AND FOR YOUR THOUGHTS …
“They” are government bureaucrats bent on maintaining the status quo. “We” are the new media bent on exposing their corruption and hypocrisy. And a head-on collision between these two forces appears inevitable …
When will it happen? Who knows … but the head of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is issuing some pretty dire warnings for what the future of “media regulation” may hold.
“I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers,” FEC chairman Lee E. Goodman said in an interview with Paul Bedard of The Washington Times.
“The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” Goodman continued.
He is absolutely right …
The left’s media monopoly – in which no government expenditure was bad and no bureaucratic cut was good – is falling apart due to the proliferation of the marketplace of ideas. The Internet – including websites like this one – has become a true thought equalizer, forcing the reflexively accommodating legacy media to do a better job of reporting the truth.
That dynamic scares the hell out of the establishment, because it’s helping advance what our founding editor has referred to as the “most dangerous realization in the world” – namely that “We The People are starting to figure things out.”
To counter this ongoing enlightenment, left-leaning leaders in Washington, D.C. are pushing all sorts of new regulations – including the extension of FEC disclosure requirements and other restrictions on the political speech of media outlets.
For starters, we have the recent calls for a return to the “Fairness Doctrine,” in which government forced news outlets to offer “equal time” to competing perspectives. In fact the “diversity officer” at Barack Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opined not long ago that “regional and national communications operations should be required to encourage and broadcast diverse views and programs.”
More recently we have the FCC’s attempt to insert government monitors into media newsrooms – a plan which was thankfully scrapped in response to public outrage. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact the U.S. Justice Department is actively spying on journalists.
Goodman – whose term at the FEC is up in December – says he is especially concerned that the federal government will seek to frame its regulatory overreach in such a way as to disproportionately impact outlets that lean “conservative” in their reporting.
“The picking and choosing has started to occur,” he said.
Ah yes … gotta love the First Amendment freedom of the press we have here in the “Land of the Free.”