Gigi Sohn Withdraws as Nominee for Federal Communications Commission

By guest author Catherine Lucey from the Wall Street Journal

Gigi Sohn has withdrawn her nomination to serve as a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission after a stalled confirmation process.

 Ms. Sohn informed the White House she would be withdrawing. The Washington Post reported about her decision earlier.

In a statement, Ms. Sohn said she was withdrawing because of attacks on her record as an advocate that she said came from “legions of cable and media industry lobbyists, their bought-and-paid-for surrogates, and dark money political groups.”

 “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,” she said.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Ms. Sohn would have “brought tremendous intellect and experience” and said the administration appreciated her candidacy. She said she had no updates on future candidates.

Ms. Sohn, a consumer advocate, was nominated in late 2021. Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee had blocked her nomination on the grounds she was too partisan. Sen. Joe Manchin, (D., W.Va.) said Tuesday that he would vote against her.

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz said Ms. Sohn’s withdrawal was “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 isn’t a place for partisan activists; free speech is too important.”

Ms. Sohn served as counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and led Public Knowledge, a public-interest group that advocates for stronger antitrust enforcement.

The outspoken consumer advocate has drawn GOP fire for tweets on political topics that conservatives view as partisan—for example, tweeting that Fox News amounts to “state-sponsored propaganda” because of a lack of opposing viewpoints.

Fox News parent Fox Corp. and Wall Street Journal parent company News Corp share common ownership.



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The agency sent the social-media company 12 letters since Musk took over in October. The so-called demand letters were obtained by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, which planned to publish excerpts. The letters indicate Twitter responded to the FTC, but that the agency as of late January felt it was engaging in a “troubling pattern of ongoing delay” that raised concerns about compliance. The FTC’s inquiries follow massive layoffs at Twitter that have sparked questions within the agency about the company’s ability to comply with a settlement related to alleged privacy violations. Twitter and the FTC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.