please. Rupert Murdoch probably gets wood thinking about the FCC threatening to shut down FOX News. He and Steve Jobs could have a money printing contest.

  14. Given that it has been many years since congresses and presidents have bothered to adhere to the constraints of the constitution, and the current administration is allowed to circumvent law with executive orders and edicts from czars does being a cable network rather than a broadcast network afford Fox News protection from FCC regulators?

    Since selling national ads affect interstate commerce, the government can enforce a prohibition on Fox News with more legitimacy than arresting in-state traffickers of marijuana.

  15. Why is there no context with this story.

    I seem to remember a story about Poloci talking about re-instituting the fairness doctrine and i also remember not to long ago the Obama administration saying that FOX was not a legitimate news organization.

  16. FCC absolutely can regulate cable. Anyone who thinks they cannot, should have a little chat with the Supreme Court and try to overrule their decision. Here is a quote from FCC’s bulletin:

    “The Federal Communications Commission first established rules in 1965 for cable systems which received signals by microwave antennas. In March 1966, the Commission established rules for all cable systems (whether or not served by microwave). The Supreme Court affirmed the Commission’s jurisdiction over cable in United States v. Southwestern Cable Co., 392 U.S. 157 (1968). The Court ruled that “the Commission has reasonably concluded that regulatory authority over CATV is imperative if it is to perform with appropriate effectiveness certain of its responsibilities.” The Court found the Commission needed authority over cable systems to assure the preservation of local broadcast service and to effect an equitable distribution of broadcast services among the various regions of the country.”

  17. COMMENT:
    Monopoly Soft Nazi Broadcast Channel

    If a Gutter Trash Liberal Nazi Race Baiting pile of trash like MSNBC is allowed to broadcast, anyone can.

    If anything should be considered a hate crime, it should be MSNBC’s lowlife white trash excuse for news.

    When a broadcaster gets caught red-handed time and again doctoring video, and altering transcripts… for the sole purpose of propagating and perpetuating civil racialism, they should not be banned.

    Anyone who deliberately seeks to unleash such a vile and purely evil thing as racism upon the American people, or to direct it at any group as a whole, should be put against a wall and summarily executed, from the sum of one to none.

    The fact that they have their pseudo-journalista’s of Maddow (a dysfunctional Transgender Freak), Matthews (a kitchen table drunken sot), and Olbermann (a confirmed closet pedophile)should not be considered grounds to warrant them a minority pass on ethics.

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