FCC to regulate news?

Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, recently wrote an op ed published by the Wall Street Journal. In it, he states:

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.

What will they “grill” reporters about?

It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

The FCC also wants to wade into office politics. One question for reporters is: “Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers that was rejected by management?” Follow-up questions ask for specifics about how editorial discretion is exercised, as well as the reasoning behind the decisions.

Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

Pai also mentions the poor results of the old Fairness Doctrine and the important point that the upcoming CIN study will include newspapers, even though the FCC has no authority to regulate print media. I want to know who is going to decide what is and is not “critical information”? As if they have the right to do so in the first place, which they don’t. Remember, the First Amendment specifically includes “freedom of the press”.

The folks at Frontpage Mag have an interesting article on the CIN alleged study. In it, they point out the important fact that the FCC is a regulatory body and not a research organization.

They also cite the views of Mark Lloyd, the FCC’s chief diversity officer (do we really need one of those?) from 2009 to 2012 and “huge fan of the late communist dictator Hugo Chavez and a disciple of Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky” (so are the current president and Hillary Clinton). Remember Alinsky? The guy who dedicated his book to Lucifer?

In his 2006 book entitled Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America, [Lloyd] calls for an all-out ‘confrontational movement’ against private media. He wants leftist activists – through incessant political pressure – and the government – through the creation of a totally untenable operating environment of fees, fines and regulations – to work together to force the commercial broadcasters out, to be replaced by public broadcasters.

Frontpage Mag summary:

Mark Lloyd…gave away the game…In short, the left wants to harass media outlets into docility in order to allow the fundamental transformation of America to proceed.

And change is happening, although not for the better. Whereas the US was ranked 20th in the 2009 World Press Freedom Index (still an embarrassment and un-American), in 2014 we’re ranked 46th, which is worse than Romania, the UK, and Botswana and barely better than Haiti.

In addition, “The FCC is awarding broadcast radio frequencies made available by new technology that could lead to the creation of 1,000 left-wing radio stations.” That’s just what the US needs, more leftist stations that no one will listen to. At least they’ll be able to blame their paltry listener numbers on the fact that their low-powered stations cover very small areas. The majority of Americans just aren’t leftists. Most only want to be left alone to do their own thing, which is the very thing the current leftist-run government doesn’t want to do. Those who prefer freedom had better wake up.

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