Controversial FCC Nominee Withdraws After Democrat Concern over Anti-Police Rhetoric

President Joe Biden’s FCC pick, Gigi Sohn, withdrew her nomination Tuesday after she faced criticism for her anti-police rhetoric and other controversial views.

Sohn withdrew her nomination after facing severe criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over her controversial views. This ends the 16-month battle over her nomination.

The Democrat nominee said she decided to withdraw after facing “unrelenting, dishonest, and cruel attacks” from the cable and media lobbyists. Democrat commissioners at the FCC have been stalled from carrying out their agenda because they have been unable to secure a majority at the agency.

“It is a sad day for our country and our democracy when dominant industries, with assistance from unlimited dark money, get to choose their regulators,” Sohn said in a statement to The Washington Post. “And with the help of their friends in the Senate, the powerful cable and media companies have done just that.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a written statement:

The withdrawal of Ms. Sohn’s nomination is a major victory and represents a strong bipartisan agreement that we need a fair and impartial candidate who can receive the support needed for confirmation. The FCC is not a place for partisan activists; free speech is too important. Now, it’s time for the Biden administration to put forth a nominee who can be confirmed by the full Senate and is committed to serving as an even-handed and truly independent regulator.

Sohn withdrew shortly after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would oppose her, saying she cannot rise above her “toxic partisanship.” Her nomination had been stalled after a contentious mid-February confirmation hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) had expressed misgivings over Sohn’s anti-police rhetoric.

“I’d like to echo concerns raised about the nominee’s positions on matters of importance for law enforcement, both nationally and in Nevada,” Rosen said during the February 14 hearing.

The Fraternal Order of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations said that Sohn’s anti-police rhetoric should disqualify her from the position.

William Johnson, the executive director of the association of police organizations, noted that Sohn once retweeted a person who called law enforcement officers “armed goons in riot gear with tear gas” while she defended rioters.

Biden renominated Sohn this year after Senate Democrats failed to secure a majority to confirm her as a commissioner last year due to her far-left sympathies and controversial statements.

Breitbart News senior technology correspondent Allum Bokhari reported that Sohn was appointed to the board of the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) in 2018, two years before the group gave its “pioneer award” to a dominatrix named Mistress Blunt.

Sohn has called Fox News “state-sponsored propaganda” that is “dangerous to democracy” and called on the FCC to investigate if Sinclair Broadcast Group, a conservative-run network of local TV stations, should have a broadcast license.

Sohn was the cofounder and CEO of the leftist advocacy group Public Knowledge, which called on cable and satellite providers to cancel One America News Network.

In October 2020, Sohn claimed that Facebook and Twitter “don’t have a censorship problem, they have a transparency, consistency & standards & practices problem. Their decisions 2 remove or not remove content are opaque, ad hoc & arbitrary. Which upsets people on both sides. #section230.”

Breitbart News reported in March 2022:

Sohn retweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who wrote in November 2020, “When It Comes To “Defund” & “Socialism” Attacks, People Need to Realize These are Racial Resentment Attacks. You’re Not Gonna Make That Go Away. You Can Make it Less Effective.”

Sohn retweeted a user who described federal law enforcement protecting federal property in Portland, Oregon, in July 2020 as “armed goons in riot gear with tear gas.”

The FCC nominee also liked a tweet calling to end “qualified immunity,” which would remove the legal protection for officers in the line of duty.

During one confirmation hearing in February 2022, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) lambasted Sohn for calling Republicans “white supremacists”:

I don’t see how you can be unbiased. “Fox News is state-sponsored media… propaganda… Republicans know the only way they can win is to suppress the vote.” These are yours. Here’s a retweet: “your raggedy white supremacist president and his cowardly enablers would rather kill everybody than stop killing black people.” Damn. That’s way out. I mean, do you think most Republicans are racists and white supremacists?


Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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