Pushing back

FCC tries sniffing media, but it's the underlying purpose that smells

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Some people called it the camel’s nose under the tent.

It smelled like an uncleaned zoo.

The Federal Communications Commission was all set to start poking around America’s newsrooms under the supposedly benign guise of a “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs.”

Before going further, let’s call it what it is. The “study” is nothing more than the government’s
attempt to embed a federal presence in American newsgathering operations.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the commission planned “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.”

Here’s one question that was planned to be asked of reporters: “Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers that was rejected by management?”

How is that “critical information”? That’s just snooping.

The FCC even planned to sniff around newspaper offices, too – even though it has no regulatory authority over print media. The agency even had its eye on blogs and online-only news providers.

How would all that make you feel in a country whose laws promise its citizens a free press? What would you think about a government minder lurking in every newsroom, keeping tabs on all information that was released to the public? Would you feel safer and smarter, comrade?

Media outlets correctly exploded in outrage after hearing about the FCC’s planned study. Eleven days after it was announced, the agency backed off to say it was retooling the study with new questions.

Not good enough. A camel’s nose is a camel’s nose. Such an FCC “study” shouldn’t be attempted under any circumstances.

The logical leap here is small. The FCC is the agency responsible for granting and renewing broadcast licenses for TV and radio stations. If certain stations are gathering the news in ways the FCC deems unsuitable, then suddenly certain stations don’t get their licenses renewed.

Out of the realm of possibility? Hardly. There is mounting evidence of the government making its presence felt through similar moves that have the sour whiff of selective investigation or prosecution.

A low-profile Hollywood club called the Friends of Abe, named for Abraham Lincoln, is composed of like-minded conservative entertainers. It has sought 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for the past two years but has been smothered in red tape. Of course that’s one of the many right-leaning groups that has fallen under superfluous IRS scrutiny.

More recently, there’s conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza – author of The Roots of Obama’s Rage and co-director of its film adaptation, 2016: Obama’s America. He is under indictment on charges of violating campaign finance laws.

While D’Souza’s possibility of guilt is being investigated, look closely too at how the conspicuous pursuit of conservative people and groups fit a pattern. It was exposed most openly by an inspector general with the IRS, who found that conservative groups critical of the government faced extra scrutiny from the tax agency.

As for the FCC? It stays within its regulatory bounds by examining the content of broadcast station in very general terms. It has no business acting as a tool of government intimidation by sifting though the substance of journalism.

How perverse that this administration, which is the most opaque in memory, wants the media to be more transparent.

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carcraft
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Points
carcraft 02/26/14 - 07:08 am
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3
Obama seemed to have admitted

Obama seemed to have admitted that the IRS targetted conservatives when he fired the acting director of the IRS and promised to get to the bottom of the scandal. Lois Learner admitted under oath that conservatives were targeted. Now Obama states there isn't one smidgen of evidence the IRS did any thing wrong! That statement was made before the investigation was complete! So by all means lets further destroy our freedoms and corrupt more regulatory agencies. Gee the government in the News room "making suggestions " about how certain news stories should play out. Yep sounds good to me, seems to work for Obama and the IRS investigation!

owensjef3
5639
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owensjef3 02/26/14 - 07:36 am
3
11
Oh yea I do remember carcraft
Unpublished

Oh yea I do remember carcraft and the chronicle making a big deal in 2004 when the IRS targeted the NAACP and black churches for criticizing the Bush administration. Whoops never happened.

deestafford
25441
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deestafford 02/26/14 - 07:43 am
8
2
What's interesting was the lack of hue and cry...

What's interesting was the lack of hue and cry from he major media outlets that they were going to have a political propaganda commissar in their newsroom. If this had been proposed by a Republican administration the cries for impeachment and comparisons to Nazi Germany would have been going 24/7.

There have been so many unAmerican things going on with Obama that it is hard to keep up. If one takes the time to recall who and how many fellow leftist people he has placed into positions of power one will shake their head in amazement that he has gotten away with so much and continues to do so.

Who would ever thought that the chief law enforcement officer of the US, the Attorney General, would get up before the states' attorneys general and tell them they did not have to enforce laws they did not agree with. Doesn't this leftist understand these people took an oath to carry out all the laws of their states and that to most people who take an oath and swear to God that it means something of a commitment? Just because an oath means nothing to him and his boss doesn't mean other people don't have the integrity to uphold their's.

myfather15
53058
Points
myfather15 02/26/14 - 08:02 am
9
3
Owensjef

There is ZERO evidence to substantiate what you claim!! Unless YOU, have some evidence the rest of America is not privy too!!

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jun/06/jim-mcder...

The TRUTH is, in 2004 ALL those the IRS investigated, there were TWO that were suspect but were also found to have faced the SAME exact guidelines, everyone else faced!! The ONLY reason it was even questioned, was because the Chairman said some negative comments about Bush, and was the group was audited shortly thereafter. So TWO groups, NAACP and ONE CHURCH, and that makes a scandal???

Also, while looking this up; it was never reported THEN!!! Why is every article about this, written in 2013 or AFTER?? Could it be the old "They did it too" after the corruption of this administration has been discovered? Absolutely pathetic!!

Members of this administration have ADMITTED groups with "tea party" and other conservative names were automatically targetted!! But with the LEFT, even with the admission, they still say "Nothing to see here".

Well, I learned a long time ago that when someone says "Theres nothing to see here" what they mean is "There is a LOT to see here, we just don't want YOU to see it."

owensjef3
5639
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owensjef3 02/26/14 - 08:14 am
3
10
You can do better than that,
Unpublished

You can do better than that, research some more

ymnbde
9528
Points
ymnbde 02/26/14 - 08:26 am
7
2
it's worse than Eisenhower's Military/Industrial complex warning

why is there not more alarm at this? The government actually had a plan to monitor news coverage, and impose "thought police" in each newsroom
well, it could be because
THREE SCHOOLS IN RICHMOND COUNTY HAD ZERO KIDS PASS THE AP EXAMS!
the massive governmedia complex has taken over education
and now they want to control freedom of the press?
Eisenhower's farewell address, if given today, would have said,
"This conjunction of an immense (government buearucracy) and a (liberal media) industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the (frightening history of)this development. We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the (govermedia) complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can (resist) the (im)proper (control) of (freedom of the press) with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."
THREE SCHOOLS IN RICHMOND COUNTY HAD ZERO KIDS PASS THE AP EXAMS!
that is how they get away with it...
power does have it's own nasty inevitability
we've seen the path it takes in Germany, Russia, and China
we're seeing the path it takes here
and it starts with
THREE SCHOOLS IN RICHMOND COUNTY HAD ZERO KIDS PASS THE AP EXAMS!

ymnbde
9528
Points
ymnbde 02/26/14 - 08:28 am
7
3
geez owensjef, you're right

it never happened...
what you wrote never happened
but you know what did happen?
do you know the results of what democrats have wrought?
THREE SCHOOLS IN RICHMOND COUNTY HAD ZERO KIDS PASS THE AP EXAMS!
and democrats built that

carcraft
25059
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carcraft 02/26/14 - 08:44 am
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So Owenjef3 since we can

So Owenjef3 since we can agree that government abuse crosses party lines and is bad reguardless which party is in power do you want to expand the temptation and ability for government to abuse our rights ? If you are ticked off about ACES journalistic conservative bias why aren't you I
Incensed about the liberal bias of the " main stream media"?

carcraft
25059
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carcraft 02/26/14 - 09:03 am
9
3
Owenjef3, How well have the

Owenjef3, How well have the collapse of the global warming models been reported by the lame stream media? Why didn't Anderson Cooper ask Rice why the military , CIA and other government agencies that reported this was a terrorist attach in Libya with in hours but the White House got it wrong? I could go on for hours about under reporting of news by the liberal media! How well is the collapse of Obama care being covered ? 6 million have lost health insurance and only 3 to 4 million have signed up, that is a net loss of 2 million. Then Sibilous says success looks like 7 million signed up in Jan , then denies she presented that number. How well was that covered! Oh never mind it's just not news!

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/26/14 - 09:06 am
9
3
owensjef3, is there any
Unpublished

owensjef3, is there any chance at all you can back up your accusation with any evidence at all? I seriously doubt it. You will probably just say something like "oh boy." or say "the IRS targeted the NAACP.....PERIOD."

Evidence is never required......is it?

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/26/14 - 09:07 am
8
3
"You can do better than that,
Unpublished

"You can do better than that, research some more"

Just like a liberal....they make an accusation, then expect YOU to do the research for them to prove it. SMH.

Bizkit
30394
Points
Bizkit 02/26/14 - 09:08 am
9
1
Gosh this is eerily similar

Gosh this is eerily similar to the IRS intimidation strategy-hmmmm seems a pattern eh with the Obama administration. It wasn't about hope and change but Government Control.

corgimom
30094
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corgimom 02/26/14 - 09:10 am
3
10
Well, then the AC shouldn't

Well, then the AC shouldn't complain about how "unfair" and "biased" and "slanted" the mainstream media is.

This was the opportunity for the FCC to investigate those claims.

You can't have it both ways.

Moving on.

Bizkit
30394
Points
Bizkit 02/26/14 - 09:12 am
7
1
When the Bush administration

When the Bush administration tried to use the IRS to manhandle the NAACP and Greenpeace there was all kind of media repercussions,etc. I think there have been several presidents who have used the IRS for intimidation purposes, and its wrong every time it has happened.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 02/26/14 - 09:18 am
0
0
In following Fox News, the
Unpublished

In following Fox News, the Chronicle, of course, leaves out pertinent information. From the FCC:
By law, the FCC must report to Congress every three years on the barriers that may prevent
entrepreneurs and small business from competing in the media marketplace, and pursue policies to
eliminate those barriers. To fulfill that obligation in a meaningful way, the FCC's Office of
Communications Business Opportunities consulted with academic researchers in 2012 and selected a
contractor to design a study which would inform the FCC’s report to Congress. Last summer, the
proposed study was put out for public comment and one pilot to test the study design in a single
marketplace – Columbia, S.C. – was planned.
“However, in the course of FCC review and public comment, concerns were raised that some of the
questions may not have been appropriate. Chairman Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study
directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is
required. Last week, Chairman Wheeler informed lawmakers that that Commission has no intention of
regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters and would be modifying the draft study.
Yesterday, the Chairman directed that those questions be removed entirely.
“To be clear, media owners and journalists will no longer be asked to participate in the Columbia, S.C.
pilot study. The pilot will not be undertaken until a new study design is final. Any subsequent market
studies conducted by the FCC, if determined necessary, will not seek participation from or include
questions for media owners, news directors or reporters.
“Any suggestion that the FCC intends to regulate the speech of news media or plans to put monitors in
America's newsrooms is false. The FCC looks forward to fulfilling its obligation to Congress to report on
barriers to entry into the communications marketplace, and is currently revising its proposed study to
achieve that goal.”

deestafford
25441
Points
deestafford 02/26/14 - 09:20 am
8
1
There is nothing wrong with the media being bias and unfair...

There is nothing wrong with the media being bias and unfair. What is wrong for them to act as if they are not and are as pure as the wind driven snow and refusing to admit they lean left or right.

The AC makes no bones about it being a conservative outlet and is proud of that. Another reason to like this great paper.

corgimom
30094
Points
corgimom 02/26/14 - 09:30 am
1
6
"I think there have been

"I think there have been several presidents who have used the IRS for intimidation purposes, and its wrong every time it has happened."

Go all the way back to 1913, this is nothing new.

corgimom
30094
Points
corgimom 02/26/14 - 09:32 am
1
12
deestafford, that's

deestafford, that's absolutely right, there IS nothing wrong with it.

However, the AC wants that for themselves, but not for anybody else.

And that's where the problem lies.

They want freedom of the press for them, but object to it in other publications.

carcraft
25059
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carcraft 02/26/14 - 09:31 am
5
1
ONE HUNDRED PERCENT AGREEMENT

ONE HUNDRED PERCENT AGREEMENT DEESTAFFORD!

Pond Life
17682
Points
Pond Life 02/26/14 - 09:34 am
9
2
Where has the AC objected to
Unpublished

Where has the AC objected to freedom of press?

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/26/14 - 09:40 am
4
9
Not only did Mrs. Rice get
Unpublished

Not only did Mrs. Rice get her info from General Petraeus's CIA it turns out she was pretty much right and vindicated.

carcraft
25059
Points
carcraft 02/26/14 - 09:42 am
8
3
Corgimom because of the lies,

Corgimom because of the lies, violation of law and obfuscation carried on by this administration any investigations of anything will beheld suspect by a thinking individual. Lies : start with you can keep your health care. Obfuscation: the numbers related to unemployment,fast and furious , Benghazi. Violations of the law, killing American citizens with out due process, lying to congress (Holder is in contempt of congress ) and just recently told the attorney generals of the states in America they don't have defend the laws on gay marriage which is a violation of the duty of attorney general. Yes I can document each charge!

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/26/14 - 09:48 am
3
8
Yes I do expect you do to
Unpublished

Yes I do expect you do to honest research and not engage in Self-fulfilling Prophecies. Some things are already known and have been known for years, but when you live in a bubble and only want to receive information one way you ask for links on such things like prove Hitler was not a communist. Geez!

carcraft
25059
Points
carcraft 02/26/14 - 09:50 am
8
1
Owensjeff3 Please provide

Owensjeff3 Please provide documentation. Fox News reported that Petraeus indicted that the original memo from the CIA indicated it was a terrorist attack. Nobody knows who changed the original CIA Memo.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/26/14 - 09:51 am
3
3
I agree Bizkit with your
Unpublished

I agree Bizkit with your 0812 comment.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 02/26/14 - 10:06 am
6
3
" Oh yea I do remember
Unpublished

" Oh yea I do remember carcraft and the chronicle making a big deal in 2004 when the IRS targeted the NAACP and black churches for criticizing the Bush administration."
owens, the NAACP NEEDS investigating. They are NO LONGER a Civil Rights group they are a special rights group and the leaders are getting very rich.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/26/14 - 10:17 am
3
8
Rice's initial assessment,
Unpublished

Rice's initial assessment, which was from the CIA, said an anti-Islam video inspired the attack. One reason why Hillary said, "what does it matter", is because its terror either way. It turns out that the investigations have proved that to be true. Remember she said thing could change as the investigation was just getting started.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 02/26/14 - 10:18 am
3
6
So the Tea party is not
Unpublished

So the Tea party is not political?

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 02/26/14 - 10:22 am
6
2
" Go all the way back to
Unpublished

" Go all the way back to 1913, this is nothing new.'
corgi, stealing and lying goes way back also but that does not make it right.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 02/26/14 - 10:25 am
6
2
" So the Tea party is not
Unpublished

" So the Tea party is not political?"
I never said they were not. The NAACP is listed as a Civil Rights which they are not.

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