Report: FCC Nom Simington Sought Fox News Help on Sec. 230 Petition

Nathan Simington
(Image credit: CSPAN)

WASHINGTON—In emails obtained by Politico, Nathan Simington, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to become a commissioner with the FCC, appeared to have reached out to Fox News in June to support Trump’s efforts to push the FCC to regulate social media.

The emails, according to Politico, were directed toward Fox News host Laura Ingraham with the hope that she could help sway the FCC to act on Trump’s proposal before election day.

“Any additional support we might be able to obtain could help to get the FCC on board more quickly and thereby ensure a freer, fairer social media landscape going into the elections this fall."

Trump has been pushing for the FCC to reexamine Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act, an immunity from legal liability for moderation of third-party content. The president has argued that this protection has led to the censoring of Republican voices, including his own. Trump wants Sec. 230 to be modified or have the protection eliminated, per reports.

Simington works for the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), which released a petition calling for a review of Sec. 230. During his confirmation hearing for the FCC, Simington said that he did help write the petition and supported the FCC reviewing Sec. 230.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who was present at the hearing, said that he would hold moving forward on Simington’s nomination unless he committed to recusing himself from any vote on Sec. 230. Simington said he did not feel it was appropriate to recuse himself at this time, but would follow the advice FCC ethics officials.

In response to the Politico report, Sen. Blumenthal said that this raises his concern about Simington’s nomination and he expects to ask follow-up questions on the matter.

The full story is available on Politico (opens in new tab)