UPDATE! It looks like the FCC is backing down...but read the entire story linked here. The story is still open for de facto “Newsroom Inspections” by Team Obama.
Remember when George W. Bush sent agents into radio and TV newsrooms and demanded they explain why they were running negative stories about the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina?
Remember when the Bush administration quizzed reporters on what stories they wanted to run but were killed by their editors?
Remember how there was a huge backlash from the liberal media, outraged at the very idea of such interference by a government agency in their newsrooms?
Me neither. Because the Bush Administration would never have done that. Who would?
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 Federal Communications Commission has the power to shut down any TV or radio station in the country. They control the licenses, which means they control who gets to broadcast and who doesn’t. So when their agents show up, they generally get what they want.
So what do they want?
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.”
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 critical information.
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.
Well, before the FCC agents pile in their government SUVs and head to the New England Talk Network studios in Needham MA, let me save you a trip:
No, I will not be answering any questions about how I pick the news stories we talk about. No, I will not be cooperating with any investigation into our editorial processes or decisions. I ignored the Islamic Society of Boston when they tried to force me to stop talking about Islam and terrorism with a subpoena of my show notes and phone records, and I will happily do the same to you.
Yes, I’m just one guy. I’m not NBC or CBS. But any news room that WOULD participate in this government interference shouldn’t be called a “news room.” You’re just propaganda hacks for the Obama regime.
I happen to know some folks in the media in Columbia, SC–and I can’t imagine that the news staff of WIS-TV, for example, would willingly be a part of this.
Then again, it may not be “willingly.” Remember that “FCC controls your license” part?
Where is the liberal media when you need them? On their knees, playing Monica to the Obama administration.