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Josh Hawley, Meet Lina Khan’s FTC Story-level




Senator Josh Hawley


Manuel Balce Cenata/Associated Press

Readers sometimes ask why we pay so much attention to regulatory agencies, and there are two answers. One is that someone in the press has to do it, and the other is because the administrative state is where most of the abuse is in government these days.

Look closely at an example at the Federal Communications Commission, but another is what we’ve been reporting on at the Federal Trade Commission under the unrestricted chairmanship of Lina Khan. Republicans in the House are now shining a light on Ms. Khan, and there seems to be little limit to her agency’s willingness to use her power against those she doesn’t like.

A Judiciary Committee panel investigating the “weaponization” of agencies revealed communications this week showing how the FTC targeted Elon Musk and his takeover of Twitter at the behest of progressives. Much of this has already been reported by The Journal, but one thing worth noting is the letters asking Twitter to release the details of its decision to release internal company communications known as the Twitter Files.

The FTC wants to “identify all journalists” granted access to company records, including the “nature of the access granted to each person.” He also asked whether Twitter had conducted background checks on the journalists, among other things. So here we have a federal agency demanding that a private company disclose its interactions with a free press, including how much it snooped on those reporters. None of this is government business.

One lesson from this bullying is that Senator Josh Hawley’s proposal to give the FTC even more power to regulate media platforms is calling for even more political abuse.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley explained in a House hearing how high-profile Democrats, the FBI and the media portrayed legitimate congressional oversight of Hunter Biden’s business dealings as Russian disinformation. Images: AP/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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He appeared in the March 9, 2023 print issue as ‘Josh Hawley, Meet Lina Khan’.

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