Government  Interference  with  the  News  Media

The First Amendment guarantee of a free press should be taken more seriously.  No matter how far newspaper sales decline, the newspapers must resist the temptation to accept "help" from the government.


Hands off the First Amendment!  "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...," but the progressives on the Federal Communications Commission think their job is to do just that — regulate the speech of individuals, and of the press.  Speaking to the Columbia School of Journalism, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, spelled out his idea for a "community values test" to be applied to media outlets with every license-renewal application.

Silencing the Opposition.  The Obama administration has been itching for a way to control the flow of information for almost a year, and multiple approaches have been tried.  But all of these approaches have run into the same snag:  the First Amendment.  President Obama began by creating his own Ministry of Truth, headed up by Cass Sunstein...

FTC to "reinvent" journalism.  The nation needs a strong, independent press, the FTC argues, and so they want to find ways for government to "reinvent" journalism.  If that sounds vaguely Orwellian to you, the actual language in the Federal Trade Commission's discussion-points memo should have hairs standing on the backs of necks across the nation.  It shows a wildly laughable rationale for government intervention that would prop up the failing newspaper model in a manner that would put the entire industry at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy it's supposed to keep in check.

FTC draft study proposes massive bailout of newspapers.  The Obama FTC is attempting to commit the liberal press to permanent, government-run life support, with the federal monolith and the state-funded press each supporting the other in perpetuity.  Let's see, raise taxes, reduce competition, expand government, drain the profit, control the news... Music to Obama's ears.

Government Takes On Journalism's Next Chapter.  Looking for the federal government to come to the rescue of newspapers?  Don't hold your breath.  The Federal Trade Commission has set out on the somewhat quixotic journey of trying to identify ways to save journalism as we know it from possible extinction.

The federal government can forget about funding America's newspapers.  Talk about a poison pill.  The last thing the American newspaper business needs is a financial bailout by the federal government.  That scenario only spells the end of this nation's precious First Amendment freedom of the press.  But today [6/15/2010] in Washington, D.C., the Federal Trade Commission is holding a final public forum about ways to provide financial "help" to the newspaper industry which is in the midst of seeing an end to its traditional business model.

Please, Don't Save Us.  You know what journalism could really use more of?  Government participation.  Who better, after all, than a gaggle of technocrats and political appointees to guide the industry in matters of entrepreneurship, fairness and coverage?  Thankfully, the good folks at the Federal Trade Commission are all over it, cobbling together a report aimed at saving newspapers, called "Potential Policy Recommendation To Support the Reinvention of Journalism."  It's only the first step in a long-term plan to rescue the Fourth Estate from itself.

Obama vs. Freedom of the Press.  [Scroll down]  By now, the Obama M.O. should be clear to all.  As he has done with the banks, AIG and the car companies, he extends his left hand offering subsidies and then proffers his right laden with regulations.  Should the government follow through on [Jon] Leibowitz' ideas and enact special subsidies and tax breaks for news organizations, it will induce a degree of journalistic dependence on the whims of government not seen since the days when the early presidents bestowed government advertising on favored periodicals.

Obama vs. press freedom:  Jon Leibowitz, the chairman of Obama's Federal Trade Commission, is at the epicenter of a quiet movement to subsidize news organizations, a first step toward government control of the media. ... While Leibowitz distanced himself from the proposals for the taxes, calling them "a terrible idea," his comments appear to be related only to the levies proposed in the working paper.  Nobody is commenting on the other part of his proposal — a subsidy for news organizations.

'First, Do No Harm':  A Plea to the FTC.  The proposal is directed at sustaining historically useful but decreasingly viable means of one-way communication of news and other stuff to the public.  Newspapers are dying.  A comparison to the industry earlier devoted to horse drawn carriages is apt.  To have attempted to keep the "carriage trade" alive by requiring automobile manufacturers and the public in general to subsidize it, directly or indirectly, would have been foolish; now, a "Drudge Tax" is envisioned, sort of like an automobile tax to support buggy whip manufacturers, I guess.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

An obvious assault on the First Amendment:
Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists.  A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they're credible and vet them for "good moral character."  Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers.

Why not License Politicians Seeking Public Office?  State Senator Bruce Patterson of Michigan recently rocked the journalism trade with a proposal that would establish a state licensing board for journalists. ... Although Patterson's legislative proposal is not likely to become law any where soon, his reasoning and logic could give rise to another terrific idea:  Why not license politicians seeking public office?

Will journalists wake up in time to save journalism from Obama's FTC?  Journalists must understand that there is no way the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press will survive if the federal government regulates the news industry as envisioned by the FTC.  Those who accept at face value protests to the contrary or the professions of pure intentions by advocates of government takeover of the news business are, at best, incredibly naive.

Five ways Obama may tax you to pay for the government's 'reinvention of journalism'.  Translated, "reinvention of journalism" is codespeak for "Repeal the First Amendment's prohibition on Congress doing anything to abridge the freedom of the independent press to find and report all of the facts about what politicians, bureaucrats and their allies in the private sector are doing, are planning on doing, did in the past, or are thinking about doing to the rest of us and with our tax dollars.

How not to save the news business.  [Scroll down slowly]  Most dangerous of all, the FTC considers a doctrine of "proprietary facts," as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just as the information is opening it up.  Copyright law protects the presentation of news but no one owns facts — and if anyone did, you could be forbidden from sharing them.  How does that serve free speech?

74% Oppose Taxing Internet News Sites To Help Newspapers.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering several ways to help the struggling newspaper industry, but Americans strongly reject several proposed taxes to keep privately-owned newspapers going.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 84% oppose a three percent (3%) tax on monthly cell phone bills to help newspapers and traditional journalism.

Freedom of the press is more important than saving struggling newspapers.  More devastating news today from Rasmussen Reports for the FTC's "Reinventing Journalism" project, as fully 85 percent of the respondents to a national telephone survey say protecting freedom of the press is more important than saving existing newspapers.  Perhaps even more worrisome for the FTC is the fact that only 19 percent of the respondents think it's appropriate for the government to be involved in efforts to prop up existing newspapers, according to Rasmussen.

FTC floats Drudge tax.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking ways to "reinvent" journalism, and that's a cause for concern.  According to a May 24 draft proposal, the agency thinks government should be at the center of a media overhaul.  The bureaucracy sees it as a problem that the Internet has introduced a wealth of information options to consumers, forcing media companies to adapt and experiment to meet changing market needs.  FTC's policy staff fears this new reality.

The Editor says...
The marketplace will force newspapers (or any other business) "to meet changing market needs."  Government intervention is unnecessary and illegal.  Read the First Amendment for yourself.

FTC dodges Drudge Tax questions.  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) leaders are attempting to distance themselves from controversial proposals published in a May 24 working paper on "reinventing" the media.  The report presents a suite of options through which government could step in and supposedly rescue journalism, most notably by imposing taxes.  A fee could be levied on websites such as the Drudge Report that link to the best news of the day, or a tax could be imposed on consumer electronics such as iPads, laptops and Kindles.

Future of the News.  It's a frightening thought:  government takeover of the media.  But having tightened their grip on health care, financial services, and energy, it's only logical that the Democrats should turn their attention to the media.  Discussions underway at the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission point toward a dangerous new effort to regulate what Americans read and hear.  The takeover under discussion would apply across the board to print media, radio and television, and the internet.  The result of proposed regulations would be nothing less than an end to free speech in America.

Will journalists wake up in time to save journalism from Obama's FTC?  Journalists must understand that there is no way the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press will survive if the federal government regulates the news industry as envisioned by the FTC.  Those who accept at face value protests to the contrary or the professions of pure intentions by advocates of government takeover of the news business are, at best, incredibly naive.

How not to save the news business.  [Scroll down slowly]  Most dangerous of all, the FTC considers a doctrine of "proprietary facts," as if anyone should gain the right to restrict the flow of information just as the information is opening it up.  Copyright law protects the presentation of news but no one owns facts — and if anyone did, you could be forbidden from sharing them.  How does that serve free speech?

FTC draft study proposes massive bailout of newspapers.  The Obama FTC is attempting to commit the liberal press to permanent, government-run life support, with the federal monolith and the state-funded press each supporting the other in perpetuity.  Let's see, raise taxes, reduce competition, expand government, drain the profit, control the news... Music to Obama's ears.

FTC to "reinvent" journalism.  The nation needs a strong, independent press, the FTC argues, and so they want to find ways for government to "reinvent" journalism.  If that sounds vaguely Orwellian to you, the actual language in the Federal Trade Commission's discussion-points memo should have hairs standing on the backs of necks across the nation.  It shows a wildly laughable rationale for government intervention that would prop up the failing newspaper model in a manner that would put the entire industry at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy it's supposed to keep in check.

Abridging Too Far.  Philadelphia is charging bloggers $300 for a "privilege" license.  In the city where the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the Constitution signed, a right has become a privilege.  The scheme went virtually unreported until the Philadelphia City Paper ran a story last week noting that the city requires privilege licenses for any business engaged in what local tax attorney Michael Mandale terms "activity for profit."

Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists.  A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they're credible and vet them for "good moral character."  Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers.

Why not License Politicians Seeking Public Office?.  State Senator Bruce Patterson of Michigan recently rocked the journalism trade with a proposal that would establish a state licensing board for journalists. ... Although Patterson's legislative proposal is not likely to become law any where soon, his reasoning and logic could give rise to another terrific idea:  Why not license politicians seeking public office?


Back to the Media bias page
Back to the Home page

Bookmark and Share

Custom counter developed in-house

Document location http://www.akdart.com/med12.html
Created December 19, 2010.

©2013 by Andrew K. Dart