It’s only taken seven years, but a member of the mainstream media is finally asking“what are they thinking?”
That would be the formerly “respectable” Howard Kurtz, the Columbia J-school grad who wrote for the Washington Post and worked for CNN and the Daily Beast, before he fell from grace and landed at Fox News, where he writes:
What on earth is the FCC thinking?
The last thing we need is the government mucking around with news content.
The title of this Big Brother-ish effort by the Federal Communications Commission sounds innocuous enough: “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs.” But it’s a Trojan horse that puts federal officials in the newsroom, precisely where they shouldn’t be.
Don’t take my word for it. The FCC says it wants to examine “the process by which stories are selected,” as well as “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
Perceived station bias? Are you kidding me? Government bureaucrats are going to decide whether a newsroom is being fair?
Keep in mind that the commission has the power to renew or reject broadcast television licenses. During Watergate, Richard Nixon’s FCC challenged two TV licenses of stations owned by the Washington Post. So mere information gathering can become a little more serious, given that enormous clout.
Well, read the whole thing, because it’s worth it (and read FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s rather heroic bit of whistleblowing on the matter, dated February 10, and finally getting some attention beyond the blogs) but before you go, allow me to answer Kurtz’ opening query:
“What are they thinking?” Mr. Kurtz, it’s pretty obvious; they’re thinking no one in the mainstream press has asked them a difficult or challenging question in 7 years, so why would they start now.
- They’re thinking an obsequious press that couldn’t be bothered to sustain outrage over intrusions into its own phone and internet records won’t have a problem with the government parking itself into the newsroom.
- They’re thinking that if the mainstream press could forgive them for considering espionage charges against a member of the press — for doing what reporters are supposed to do — and then re-commence their habitual boot-licking, there is no real risk of media folk suddenly calling out a “red line”, or even being able to identify one.
- They’re figuring that with this president, the mainstream media has no idea what “a bridge too far” might mean. Nor, “abuse of power”; nor “cover-up”; nor “mendacity”,“incompetence”, “ineptitude” or “constitutional illiteracy.”
- They know that half the people in the newsroom are either married or to (or social buddies with) influential members of this government, and that everyone is all comfy and nicely settled in for the revolution.
- They know that the press willfully surrendered its own freedoms some time ago, in the interests of ideology, and so they really won’t mind a little editorial supervision from the masters:
. . .we no longer need wonder why the mainstream media seems unconcerned about possible attacks on our first amendment rights to freedom of religion and the exercise thereof. They have already cheerfully, willfully surrendered the freedom of the press to the altar of the preferred narrative. People willing to dissolve their own freedoms so cheaply have no interest in anyone else’s freedom, either.
- They know that if they like their newsroom, they can keep their newsroom, once it has been correctly updated. A Mad Man might sell the scheme as Prexy-Clean. Journalism “new and improved with powerful cleansing agents!”
I hope that helps, Mr. Kurtz.
And you are correct, by the way, when you write “if George W. Bush’s FCC had tried this, it would be a front-page story.” I expressed a similar sentiment in relation to this story, back on February 13, thanks to Instapundit.
Liberal talk radio and cable is on a major down slide… these people spew are extreme propaganda and lies they are so fact-less that people now mock it and their ‘hosts’…
Conservative radio and Cable is on a huge upswing….people listen to and watch it for Truth, Honesty and Reality.
What this administration is telling the FCC (and us) is all another LIE…
Whatever this Administration says and by that I mean —> OBAMA <— and Co-Conspirators …Do Not believe them….do not believe any—>?” REASON”? <— however INNOCENT it may SOUND….. for instance – to fill a "Critical Info Need"…
This is just a (back door) attempt to once again for this (corrupt administration) to trample the Constitution and go after the 1st Amendment…they will not stop in their quest to Control the American people through the MEDIA AND to try to TAKE AWAY yet MORE of “OUR” Liberties and Freedoms and it is directed squarely at Conservatives
These people are pure communists…pure evil…
Let us all remember and NEVER forget that this administration, immediately upon inauguration, encouraged it minions to report, to the White House, their friends and relatives who might have those wrong-headed opinions or impressions of this administration so they can be “corrected”. In other words, spy on your friends, relatives and neighbors and report your findings to the Thought Police.
2016 should be very interested. I really wonder if this guy is going to willingly leave. Nothing else Constitutional matters to him, why would the 22nd Amendment?
We need to limit the FCC to technical matters only. Unless it’s a matter of what signals – not their content – makes it out into the atmosphere, the FCC should have nothing to do with it.