So far we’ve only noticed Fox News covering this outrageous story. For some odd reason the other 99.9% of the media doesn’t seem to care that the federal government wants to manage their news. They’ll get back to bleating about the First Amendment once a Republican president is sworn in. Until then, they’ve assumed the supine position.
“As if the IRS, and the EPA, and NLRB haven’t done enough damage, the FCC now has to trample on what rights are remaining,” he said on Thursday’s Special Report.
Krauthammer dismissed the agency’s claim that it wants to see whether the current media landscape is diversified enough as the reason for the study. “There are more [voices] in media in today than any in the history of mankind, including cave drawings,” he said.
Meanwhile, you’ll never guess who’s helping spearhead this clearly illegal maneuver.
Advocates promote the project with Obama-esque rhetoric. “This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens,” said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012. Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, was appointed to the FCC by President Obama and served as acting chair for part of last year. The FCC, Clyburn said, “must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation — be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other.” (The FCC decided to test the program with a trial run in Ms. Clyburn’s home state, South Carolina.)
The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy to do a study defining what information is “critical” for citizens to have. The scholars decided that “critical information” is information that people need to “live safe and healthy lives” and to “have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities,” among other things.
The study identified eight “critical needs”: information about emergencies and risks; health and welfare; education; transportation; economic opportunities; the environment; civic information; and political information.
It’s not difficult to see those topics quickly becoming vehicles for political intimidation. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine that they wouldn’t. For example, might the FCC standards that journalists must meet on the environment look something like the Obama administration’s environmental agenda? Might standards on economic opportunity resemble the president’s inequality agenda? The same could hold true for the categories of health and welfare and “civic information” — and pretty much everything else.
“An enterprising regulator could run wild with a lot of these topics,” says Pai. “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.”
As the people of Venezuela rise up against the tyranny of their banana republic, we rush headlong into becoming Venezuela.
Freedom of the press: It was nice while it lasted.