The Federal Communication Commission now claims it will not subject editors and reporters in America’s newsrooms to invasive questions about editorial content and choice. There is not one sentient being who believes the far left members of the FCC will give up trying to censor news.
This latest attempt to intrude on media was divulged by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on the Op Ed page of the Wall Street Journal on February 10th.
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.
This pernicious attempt to get in the grills (and heads) of news directors and managing editors is a dangerous intrusion of government into the newsroom. Indeed, as Pai predicted,
“An enterprising regulator could run wild with a lot of these topics. The implicit message to the newsroom is they need to start covering these eight categories in a certain way or otherwise the FCC will go after them.”
[T]he FCC also proposes to regulate newspapers, which it has no authority to do. (Its mission statement says the FCC “regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable…Byron York, The Washington Examiner
In short, the FCC wants to force news organizations to hew to the government’s standards. Since most of the mainstream media already do that, what does that leave? Ah, yes, Fox News and conservative radio. The FCC says this assessment is ‘voluntary.’ That’s nonsense. A station’s license hangs in the balance.
But it’s not just broadcasters who need worry. According to Byron York of the Washington Examiner,
The VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce and others have been asked to contribute pieces in a ‘super blog post’ of the sort we published after the Obama Administration announced it would decide who is and is not a ‘journalist.’ That post featured novelist John D. Trudel, scientist Dr. Tim Ball, defense attorney Bruce McCain, former police chief and sheriff Bernie Giusto, civil rights attorney Rees Lloyd, writer Victor Sharpe, citizen journalist Dan Sandini and me. Please read it.
Today’s post includes reactions from radio news and program director Cliff Albert; talk host, opinion maker and former program manager Mark Larson; novelist John D. Trudel, citizen journalist Dan Sandini, Pete-the-Banker, and civil rights attorney Rees Lloyd.
An overt attempt to get rid of Fox News
By Mark Larson
This administration is masterful when it comes to jamming it all in when the public is distracted by shiny objects. Tyranny increases when smart people do nothing. In this case it starts with, “Oh, we just want to study why there aren’t more minorities in broadcasting.” Then it morphs into plans for “monitors” that lead to clamping down of media freedom. This is tremendously dangerous.
This study will help them decide how minorities are blocked out of ownership. I have no idea how choosing stories informs that, but we all know what made the tea party successful sent the IRS scrambling for ways to stop it with new rules.
Mark Larson’s Southern California program airs on 1170AM KCBQ, San Diego, weekdays 6 to 9AM. He serves as a political analyst on KUSI Television (Channel 9) in San Diego. He often guest-hosts the Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt SRN Radio Network talk shows and has been seen on NBC, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN’s “Larry King Live”. Mark has been President of the San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association for a record eight consecutive terms. Radio & Records twice named him to its “All-Star Players” list, citing him as one of only twelve “local legends” in American talk radio. Find his work at www.MarkLarson.com This is his first post for VictoriaTaft.com
Obama’s FCC media minders: Stalinism masked by ‘intentions’
By Blogforce Member, Rees Lloyd
What is the difference between Stalin’s political commissars sitting in editorial rooms in the Soviet Socialist Workers Paradise to ensure the correct Communist Party political line was being followed, and Barack Hussein Obama’s FCC government agents sitting in U.S. editorial rooms to ensure the correct progressive liberal Democrat Party line is being followed?
Is it the “good intentions” that progressive liberals so often raise as a shield as they trammel freedom in the name of “social justice” and protecting all those they deem to be “victims” of evil capitalism in order to be their saviors? Is that what distinguishes Obama’s media minding progressive liberal minions from Stalin’s media minding communist minions?
Is “intention” the distinction twixt Stalin’s control of public thought and expression through meanly intentioned “bad” Politburo-assigned certified communist political commissars minding the media, and Obama’s benevolently intentioned “good” FCC-assigned certified politically correct progressive liberal commissars to mind American media?
If so, it is a distinction without a difference: It is Obama’s progressive liberal totalitarianism with “good intentions,” which, if unchecked, will be as devastating to freedom of the press, of expression, and of thought as was Stalin’s soviet socialism, no matter how much Obama and his progressive liberal lemmings proclaim their “good intentions.” Obama’s government agents should be summarily tossed out, not invited out, of all newsrooms, no matter how large, no matter how small.
Rees Lloyd, once upon a time an “award winning investigative reporter” and thereafter a longtime California civil rights attorney, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce. His work has been featured in some of the finest court rooms of California and at World Net Daily.
The FCC won’t give up
By John D. Trudel
The Obama FCC’s plan to put “minders” into newsrooms is on temporary hold due to public outrage (and opposition from the head of the FCC himself), but we can be sure that it will be back.
How can citizens know this with certainty? Easy.
It is but one small part of Obama’s Saul Alinsky communist (small “c”) agenda to silence free speech of all types. Obama signaled his intent clearly in his infamous State of the Union address when he used his “bully pulpit” to bully and abuse the Supreme Court Justices who had ruled against him. They were forced to sit silently and take it.
Since then, we’ve suffered a constant string of Obama assaults to bypass Congress, attacks which are increasing in number and scope. The article and my blog post below are recommended reading. The Obama media is complacent. It is an integral part of Team Obama’s propaganda machine. Goebbels would be proud.
We should be afraid, very afraid. This is Tyranny, pure, simple, and evil.
John D. Trudel is a thriller novelist and retired adjunct professor. Find his work at www.johntrudel.com
Getting into the heads of editorial decision makers
By Cliff Albert
This is outrageous.
I am glad to see the FCC chairman and decided to remove questions on news selection and judgment now. [But] the ones who support this idea must be followers of [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin.
When the federal government thinks it has the right to start looking into how the free press does its job and to try to get into the minds of decision makers to determine motive, it is scary stuff.
Cliff Albert is an award winning journalist, news director and programmer with Clear Channel Communications and the KFMB stations in San Diego. He’s been an officer with both the San Diego Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. His news teams have won every major radio news award. This is his first post to VictoriaTaft.com.
Surveillance of the news room
By Blogforce Member, Pete the Banker
The purpose of a meat inspector from the FDA is to inspect meat which if it doesn’t comply with government standards (not all health related by the way), is not permitted to be sold. Deficient meat standards results in fines payable to the government, little to the victims.
The purpose of the SEC is surveillance to require all those who raise funds in the capital market to comply with federal standards. Not all those standards are related to safety of investment or full disclosure. Violation results in fines, usually with compensation going to the government, not the victims. One really doesn’t have to go into much detail on this statement given what happened in 2007/2008. Yet again, the real punishment seems directed at the government collecting more fines.
The purpose of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was to secure the financial system of the US by mitigating the risk associated with “Too Big To Fail” Institutions, but ultimately seems to have spawned bigger financial institutions with little change to the risk factors responsible for the 2008 financial failure. The result, government creates an annuity of fines from those newly created colossal financial institutions, including the Government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The purpose of surveillance of the Consumer Finance Protection Board is to assure consumers safe access to credit, especially long term credit like mortgages. Given the current lack of mortgage capital to support transactions, home purchase and sale activity (far more contribution to economic activity and jobs than refinances), one wonders about the efficacy and honesty expressed by the need for government surveillance in housing finance.
So now what is the express purpose of surveillance in the news room? Will this ultimately benefit the consumer of news or will it simply expand the bureaucratic power? Will it simply result in fines, another annuity for the “diminishing” government coffers, or will it ultimately result in expansion of government’s dictate of control of the end product of news cycle, enforcing and controlling “message content” assuring it is acceptable to government rather than honest and transparent information for the consumer?
Pete the Banker is a long time banker who wishes to remain anonymous for the sake of his business. He’s a long time VictoriaTaft.com Blogforce member
Newspeak for a new generation
By Dan Sandini
This is Orwellian to me because in a city like Portland, I can see the effect the news minders would have on the few outlets of alternative news. I can imagine a world of 1984 “Newspeak.” As Wikipedia explains: “Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, peace, etc. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as ‘thoughtcrime.’ That’s precisely what is going on here. Small examples can be seen around us every day, and these new regulations would only accelerate and institutionalize the process.
Already it has become censored language to call an “illegal alien” an “illegal alien,” for example. Instead they are: “undocumented citizens.” Michael Savage is banned in Great Britain because of his version of what the state considers “Hate Speech.” In this way, the Leftist regime of the President and his cronies strengthen their power, deleting all alternative forms of thought outside their totalitarian rule. We are witnessing Government control on a scale never seen before, in all areas of our lives: food, housing, energy, health care, and now information. When I read about regulations like this I wonder “how the Left can live with itself?” In the interest of staying in power will they be willing to destroy the last bastion of freedom on the planet? Sad, but apparently so. The blood is on their hands.
Dan Sandini is a Citizen Journalist whose day job is software engineer. His work was seen in Andrew Breitbart’s movie, “Occupy Unmasked.” Find his work at http://www.youtube.com/user/daylightdisinfectant