WATCH: AOC Calls for Government Crackdown on Conservative Journalists

April 24, 2023

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Sunday said journalists on news stations "like Fox News" should face federal scrutiny for "incitement to violence." 

"I believe that when it comes to broadcast television, like Fox News, these are subject to federal law ... in terms of what's allowed on air and what isn't," Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview with Jen Psaki on MSNBC. "When you look at what Tucker Carlson and some of these other folks on Fox do, it is very, very clearly incitement of violence."

"That is the line that I think we have to be willing to contend with," Ocasio-Cortez added.

It's unclear exactly what role Ocasio-Cortez was suggesting the government should have in influencing broadcast content. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates broadcast television, has acknowledged that the "First Amendment and the Communications Act expressly prohibit the Commission from censoring broadcast matter," with an exception for obscene content.

A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez's office did not return a request for comment before press time.

The "Squad" member has frequently accused her critics of "incitement" and called for government regulation of media.

In 2021, Ocasio-Cortez suggested Congress should launch a "commission" to "rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation." She later defended Twitter's censorship of the New York Post's story on Hunter Biden's laptop, dismissing those concerned about the censorship as "livid ... political operatives" upset that they failed to spread "disinformation."

The lawmaker has taken aim at her own congressional colleagues for language she's labeled "incitement." When the House voted to strip a committee assignment from Ocasio-Cortez's ally Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) over the latter's anti-Semitic comments, Ocasio-Cortez accused her colleagues of "incitement of violence against women of color in this body."

Ocasio-Cortez made the remarks, which called out former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the day before Carlson was reportedly fired from the network.

The Democrat is not the only lawmaker calling for greater scrutiny of the media. Last week, Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D., V.I.) threatened reporter Matt Taibbi with jail time over testimony he gave on his reporting about Twitter's interactions with federal agencies. 

Plaskett noted a discrepancy in Taibbi's testimony before Congress and said that giving false information to Congress is "punishable by up to five years imprisonment." Taibbi mixed up the names of two federal agencies in his testimony, which he acknowledged in a subsequent television interview. 

In California, media companies including the satirical website the Babylon Bee are fighting a state law they see as intended to censor content the liberal state doesn’t like. They say AB 587, a 2022 law that requires social media companies to submit reports on "hate speech" and "disinformation," is a weapon for state Democrats to chill speech.