Democratic Senator: Let's Get Rid of Fox News, MSNBC
West Virginia's Jay Rockefeller says: 'There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC: "Out. Off. End. Goodbye." It would be a big favor to political discourse.'
At least Sen. Jay Rockefeller is nonpartisan. He hates both Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
Challenging that pesky First Amendment, the Democrat from West Virginia even said Wednesday that if it were up to him, neither one of them might be allowed to exist.
"There's a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC: 'Out. Off. End. Goodbye.' It would be a big favor to political discourse."
Rockefeller made the rather harsh commentary at a Senate committee hearing about retransmission consent. [Check out a video of his comments here.]
He also bemoaned that the sort of news delivered by anchors at MSNBC and Fox impedes "our ability to do our work here in Congress."
It's not that he doesn't like news, he just doesn't care much for the idea that hosts of cable shows should be allowed to express partisan political opinions, it seems.
"I hunger for quality news," he said. "I'm tired of the right and the left."
Rockefeller was probably engaging in some hyperbole, of course, since a U.S. senator is probably aware that the FCC doesn't have the authority to shut down cable channels that offend certain lawmakers.
The FCC does have jurisdiction, though, with over-the-air broadcasters, but even there it must err on the side of free speech, according to a recent legal ruling that left the FCC without indecency guidelines.