By: Marilyn Assenheim
The Federal Communications Commission is an “independent government agency” and was born when Congress signed the Communications Act of 1934. Its purpose, as reported by AllGov.com, was to prevent a monopoly of the airwaves: “Concerned over the growing power of large corporations and conglomerates…President Franklin Roosevelt wanted the FCC to make sure the country’s budding mass communications systems did not fall into the hands of a select few. Today’s interpretation would add the caveat “unless that monopoly is the government.” Thursday, news broke that the FCC plans to plant “researchers” (read “agents”) in every print newsroom, internet news outlet, television station, radio and cable news network for a “study” they are conducting. The stated purpose of the “research” is “a study of critical information needs.”
These plans have been in the works for some time. Ajit Pai, Commissioner of the FCC, published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on February 10 in which he voiced his concerns: “…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.” Mr. Pai continued by exposing the true agenda of the study: “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 underserved populations.’” Perceived responsiveness to “underserved population?” But who is “underserved” in a nation where network television reaches everyone with a television? Where radio is ubiquitous and skewed to local populations? More important, who is doing the “perceiving?”
In the WSJ, Mr. Pai provides part of the answer: “…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 critical information.” That sounds familiar. Let’s put it this way; those concerns, including the not-so-thinly-veiled racial shibboleths, are the favorite stalking horses, ceaselessly flogged by The Lyin’ King.
The Blaze reports: “The FCC only has jurisdiction over the broadcast industry, not over cable news or print publications.” The latest information reports that a power-drunk FCC is seeking to correct that oversight. The Blaze quoted one concerned party: “Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group, said he worries it (CIN) could be used to intimidate certain news organizations into covering issues that government officials feel are important. ‘This is an extremely troubling and dangerous development that represents the latest in an ongoing assault on the Constitution by the Obama administration…We have seen a corrupt IRS unleashed on conservatives. We have seen an imperial president bypass Congress and change the law with executive orders. Now we see the heavy hand of the Obama administration poised to interfere with the First Amendment rights of journalists…It’s clear that the Obama administration is only interested in utilizing intimidation tactics – at the expense of Americans and the Constitution.’”
The “Fairness Doctrine” narrowly avoided implementation by court order but this workaround would suit the regime even better. Prospective control of the media in its entirety, in a straightforward blitz on the first amendment. “News” agencies are, belatedly, concerned that Our Beloved Leader is infringing upon their inviolable “rights.” They are, to their amazement, discovering that their rights are as meaningless to The Dictator-In-Chief as is the rest of the Constitution. The “change” that is approaching is neither original nor quite what they might have “hoped” for. What The Lyin’ King is establishing is a redo of historical absolutism. The German National Socialist government could not have aspired to better.
Jay Sekulow stated: “The federal government has no place attempting to control the media, using the unconstitutional actions of repressive regimes to squelch free speech.’” This sentiment was also shared by Ajit Pai, in the WSJ: “…everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”
Well, perhaps not but, historically, it still happened. And history, whether or not the willfully ignorant that foisted The Lyin’ King on America understand, always repeats itself.