Because apparently there aren’t any more pressing issues to deal with in Baltimore like I dunno, the violent crime problems plaguing the city, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby (D) formally took action last week against local Fox affiliate WBFF (Fox 45) over critical reports of her that her office believes “upon viewing could reasonably be characterized as blatantly slanted, dishonest, misleading, racist, and extremely dangerous.”
In a formal complaint filed with the FCC on May 5th, Mosby’s Communications Director Ty Richardson alleged, without evidence, that “news coverage of the WBFF [on Mosby] persistently follows a disconcerting and dangerous pattern” of using various misleading tactics in a deliberate effort to ignore the supposed facts.
Fox 45’s reports, Richardson claimed, ensured that the citizens of Maryland were “not only consistently misinformed about the basis and intent of prosecutorial policies, additionally the merit of criminal convictions are distorted to detract from the public good championed by prosecutors.” Further, he stated, “most disturbingly, there appears to be an intentional crusade against State’s Attorney Mosby, which given today’s politically charged and divisive environment, is extremely dangerous.”
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson even got a mention in the letter because of course he did.
Mosby, who alongside her husband Nick is currently under federal criminal investigation, touted the letter on her Twitter feed. As of this writing, this is the tweet she has pinned to the top of her Twitter page:
@FOXBaltimore’s blatantly slanted,dishonest,misleading,racist, and extremely dangerous coverage must come to end. Last year, they ran 248 stories about me and and my office, while WJZ ran 46, WBAL ran 26 and WMAR ran 10 during that year. https://t.co/QnsB4XPtqf
— Marilyn J. Mosby (@MarilynMosbyEsq) May 7, 2021
The motivation Mosby’s office is giving for Fox 45’s supposedly “blatantly slanted” reporting on her is of course racism. Crying “racism!” was the same tactic they used in response to critics of Mosby’s handling of the Freddie Gray case in 2016.
This morning, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr issued a blistering, absolutely spot-on response to Mosby’s attempt at silencing media criticism:
“The State’s Attorney’s Office, led by Democrat Marilyn Mosby, has launched a chilling and direct attack on free speech and journalistic freedom. The complaint her office filed with the FCC asks the Commission to censor a newsroom simply because journalists are doing their constitutionally protected jobs and shining a light on the work of the State’s Attorney. Invoking the power of the state to silence journalists for unfavorable coverage strikes at the very heart of the First Amendment.”
“It is particularly troubling that a public official would work to silence reporters that are investigating her work at a time when federal prosecutors have already opened a criminal investigation into her activities.
… this complaint is part of a recent and troubling surge in efforts by Democrat officials to pressure the FCC and its regulated entities into censoring news coverage and political speech that Democrats don’t like.”
Carr when on to urge his FCC colleagues to “make clear that it will not operate as the DNC’s speech police” and “dismiss this complaint with prejudice by the end of today”:
The FCC should dismiss this complaint with prejudice by the end of today.
No journalists should have a complaint like this from their city’s top prosecutor hanging over their newsroom.
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) May 10, 2021
As for Fox 45, they are by no means backing down. They reported on Mosby’s FCC complaint, correctly labeling it as an attempt to “silence [a] local media source.” In the same piece, they continued to pound her office on her controversial decisions and legal woes. The also pointed out that the day before Mosby’s complaint was filed that Fox Baltimore was the recipient of several prestigious regional media awards:
The letter was dated the day before the Radio Television Digital News Organization awarded FOX45 News four Regional Edward R. Murrow awards for journalism excellence. Three of the awards were for accountability reporting. FOX45 News was the only Baltimore Television news organization honored and is regularly the top award-winning news organization in the region.
They’ve published various pieces since then quoting media groups as highly critical of Mosby’s move.
While playing the race card in an effort to shut down critics is par for the course among Democrats, my gut feeling here is that Mosby’s pathetic complaint will go nowhere (the FCC has shot down similar complaints like this before). But considering how increasingly politicized and “woke” the Biden administration is, only time will tell.