January 8, 2021
A Statement from Brenda Victoria Castillo, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
Though social media plays a large role in the dissemination of disinformation in our society, the false information crisis has proliferated every single form of media, including TV Broadcasting and Cable. Echo chambers of racism, bigotry, incitement of violence, and conspiracy theories inherently rely on the cooperation and corroboration of inaccurate information by social media platforms and TV Networks.
Networks, like Fox, Newsmax and One America News spent the last four years spewing lies and hate, and fueling White Supremacy’s rise to power in the United States–all while enjoying the fruits of their lucrative contracts with cable carriers, seemingly unchecked.
NHMC has been vocal about our opposition to cable carriers who center their entire business model around the spread of polarizing, false information, like the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. However, the disinformation crisis goes much beyond one irresponsible cable carrier; dozens of cable companies continue to carry networks and programming that used conspiracy theories and divisive falsities to fuel the fires that led to a violent attempted coup by domestic terrorists on January 6, 2021.
While the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently has limited authority to combat the spread of false information in broadcasting, it blatantly refuses to enforce such authority against even the narrowest violations. This was made clear in the Commission’s denial of Free Press’ petition alleging the broadcast of inaccurate COVID-19 information, which was backed by dismissive, incomplete analysis.
NHMC urges the FCC and Congress, both current and forthcoming, to do more to protect our democracy from disinformation and the violence and tyranny that follows it. Within the bounds of the Constitution of the United States, our government has an obligation to promote the balance of diverse news sources and access to authoritative and trustworthy news for the American people to consume.
Yours in the Movement,
Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition