President Joe Biden's pick for telecommunications regulator with the Federal Communications Commission announced she would withdraw her nomination on Tuesday.
Gigi Sohn, a former Democratic FCC official during the Obama administration, recently announced her decision to withdraw her nomination. The Washington Post claimed she was the victim "unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks" from cable and media industry lobbyists.
Biden first nominated Sohn for the position in October 2021 and renominated her earlier this year following the change in Congress.
The FCC has remained deadlocked for more than two years, with two Republican and two Democratic members, which has prevented the Biden administration from advancing its net neutrality agenda.
Sohn told the Post, "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."
"And with the help of their friends in the Senate, the powerful cable and media companies have done just that," she added.
Sohn's nomination was heavily scrutinized during three Senate confirmation hearings in which Republicans questioned her "extreme" and "partisan" social media posts.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz slammed Sohn for expressing anti-police views, citing a November 2020 Twitter post from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Sohn retweeted.
AOC's post, which Sohn shared, stated, "So the whole 'progressivism is bad' argument just doesn't have any compelling evidence that I've seen. 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 another post that called law enforcement officers "armed goons in riot gear with tear gas."
In September 2019, Sohn posted on Twitter, "I agree that scrutiny of big tech is essential, as is scrutiny of big telecom, cable & media. And trust me, the latter have played their own role in destroying democracy & electing autocrats. Like, say, Fox News?"
Cruz grilled Sohn about the post and asked, "You understand why millions of people don't think you're fair and impartial to regulate communications?"
In another post, Sohn referred to Fox News as "state-sponsored propaganda."
Cruz pushed Sohn to explain how the privately owned outlet is "state-sponsored."
"What I meant by that – and again, remember, I regretted the tone of that – was that they were very, very, very close to the Trump administration. And the two of them were sort of interacting. That's why I called it state-sponsored propaganda," Sohn stated.
Cruz then asked Sohn if she would consider MSNBC "very, very close to the Biden administration."
Sohn responded by stating that she does not know because she only listens to NPR, a media organization that does receive some federal, state, and local government funding.
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who previously announced he would vote against Sohn, accused the nominee of having "partisan alliances with far-left groups" and using "inflammatory language on social media."
"Especially now, the FCC must remain above the toxic partisanship that Americans are sick and tired of, and Ms. Sohn has clearly shown she is not the person to do that," Manchin said.
Cruz called Sohn's decision to withdraw her nomination "a major victory."
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