Thursday, February 20, 2014

Putting Government Monitors In Newsrooms?

This story hit on the morning of the 19th of Feb. This should send chills up the spine of anyone involved in media, progressive or conservative. And, after the chill subsides, searing hot anger should travel its way up the nerve bundles to the brain...

Why is the Obama Administration Putting Government Monitors in Newsrooms?

By Matthew Clark /

Full story here:

The Obama Administration’s Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is poised to place government monitors in newsrooms across the country in an absurdly draconian attempt to intimidate and control the media.

Before you dismiss this assertion as utterly preposterous (we all know how that turned out when the Tea Party complained that it was being targeted by the IRS), this bombshell of an accusation comes from an actual FCC Commissioner.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai reveals a brand new Obama Administration program that he fears could be used in “pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”

As Commissioner Pai explains in the Wall Street Journal:

Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about "the process by which stories are selected" and how often stations cover "critical information needs," along with "perceived station bias" and "perceived responsiveness to underserved populations."

In fact, the FCC is now expanding the bounds of regulatory powers to include newspapers, which it has absolutely no authority over, in its new government monitoring program.

The FCC has apparently already selected eight categories of “critical information” “that it believes local newscasters should cover.”

That’s right, the Obama Administration has developed a formula of what it believes the free press should cover, and it is going to send government monitors into newsrooms across America to stand over the shoulders of the press as they make editorial decisions.

This poses a monumental danger to constitutionally protected free speech and freedom of the press.

Every major repressive regime of the modern era has begun with an attempt to control and intimidate the press.

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This is insidious. But, not surprising given the audacity of this administration to rule like a dictatorial regime. The implications of this are potentially broad.

I have several years of broadcast experience in TV and radio, especially radio. Most radio "News Stations," i. e. news/talk format stations, broadcast the usual rotation of local and national talkers of the Conservative vain, in most cases. I believe this is a backdoor way of imposing the fairness doctrine. It's also an attempt to curtail or stifle administration and Obama critics at the source. This proposal even extends to news papers which are not under the jurisdiction of the FCC! Nevertheless, the Administration feels the need to peak over the shoulders of editors, reporters. commentators, news writers, etc. Why? Perhaps, to better control their narrative and maintain the spin and propaganda.

However, the original mission of the FCC was not to monitor or regulate content, except that which is overtly profane. Their original mission was more technical in nature such as making sure stations didn't trample each others signals and telephone companies didn't illegally hijack each others cable systems, etc. Since then, the FCC has expanded its powers into many areas of minutia regarding broadcasting and electronics. Now this?

It's up to Congress to pull back on the FCC's leash since they are the ones who gave birth to this yard dog ( 47 U.S.C. § 151 and 47 U.S.C. § 154) regardless of any executive orders Obama may choose to give. If this scheme comes to fruition, everyone needs to write their Congressman and Senator. Every media outlet affected by this needs to file legal suits. The FCC is quickly on its way to becoming a rogue agency.

The Administration is on the verge of being rogue as well. Some may argue with merit that it already is.

Quote: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -Abraham Lincoln

Richie L.

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