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Tuesday, February 11, 2014
FCC Into Media Editors Pants
Obama’s FCC has launched a
study (CIN) to determine how media editors select and process and prioritize
the material they present to the public!
Talk about “The Party’s” control of
And the suppression of all others!
For those who are in
compliance with Obama’s Media Team this will be a piece of cake. For those who are not in compliance with the “Party’s
Story Line” the outlook is set for retribution and harassment that may make
the IRS’s harassment of the TeaParty look like a walk in the park.
Just image the media reaction if Bush has initiated
something like this!
Even Nixon didn't have a big enough "Pen" to do this!
Latest Update: 2-22-2014:
Update: 2-28-2014: Four of five FCC study authors gave to Obama
WSJ Op-ed: 2-10-2014 Re: Paper written by Commission member Ajit Pai.
-The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom
Why is the agency studying 'perceived station bias' and asking about coverage choices?
Feb. 10, 2014 7:26 p.m. ETNews organizations often
disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently
believes that traffic in Fort Lee,
N.J., is the crisis of our time.
Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the
U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily
than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what
they want to watch.
But everyone should agree on this: The government has
no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.
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
How does the FCC plan to dig
up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of
"critical information" such as the "environment" and
"economic opportunities," that it believes local newscasters should
cover. 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
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
This is not the first time
the agency has meddled in news coverage. Before Critical Information Needs,
there was the FCC's now-defunct Fairness Doctrine, which began in 1949 and
required equal time for contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues. Though
the Fairness Doctrine ostensibly aimed to increase the diversity of thought on
the airwaves, many stations simply chose to ignore controversial topics
altogether, rather than air unwanted content that might cause listeners to
change the channel.
The Fairness Doctrine was controversial
and led to lawsuits throughout the 1960s and '70s that argued it infringed upon
the freedom of the press. The FCC finally stopped enforcing the policy in 1987,
acknowledging that it did not serve the public interest. In 2011 the agency
officially took it off the books. But the demise of the Fairness Doctrine has
not deterred proponents of newsroom policing, and the CIN study is a first step
down the same dangerous path.
The FCC says the study is
merely an objective fact-finding mission. The results will inform a report that
the FCC must submit to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to
entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry.
This claim is peculiar. How
can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small
businesses from entering the broadcast industry? And why does the CIN study
include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?
Should all stations follow
MSNBC's example and cut away from a discussion with a former congresswoman
about the National Security Agency's collection of phone records to offer live
coverage of Justin Bieber's bond hearing? As a consumer of news, I have an
opinion. But my opinion shouldn't matter more than anyone else's merely because
I happen to work at the FCC.
We’re all waiting with
baited breath for an outpouring of Righteous Indignation by the editors of The
NYT, The Washington Post, The major TV news organizations and of course the
Editors of The Roanoke Times all of whom apparently have know about this since
last May and remained silent!
Obama And Team In The Situation Room
Mr. Pai is a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
Is Mr. Pai going to get protections under the“whistle blowers” rules?-
Ajit Pai (Ajit Pai was nominated to the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama and on May 7, 2012 was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. On May 14, 2012, he was sworn in for a term that concludes on June 30, 2016. Commissioner Pai received a B.A. with honors from HarvardUniversity in 1994 and a J.D. from theUniversity of Chicagoin 1997, where he was an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and won the Thomas J. Mulroy Prize. In 2010, Pai was one of 55 individuals nationwide chosen for the 2011 Marshall Memorial Fellowship, a leadership development initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. This bio info on Pai was copied from the FCC website; he is an Obama appointee).