The American Center for Law and Justice has issued uncovered a plot by the Obama administration to place government monitors in newsrooms via a Federal Communications Commission proposal that would turn every major news outlet into the mouthpiece of government.
While most of us will agree that several outlets are clearly propaganda for the current regime, there is some visible free press demonstrated. Sharyl Attkisson at CBS comes to mind.
Ajit Pai, commissioner at the FCC, recently wrote that while different new organizations cover different news they believe to be important and may give their particular spin on it, “everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”
Pai went on to report at the Wall Street Journal:
Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. 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.”
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.
In other words, it’s about “pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.” However, it’s not just about covering certain stories, but the way in which they are covered, ie. Propaganda.
The ACLJ’s Matthew Clark agrees. “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,” he wrote.
However, that is not the only issue. While newsrooms are spoken of, the undeniable road this will go on is to newspapers and inevitably organizations like ours here at FreedomOutpost.com. For we are considered, at least by the First Amendment, to be part of the press. I know, I know, we aren’t considered that by Senator Dianne Feinstein, but the truth remains that this will have an effect upon all news outlets, not just television newsrooms.
If you don’t think freedom of the press is under attack, consider that the United States slipped 13 spots on the World Press Freedom Index this past year, placing 46th when it comes to freedom of the press in the world.
During the previous election cycle, we saw how the Obama administration treated the press. There were instances of the White House mandating approval of news stories from journalists at the White House. Then there was the Obama administration gagging reporters from live-tweets during one of Vice President Joe Biden’s speeches.
In fact, it’s so bad that writers at the New York Times, told the New York Observer that they felt “irrelevant” and that they are not having an impact on public discourse.
Well, there is one thing that is clear, and I agree with Mr. Pai on this: the federal government has no business in the newsroom or pressuring people what to write or cover. In fact, it is one of the restraints of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. What do the criminals in Washington think this means? Go ahead and dismiss the clear wording of the First Amendment? Apparently so, just as they have with other Amendments.
At least now we are getting it all out in the open. Perhaps this way we can deal properly with what is taking place between the media and the federal government.
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