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Was FCC Monitoring Top Dem Daughter’s Idea?

From the Washington Examiner:

New Obama initiative tramples First Amendment protections

By Byron York | February 20, 2014

… [U]nder the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation’s newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public’s "critical information needs." Those "needs" will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government’s standards could face an uncertain future. It’s hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment.

The initiative, known around the agency as "the CIN Study" (pronounced "sin"), is a bit of a mystery even to insiders. "This has never been put to an FCC vote, it was just announced," says Ajit Pai, one of the FCC’s five commissioners (and one of its two Republicans). "I’ve never had any input into the process," adds Pai, who brought the story to the public’s attention in a Wall Street Journal column last week.

Advocates promote the project with Obama-esque rhetoric. "This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens," said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012. Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, was appointed to the FCC by President Obama and served as acting chair for part of last year.

In fact, the timing of all this is even more interesting. Obama nominated Ms. Mignon to be an FCC Commissioner on June 25, 2009. Obama appointed Ms. Clyburn to be the FCC’s Acting Chairwoman on May 20, 2013. And, according to Ajit Pai WSJ op-ed, it was last May when this FCC first proposed this initiative. — What a coincidence, huh?

The FCC, Clyburn said, "must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation — be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other." (The FCC decided to test the program with a trial run in Ms. Clyburn’s home state, South Carolina.)

The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy [sic] to do a study defining what information is "critical" for citizens to have. The scholars decided that "critical information" is information that people need to "live safe and healthy lives" and to "have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities," among other things.

The study identified eight "critical needs": information about emergencies and risks; health and welfare; education; transportation; economic opportunities; the environment; civic information; and political information.

It’s not difficult to see those topics quickly becoming vehicles for political intimidation. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine that they wouldn’t. For example, might the FCC standards that journalists must meet on the environment look something like the Obama administration’s environmental agenda? Might standards on economic opportunity resemble the president’s inequality agenda? The same could hold true for the categories of health and welfare and "civic information" — and pretty much everything else.

"An enterprising regulator could run wild with a lot of these topics," says Pai. "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."

Goodbye Fox News.

The FCC awarded a contract for the study to a Maryland-based company called Social Solutions International. In April 2013, Social Solutions presented a proposal outlining a process by which contractors hired by the FCC would interview news editors, reporters, executives and other journalists.

"The purpose of these interviews is to ascertain the process by which stories are selected," the Social Solutions report said, adding that news organizations would be evaluated for "station priorities (for content, production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CINs, and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations." …

"Perceived station bias"? As perceived by Ms. Clyburn? Or her father, who sees racism everywhere he looks?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 21st, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Was FCC Monitoring Top Dem Daughter’s Idea?”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    No. They all talk among themselves the way an ant hill does

  2. merkelerk says:

    The United States has become the most un-american country on earth.

    US Constitution, 225

    The US Constitution passed away at his home in Philadelphia on Friday, February 20, 2014 at the age of 225 after a long battle with liberalism.
    US Constitution is predeceased by his parents, Declaration of Independence and Federalist Papers, and his brother, William “Bill” of Rights. The world is a sadder place, may you rest in peace.

  3. yadayada says:

    o’man don’ need no zecutive orders fo’ dis.

    why bother with executive orders when you have regulatory commissions who do your bidding outside of law making bodies? irs, epa, dhhs, eeoc, fcc, café standards, continuous compliance suits regarding disabilities act?

    we don’t need no stinking laws!
    regulations drive our country, not laws.

  4. canary says:

    The company FCC hired to oversee US media is SSI, a Hispanic and woman owned 8(a) and Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB).

    Company Overview

    Social Solutions International, Inc. (Social Solutions) is a Hispanic and woman owned 8(a) and Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB). Social Solutions emphasis is on quality research and evaluation, development of evidence-based education materials, and cultural adaptation and translation.

    Social Solutions International, Inc. is a research and evaluation firm dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide.

    Founded on the values of diversity, social responsibility, and quality, Social Solutions International’s corporate culture is grounded in the concept of positive change.
    Social Solutions in Brief


    Social Solutions focuses on four priority areas:

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health,
    International Public Health,
    Sexual and Reproductive Health, and
    Gender and Special Populations Health.

    Each area is able to develop and evaluate research based educational materials on specific topics.

    Social Solutions also recognizes that certain populations often bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, and social and economic hardship. In an effort to eliminate existing disparities, Social Solutions’ staff dedicate themselves to improving the health and social welfare of these populations by prioritizing their needs.

    With all it’s contracts with federal agencies such as the FFC, Secretary of State Dept, United StatesAirForce, US HHS, etc. how can it be a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)

    The SBA, for most industries, defines a “small business” either in terms of the average number of employees over the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years. In addition, SBA defines a U.S. small business as a concern that:

    At least 51% of those that run the business must be women and US citizens

    The firm must be 51% or more owned and control by one or more disadvantaged persons.
    The disadvantaged person or persons must be socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
    The firm must be small, according to SBA’s size standards

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