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Tue Mar 2, 2021, 11:08 AM

WP columnist Max Boot suggested Comcast might soon "need to step in and kick Fox News off." [View all]

Looking at political violence in the U.S., a New Jersey state legislator sent a text message to an executive of cable television giant Comcast: “You feed this garbage, lies and all." The cable channels Fox News and Newsmax were “complicit" in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, the lawmaker, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, said. Like other cable companies, Comcast brings those channels into American homes. What, Moriarty asked, was Comcast going to do about them in the wake of the assault on democracy?

A few days later, Washington Post columnist Max Boot suggested Comcast might soon “need to step in and kick Fox News off," as a consequence of its assistance to Trump's incitement of insurrection. A similar suggestion by Democratic members of Congress ignited considerable controversy and became a subject of contention at a subsequent hearing on “disinformation and extremism in the media."

A CNN media reporter, Oliver Darcy, observed that Facebook, Twitter and Google have faced significant pressure to curb disinformation on their platforms – especially since Jan. 6. But, Darcy said, “somehow [cable providers] have escaped scrutiny and entirely dodged this conversation," even though they are also “lending their platforms to dishonest companies that profit off of disinformation and conspiracy theories."

As a researcher who studies both television news distribution and how profit motivates the spread of falsehoods, I'm curious about whether it's feasible – or wise – for cable companies to play moderator to the channels they carry.

SOURCE: https://www.rawstory.com/cable-news-misinformation/

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