Imagine you’re a journalist working for a news organization where you are free to investigate any story you choose, follow any lead, and make decisions as to what is significant and/or newsworthy. Now imagine a government official coming into your organization and investigating you as to whether you are focusing on the types of stories the government deems appropriate. Have you given enough emphasis to the environment? Have you stressed income inequality adequately? Are you promoting equal rights by offering the government-approved new definition of marriage? Are you ensuring that the public understands that gay rights trumps religious liberty?
Far-fetched? I would have thought so before the news this week that the Federal Communications Commission, with a Democrat majority, is studying that very scenario. Is it at all possible to violate the First Amendment in a more egregious fashion than this?
That important Amendment is already under fire with respect to its religious liberty provisions; now freedom of the press may soon be threatened.
Who would have the gall to make such a frontal attack?
Welcome to Obamaworld.
The “study” has identified eight specific areas where citizens need to be informed: emergencies and risks; health and welfare [Obamacare, anyone?]; education [Common Core?]; transportation; economic opportunities [income inequality?]; the environment [global warming or climate change—depending on the trend of the month?]; civic information; and political information [that last one is a truly loaded term].
One of the two Republicans on the FCC board—where a vote never even was taken about a study being done—commented, “An enterprising regulator could run wild with a lot of these topics. The implicit message to the newsroom is they need to start covering these eight categories in a certain way or otherwise the FCC will go after them.”
How does the FCC go after broadcast entities? It can shut them down.
This is not yet a reality, only a study. But those have a tendency to become real. If this one does, it will be chilling. Dictators always take over the media so that they can propagandize and silence any opposing view.
Budding tyranny has been a theme this week on this blog. It wasn’t my intent to focus on it, but circumstances have made it necessary. Tyrants never announce that they are going to tyrannize; they are always taking action for the benefit of their citizens. Tyranny nearly always comes packaged with good intentions. Yet it is tyranny nevertheless.