Real Clear Politics has the video, but here’s the transcript of his remarks:
SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D-WV): “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’ It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.”
I think the Senator is just bemoaning the partisan nature of discourse in Washington, rather than actually wanting the FCC to pull the two channels off the air. (Never mind that the FCC doesn’t actually have the authority to do anything about cable channels, as opposed to broadcast networks.) Still, the idea that a Senator would be thinking out loud about using the government’s authority to shut down media outlets is ugly and ill-considered.
Further, the idea that there’s always a moderate solutions being drowned out by the ideological din is just a sentiment I find depressingly naive. “Finding common ground” is often just a shibboleth for doing the bidding of moneyed interests in Washington, and I’d rather principled people on the right and the left fight for what they believe and give Americans a clear choice on the issu