Of all the excesses this administration is guilty of – all the “executive orders” bypassing congress on major legislation (no, it is not the same as what other administrations have done, not even close), all the actions of an imperial presidency (which used to enrage media until the President was a Democrat named Barack Obama), this is far and away the most bone-chilling. The scariest. The one which has the greatest potential to permanently change our basic freedoms.
Here is the beginning of an article by Ajit Pai, in the Wall Street Journal. It was published on February 10th, and talks about a proposal made last May, which is scheduled to be “field-tested” this spring.
Read the particulars and see if you find it as ominous as I do:
Newsorganizations often disagree about what Americans need to know.MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee,N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, choosesto cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compoundin Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people,for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.
Buteveryone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuringmedia organizations into covering certain stories.
Unfortunately,the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner,does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust thefederal 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 andstation owners about how they decide which stories to run. A fieldtest in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.
Thepurpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret outinformation from television and radio broadcasters about “theprocess by which stories are selected” and how often stationscover “critical information needs,” along with “perceivedstation bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underservedpopulations.”
That scary enough for you? The government sticking its head into newsrooms to see if the acceptable kinds of news in the acceptable amounts are being presented to the public?
If that doesn\’t stand the hair on the back of your neck, nothing will. Yet, in all my scouring of news each day I did not see a thing about it until now – which tells me that most mainstream media are either on board with what is happening, or too scared to say anything about it.
And who will oversee the ferreting out of “which stories are selected” “critical information needs”, “perceived station bias (the scariest of all)” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations”?
The answer, according to Byron York, in yesterday\’s Washington Examiner, is a company called “Social Solutions” – which has a mission statement that reads like a typical left wing redistribution center (use the link and see for yourself).
And who appointed a clearly partisan group like “Social Solutions” to oversee how media venues select and provide the news? None other than Mignon Clyburn – the daughter of hard-left Rep. James Clyburn.
Do you have any expectation in the world that this “study” is without an agenda?
This is freedom of the press we are talking about people. Freedom of speech. We either have it or we don\’t. And “studies” like this, in my opinion, are designed to inhibit those freedoms, by channeling them into what the people in charge think they should be.
If that doesn\’t scare the crap out of you, there\’s no hope left.