‘News police’ plan making reporters nervous
Paul Joseph Watson
February 21, 2014
Journalists and news industry leaders are worried about being subjected to government coercion according to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who blew the whistle on a White House plan to place spies in the newsroom.
Appearing on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Pai, whose Wall Street Journal piece first drew attention to an FCC proposal that would dispatch researchers working on behalf of the federal agency “to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run,” said that reporters he talked to were nervous.
“A lot of folks that I’ve heard from from the industry are telling me that they are worried about the inadvertent coercion that might happen if the FCC says ‘look we’re just asking questions’,” said Pai.
“If you’re holding a broadcast license that the FCC issues, you’re not going to feel like it’s entirely voluntary if you have to answer this battery of questions that are in the 70-some page study,” explained the Commissioner.
“There’s really no need for the FCC to inject itself into the editorial judgments of all these people,” added Pai, confirming that the program would be taxpayer funded because the FCC is hiring contractors to conduct the study.
The controversy has caused little consternation amongst more liberal news outlets, with the Washington Post initially reporting the story under the headline Proposed FCC study of news organizations sparks conservative outcry, before quickly amending the headline, removing the word “conservative” after, “some bright fellow at The Post noted that this latest encroachment by the federal government should be met with at least a perfunctory protest from the members of the press,” writes Noah Rothman.
As Fox News highlights, the firm tapped by the FCC to head up the ‘monitoring’ program undoubtedly leans left judging by its past activity.
WND’s Aaron Klein links the program to Mark Lloyd, the FCC’s associate general counsel and chief diversity officer from 2009-2012. Lloyd served as a consultant to George Soros’ Open Society Institute and also worked as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. As we have previously documented, the CAP is a think tank headed by Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff John D. Podesta, who was also head of Barack Obama’s presidential transition team after the 2008 election.
According to Center for American Progress director Jennifer Palmieri, the organization is focused around “driving the White House’s message and agenda.” A 2012 Daily Caller investigation confirmed that the leftist organization Media Matters, which operates under the umbrella of Podesta’s Progressive Media propaganda campaign, is an Obama administration front that strategizes with the White House on a weekly basis on how to influence and direct the media.
Commissioner Pai expressed his hope that the proposal would be abandoned in the aftermath of the vociferous criticism it has attracted, including from Judge Andrew Napolitano who said it marked “a radical new era of tyranny.”
Glenn Beck also blasted the idea yesterday, urging Americans to “wake up” to what represents a clear threat to freedom of the press.