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FCC Rejects Democrats’ Request to Review Sinclair License
Broadcast group made its anchors read a promotional script blasting other outlets’ ‘fake news’

Ajit Pai, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, rejected 12 senators’ request to investigate Sinclair Broadcasting group's license after its "fake news" segment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai declined Thursday to follow through on a request from 12 senators that his bureau review Sinclair Broadcasting group’s license and temporarily block its merger with Tribune Media.

Eleven Democratic senators and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote their request in a letter to Pai Thursday that highlighted the local television media conglomerate’s recent move to force its anchors in dozens of U.S. cities to read a scripted, uniform segment blasting “fake news” and media bias that favors liberals.

Senators Face Off With Zuckerberg in Marathon Hearing
Joint hearing starts off with pop, brings unexpected questions, and then gradually fades

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin asked that of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg nearly two hours into Tuesday afternoon’s headline-grabbing Senate hearing.

Bill Nelson's Big Day
Florida Democrat found himself at the center of the political and policy news Monday

Sen. Bill Nelson was at the center of debates over politics and policy on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It seemed like Sen. Bill Nelson was everywhere on Monday.

The third-term Democratic senator from Florida will forever be best known for, during his time in the House, orbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle Columbia.

Man Arrested for Threatening to Murder Rep. Scott Taylor
If convicted Wallace Grove Godwin of Virginia Beach faces up to 10 years in prison

Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., was the target of a murder threat by one of his constituents. The man was arrested Friday and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A 69-year-old Virginia Beach resident was arrested Friday for threatening to murder his congressman, GOP Rep. Scott Taylor

Wallace Grove Godwin is being charged with threatening to murder and assault a U.S. official, a crime that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison if convicted, Tracy Doherty-McCormick, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Matthew R. Verderosa, the U.S. Capitol Police chief, announced Friday. 

‘It’s Fake News!’ GOP Lawmaker Yells About Mass Shootings Coverage
Rep. Claudia Tenney reams media and Democrats for politicizing mass shootings

New York Rep. Claudia Tenney called media coverage of mass shootings “fake news” at a campaign event Sunday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Claudia Tenney reached her wit’s end at a campaign stop Sunday while she tried to clarify controversial remarks she made after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.

“It’s fake news!” the New York Republican said about the media coverage of her comments and of mass shootings in general. “I answered your question every which way. It is fake news. Bye.”

Klobuchar Open to Fining Social Media for ‘Bots’
‘I think that would be a great idea,’ Minnesota Democrat says

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., signaled she would consider a potential bill fining social media companies for failing to wipe "bots" from their platforms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As federal investigators continue to find evidence that Russian nationals interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections, lawmakers have struggled to find ways to combat any repeat efforts in 2018.

One potential solution? Fining social media titans like Facebook and Twitter— where Russians pose as people and groups within the U.S. to promote certain political views and events — whenever they fail to deactivate “bots” on their platforms.

After 2016 Failures, Facebook Faces New Test in 2018 Midterms
Social media giant accused of being too passive on foreign interference in 2016 elections

Executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google, are sworn into a Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee hearing on “Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with Tech to Find Solutions” in  October. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just a few months out from the 2018 midterm primaries and less than a year away from general elections, Facebook appears determined to stamp out foreign interference.

The tech and social media giant was the subject of intense criticism after the 2016 election cycle for failing to curb the spread of misinformation and break down so-called echo chambers of news-sharing and political discourse.

House Republicans Propose Deal on Congressional Ads
Franking rule change would let lawmakers link to HealthCare.gov

After complaints from Democrats, Franking Commission Chairman Rodney Davis, shown here in 2014, has floated a rule change that would allow lawmakers to link to HealthCare.gov in taxpayer-funded ads. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans are working to resolve a dispute over rules that Democrats say are stopping them from promoting the health insurance exchanges.

Currently, lawmakers are prohibited from linking to any website other than their own in taxpayer-funded advertisements. Rep. Rodney Davis is proposing to allow them to link to other federal government websites, including HealthCare.gov.

Communications Aide Trolls Brat Critics on Facebook
In-your-face style draws criticism from some constituents

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., employs a communications consultant who trolls and talks down to his constituents on Facebook from her personal account. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sara James has performed communications consulting for Rep. Dave Brat’s campaign team since the summer of 2014. She now makes $4,000 per month after steady raises over the last three years, according to  FEC documents.

But James has been much more than a campaign manager and social media director: She has also served as Brat’s chief troll-slayer on Facebook, firing back at the Virginia Republican’s haters with the kind of snark and sneer you might expect from anonymous “eggs” on Twitter.

Former Hillary Clinton Aide Blasts Gillibrand Over Bill Clinton Comments
Former president should have resigned over Lewinsky episode, NY senator said

New York Sen. Kristin Gillibrand said Thursday she thought it would have been "appropriate" for President Bill Clinton to step down after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former Hillary Clinton State Department aide had harsh words for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who said Thursday that President Bill Clinton should have resigned after an inappropriate sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s deputy assistant secretary of state for strategic communications, called Gillibrand a “hypocrite” for the comments.