Stories by David McCabe

FCC chair says White House lawyer asked about status of Sinclair deal

Federal Communications Commission Chairman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The White House's top lawyer made contact with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to inquire about its review of the purchase of Tribune Media stations by the conservative broadcaster Sinclair, Pai told a Senate committee on Thursday.

Why it matters: The FCC — and merger reviews generally — are supposed to be independent from the White House. Pai explained, "no one has called from the White House to express a view. We received one status inquiry."

FCC chair: Action against pirate radio station isn't about Alex Jones

Ajit Pai speaks at a hearing
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday that his agency took action against a Texas pirate radio station simply because it operated without a license — not because it airs the content of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

The big picture: Web platforms from Facebook to Twitter have faced calls recently to take down content from Jones and his website InfoWars. Some, like Facebook, have taken steps to ban him while others, like Twitter, have been more reticent to respond.

Trump group, Senate candidates among biggest spenders on Google

Donald Trump speaks from a podium, in front of a crowd and large American flag
Trump's Make America Great Again Committee dominated Google ad spending. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The top political spenders on Google's ad platforms since the end of May include President Trump's political committee as well as individual candidates in competitive races, according to data the company released for the first time on Wednesday.

The big picture: New ad transparency initiatives on the part of major web platforms allow the public to see, to varying degrees, how online advertisers are trying to influence their votes.