Republican activists have urged supporters of President Donald Trump to send complaints against TV networks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for calling President-elect Joe Biden “president-elect” after projecting him as winner of the 2020 election.
Twitter posts by blogger Michelle Malkin and others urge Trump supporters to send the FCC consumer complaints over networks referring to Biden as “president elect,” despite similar language being regularly used after previous elections. The posts quote a section of the agency’s consumer guide dealing with complaints for networks who “intentionally distort the news.”
“The FCC is prohibited by law from engaging in censorship or infringing on the First Amendment rights of the press,” the guide reads. “It is, however, illegal for broadcasters to intentionally distort the news, and the FCC may act on complaints if there is documented evidence of such behavior from persons with direct personal knowledge.”
A Twitter user spearheading the “call to action” insisted that “the media can make projections for each state but have no legal authority to call a state until election results are certified.” However, there is not much distinction between a news organization making a “call” or a “projection,” with neither term denoting an official result.