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The Obama Administration Plans To Embed “Government Researchers” To Monitor Media Organizations


This article comes from

by Michael Krieger

Last week, I highlighted the fact that the latest Press Freedom Index showcased a 13 point plunge in America’s press freedom to an embarrassing #46 position in the global ranking. If the authoritarians in the Obama Administration have their way, this country is set to fall much further in next year’s index.

Incredibly, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to roll out something called the Critical Information Needs study, which will embed government “researchers” into media organizations around the nation to make sure they are doing their job properly.

No this isn’t “conspiracy theory.” It is so real, and represents such a threat to the First Amendment, that a current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, warning Americans of this scheme. He writes:

News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.

But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

I have no idea what country I am living in at this point.

How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

Should all stations follow MSNBC’s example and cut away from a discussion with a former congresswoman about the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records to offer live coverage of Justin Bieber‘s bond hearing? As a consumer of news, I have an opinion. But my opinion shouldn’t matter more than anyone else’s merely because I happen to work at the FCC.

I am simply speechless.

Read the full Op-Ed here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger





  1. Simply amazing. I’ve heard about this practice places like in China, Russia, and North Korea. I truly respect the commissioner for speaking out and bringing this to our attention. Wonder how long he will be employed.

  2. Well, we used to assume government pretty much picked what we saw anyway… Now, we will know it for sure!

    Nullification… Just don’t watch TV! You will get withdraw from it for sure, but then you will become FREE!

  3. With this latest infringement on the Constitution I am forced to ask the Question, When do we stand up and keep our oath?
    Semper Fi!

  4. Every day now it is something different.Really no different than the worse totalitarian state except we still have our firearms, for how long though?

  5. Most of us “Awakes” DO question the “Process by which stories are collected” Do not feel that the mainstream supplies our “Critical information needs”,see most reportage as dripping with “Percieved station bias” and consider ourselves an “Underserved population” The bizarre aspect of all this is how the FCC is going after the fawning Whitehouse Cheerleaders.I am waiting to see some TV station film their interview with FCC censors and broadcast it in the news.
    Certainly the imbalance in firearms related reporting is a prime example of “Percieved Bias”.Since January first of this year guns have been used for self protection 330,000 times in the US – JPFO statistic – but what do we hear on the news?

  6. Just say “NO!” Don’t let them in the front door.
    By the way, the job of the big networks has never been to inform you. Their job is to make money, pure and simple. Alternative press outlets do a better job of delivering news than the networks. If you have been believing the news from the big three for the last 40 years, I’ve got a very nice bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

  7. The FCC was supposed to stop monopolies of information gathering networks, etc. For example:

    The Supreme Court stated in Red Lion v. FCC in 1969: “It is the purpose of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited marketplace of ideas in which truth will ultimately prevail, rather than to countenance monopolization of that market, whether it be by the Government itself or a private licensee. It is the right of the public to receive suitable access to social, political, esthetic, moral, and other ideas and experiences which is crucial here. That right may not constitutionally be abridged either by Congress or by the FCC.”


    Until we remove the traitors from the FCC, about the top 4 levels, and put the fear of God, and Constitutional education into those who are still there so that this never happens again we will have more inroads into stopping our liberties.

    @ Mark Beckman, “With this latest infringement on the Constitution I am forced to ask the Question, When do we stand up and keep our oath?”

    Things are happening, state by state, removing traitors and criminals and putting in good people. Grass root people working to restore liberty one county at a time such as this: Community Rights educator Paul Cienfuegos explains how “We The People” are exercising the authority to govern ourselves and dismantle corporate rule.

    OK and CSPOA is working to educate the military and law enforcement, and getting those of us who will to assist in those endeavors. Also they are organizing thins such as ““Civilization Preservation” Teams” to help keep our world alive.

    Lawfully we can start removing judges who do not use “Good Behaviour” in the courtrooms, press charges against the criminals in office, and DEFEND ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, our cities, our states. Work to revitalize the Militia of the several states because it is the ONLY Constitutionally assigned force to “counter Invasions” and “Domestic Violence” within our nation . The Militia has as its constitutionally assigned duties to:

    Enforce the US Constitution and each state’s Constitution,
    Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which is constitutional laws ONLY),
    Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
    “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

    The US Constitution guarantees to each state that it keeps its own “Republican form of government”. It is every state’s Militia that is the ONLY Constitutionally assigned force to “counter Invasions” and “Domestic Violence” within our nation.

    BTW, if you are ex military or ex police, ex etc, YOU are the organized Militia of the several states that is taxed with training the rest of us. Talk to OK, and see where your skills are needed.

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