President Joe Biden’s nominee for commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission withdraw her candidacy on Tuesday following a long and contentious battle for her confirmation in the U.S.
Senate. “When I accepted his nomination over 16 months ago, I could not have imagined that legions of cable and media industry lobbyists, their bought-and-paid-for surrogates, and dark money political groups with bottomless pockets would distort my over 30-year history as a consumer advocate into an absurd caricature of blatant lies,” Gigi Sohn said in a statement. “The unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks on my character and my career as an advocate for the public interest have taken an enormous toll on me and my family,” she said.
The campaign against Sohn, who would have been the FCC’s first gay commissioner, included allegations last month by media outlets like Fox News, the Daily Mail, Breitbart, that she opposed measures to fight sex trafficking, accusations that were widely condemned as homophobic smears.
Sohn withdrew her nomination for the post hours after U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would not support her, citing “her years of partisan activism, inflammatory statements online and work with far-left groups.” During a Q&A with reporters following Tuesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We appreciate Gigi Sohn’s candidacy for this important role.