Network Policing and the FCC

Joseph Smith
The Obama Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has developed a new scheme to regulate reporting and editorial discretion in American newsrooms.

An Investors Business Daily editorial, which was also discussed on Mark Levin's radio show, describes the FCC's latest foray into controlling what goes out over the airwaves:

Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, warned this week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that a plan to dispatch researchers into radio, television and even newspaper newsrooms called the "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs" is still going forward, despite the grave danger it presented to the First Amendment.

Pai warned that under the rationale of increasing minority representation in newsrooms, the FCC, which has the power to issue or not issue broadcasting licenses, would dispatch its "researchers" to newsrooms across America to seek their "voluntary" compliance about how news stories are decided...

...It's an idea so fraught with potential for abuse it ought to have news agencies screaming bloody murder. The very idea of Obama hipsters showing up in newsrooms, asking questions and judging if newspapers (over which they have no jurisdiction), radio and TV are sufficiently diverse is nothing short of thought control.

Commissioner Pai, a Republican appointed by President Obama to the FCC, sums up the issue in his Wall Street Journal op-ed:

News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know... 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...

...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.

The 1987 demise of the FCC's 1949 Fairness Doctrine has been followed by periodic, unsuccessful Congressional efforts to bring it back again, a cause that liberals will apparently never give up.

President Obama's initial foray into media control was the appointment of Mark Lloyd as the FCC's so-called "diversity czar." Lloyd had previously advocated squeezing talk radio with local content and public interest licensing requirements.

Next came a proposal by former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps to "conduct a 'public value test' of commercial broadcast stations" that would implement Mr. Lloyd's local content and public interest requirements as a means of controlling what goes on the air.

Both Lloyd and Copps have since moved on to afflict other organizations, and the FCC also struck out in court last month on so-called net neutrality rules.

The FCC is nevertheless pushing along their latest scheme for free-speech restrictions, with a field test this spring in Columbia, South Carolina, according to Mr. Pai, who further observes:

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 left-wing appetite for media control never ends.

The Obama Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has developed a new scheme to regulate reporting and editorial discretion in American newsrooms.

An Investors Business Daily editorial, which was also discussed on Mark Levin's radio show, describes the FCC's latest foray into controlling what goes out over the airwaves:

Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, warned this week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that a plan to dispatch researchers into radio, television and even newspaper newsrooms called the "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs" is still going forward, despite the grave danger it presented to the First Amendment.

Pai warned that under the rationale of increasing minority representation in newsrooms, the FCC, which has the power to issue or not issue broadcasting licenses, would dispatch its "researchers" to newsrooms across America to seek their "voluntary" compliance about how news stories are decided...

...It's an idea so fraught with potential for abuse it ought to have news agencies screaming bloody murder. The very idea of Obama hipsters showing up in newsrooms, asking questions and judging if newspapers (over which they have no jurisdiction), radio and TV are sufficiently diverse is nothing short of thought control.

Commissioner Pai, a Republican appointed by President Obama to the FCC, sums up the issue in his Wall Street Journal op-ed:

News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know... 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...

...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.

The 1987 demise of the FCC's 1949 Fairness Doctrine has been followed by periodic, unsuccessful Congressional efforts to bring it back again, a cause that liberals will apparently never give up.

President Obama's initial foray into media control was the appointment of Mark Lloyd as the FCC's so-called "diversity czar." Lloyd had previously advocated squeezing talk radio with local content and public interest licensing requirements.

Next came a proposal by former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps to "conduct a 'public value test' of commercial broadcast stations" that would implement Mr. Lloyd's local content and public interest requirements as a means of controlling what goes on the air.

Both Lloyd and Copps have since moved on to afflict other organizations, and the FCC also struck out in court last month on so-called net neutrality rules.

The FCC is nevertheless pushing along their latest scheme for free-speech restrictions, with a field test this spring in Columbia, South Carolina, according to Mr. Pai, who further observes:

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 left-wing appetite for media control never ends.