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Senator Jay Rockefeller Wishes FCC Would Shut Down Fox News

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Sen. Jay Rockefeller shown here Nov. 2 said Nov. 17 that he wishes the FCC would shut down Fox News and MSNBC. (AP)

A powerful Democratic senator, pointing the finger at cable news for a politically toxic climate in Washington, unleashed a stunning tirade in which he expressed his desire to see the Federal Communications Commission shut down Fox News and MSNBC.

"I'm tired of the right and the left," West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Wednesday during a Senate hearing on retransmission consent. "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; to 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," said the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Rockefeller didn't seem to realize that the FCC only regulates broadcast airwaves, not cable.

Rockefeller's office did not respond to a request for an interview. The FCC declined to comment.