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Cruz Proposes Law Limiting Station Language Changes to Eliminate Propaganda

Senator says FCC loophole contributes to foreign disinformation

Sen. Ted Cruz (R.–Texas) is proposing that the Federal Communications Commission not grant broadcasting licenses to some applicants who intend to change the language of the station they are purchasing, the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reported last week.

Cruz says this would effectively eliminate a loophole that has allowed foreign propaganda to be spread in the United States. The legislation was prompted by the 2018 purchase of a radio station owned by Phoenix TV — a media outlet connected to the Chinese government — operating under a temporary license and using a Mexican radio tower to broadcast Chinese-language content in southern California.

According to the Free Beacon, the legislation would also apply to those who want to buy radio towers in Canada that would have signals that could reach the United States, as well as Mexican towers.

The Crux legislation apparently would make an exception for language changes when it can be proved that the new owners are “free from foreign government influence,” the Free Beacon says.

This issue was put in the spotlight earlier this spring when a Phoenix TV reporter was allowed to participate in a White House press conference.