FCC researchers would pressure the press on what to cover
The American Center for Law and Justice is warning of an Obama administration plan to place government monitors in newsrooms via an FCC proposal that could turn every major news network and newspaper into little more than a state media mouthpiece.
Image: CNN Newsroom (Wikimedia Commons).
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai recently lifted the lid on a shocking White House proposal entitled ‘Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs’ that would dispatch researchers from the federal agency “to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”
According to Pai, the program is about “pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.” In other words – the fairness doctrine on steroids.
“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,” writes the ACLJ’s Matthew Clark, noting that the plan would also extend to newspapers, which the FCC doesn’t even have any business being involved with.
Distrust in mainstream media has been on a steady decline for years, with a recent Gallup poll confirming that just 23 per cent of Americans trust the institution of television news. This lack of confidence has driven ratings down, with MSNBC losing almost half of its viewers over the course of just 12 months, shedding 45 per cent of its audience. CNN also lost 48 per cent of its viewers over the same time period.
The United States’ world ranking in terms of freedom of the press also recently fell to number 46, below the likes of South Africa, Slovenia and Lithuania.
Earlier this month, the New York Times’s own writers told a newspaper that NY Times opinion pieces are now seen as “irrelevant” and have no impact on public discourse whatsoever.
The FCC’s attempt to police newsrooms is a desperate attempt to redress the fact that, as Hillary Clinton admitted, the Obama administration is “losing the information war” to other news sources whose audiences are growing.
However, those alternative news outlets are not growing because of slick propaganda, they are stealing audience share from the mainstream because they at least try to act in an adversarial role to the state rather than being a conduit for its talking points.
“Every major repressive regime of the modern era has begun with an attempt to control and intimidate the press,” warns Clark, adding, “It’s hard to imaging anything more brazenly Orwellian than government monitors in newsrooms.”