Feb. 20, 2014 –

A controversial study of the news media by the Federal Communications Commission has been put on hold. Many Republican lawmakers, media groups — and this business portal — complained that the study was a disingenuous attempt to influence journalists in their news coverage — a threat to freedom of the press, which is protected by the 1st Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.

In fact, this portal pointed out it was a dangerous big brother precedent — it was also an attempt to influence news coverage to favor Democrats in the 2014 elections.

The controversial study is just the latest of outrageous Obama Administration actions, such as the Justice Department’s unconstitutional seizure of some Associated Press telephone records and for monitoring Fox News reporter James Rosen’s e-mails and phones; the IRS targeting Obama’s political adversaries, and the administration’s cover up of in the Benghazi attacks.

As it is, the mainstream media has proverbially been an administration lap dog by failing to accurately report the countless failures of Obama policies.

The FCC disingenuously called the “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs.”

All media operations have a Web site so this meant 100 percent monitoring of news coverage with a veiled threat of government control and intimidation.

An agency commissioner, Ajit Pai, had warned in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that researchers will “grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”

Freedom of the press

He also cited the survey as a threat to the freedom of the press. It’s also a threat to American citizens in our democracy.

“The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch,” wrote Commissioner Pai, who was appointed in May 2012 by President Obama. “But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”

Commissioner Pai is right. The FCC is comprised of five commissioners — three Democrats and two Republicans. So the threat is real.

Newspapers have been immune from the heavy hand of government except in cross-media ownerships in certain markets. Newspapers aren’t regulated by the FCC, but broadcast operations are. Radio and TV stations must apply to renew their federal licenses every eight years.

For conscientious, hardworking journalists, the FCC survey was a euphemism for a draconian threat to the Constitution and First Amendment by the immense, sinister machinery of government.

To be polite, it’s also a disingenuous political power grab in an election year — in which the Obama Administration is likely to lose support in Congress over ObamaCare failures and other policies.

Intrusive monitoring

According to published accounts, survey questions include:

– What is the news philosophy of the station?

– Who else in your market provides news?

– Who are your main competitors?

– How much news does your station air every day?

– Is the news produced in-house or is it provided by an outside source?

– Do you employ news people?

– How many reporters and editors do you employ?

-Do you have any reporters or editors assigned to topic “beats”? If so, how many and what are the beats?

– Who decides which stories are covered?

– How much influence do you have in deciding which stories to cover?

– How much influence do reporters and anchors have in deciding which stories to cover?

– How much does community input influence news coverage decisions?

– How do you define critical information that the community needs?

– How do you ensure the community gets this critical information?

– Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers (viewers, listeners, readers) that was rejected by management? If so, can you give an example? What was the reason given for the decision? Why do you disagree?

The Obama Administration’s attempt to put monitors in newsrooms is outrageous and unacceptable — it represents an insulting challenge to both journalists and Americans, alike, who relish freedom from government control and propaganda.

Can anyone say “big brother is watching?” Throughout both terms of the Obama Administration, most journalists have behaved like lap dogs instead of asking the right questions about the administration and its motives.

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks for additional reading:

Obama’s Broken Promise for Transparent Government – Study — New questions emerge about President Obama’s promise for open government — in the aftermath of the creepy behavior of Obama Administration officials in the IRS scandal, the snooping on journalists, and the changing stories about their roles in denying aid to four Americans who were killed at Benghazi. 

Canadian Study – U.S. States Plummet in Economic Freedom — If you or your business has unwarranted problems with any level of government – from ObamaCare and the IRS to local zoning ordinances – your economic freedom is being trampled. Further, there’s a connection between the arrogant trampling of our economic freedom and our unhealthy economic climate.

7 Capitalism Principles for Economic Growth, Prosperity — Employers are discouraged from hiring largely because of uncertainty created by public policies. That includes uncertainty – created by ObamaCare – in costs and taxes. Add to them, policies leading to tepid growth in U.S. gross domestic product. Of course, global concerns include the European Union economic crisis, China’s banking and housing headaches. 

What Would Abraham Lincoln Say Today? — Memorial Day is a holiday to remember the armed forces’ men and women and why they died to protect our freedoms. What Honest Abe would say today.   It’s been well documented that Abraham Lincoln is the political idol of President Barack Obama. 

“Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.”

-Will Rogers 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.