Endgame: FCC abandons editorial-bias study

posted at 5:21 pm on February 21, 2014 by Allahpundit

Been a while since we had an old-fashioned Friday afternoon news dump. This one was a cinch, though: The FCC’s been backing away from the newsroom study for more than a week, starting soon after Ajit Pai published his op-ed about it on February 10th and then accelerating after Fox News took up the cause this week. The FCC tried to compromise with Republican critics by pulling questions about editorial judgment from the study, but that was silly. After the IRS scandal, conservatives simply aren’t going to trust a federal agency to be non-ideological about a project like this. Spiking it was the only acceptable compromise.

Technically they’re suspending the pilot study in South Carolina until it can be re-designed, but the agency’s new statement stresses that “Any subsequent market studies conducted by the FCC, if determined necessary, will not seek participation from or include questions for media owners, news directors or reporters.” So much for Fairness Doctrine 2.0.

The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday that it was putting on hold a controversial study of American newsrooms, after complaints from Republican lawmakers and media groups that the project was too intrusive…

Commissioner Ajit Pai, who was one of the staunchest critics of the proposal, heralded the decision Friday as an acknowledgement that government-backed researchers would not be dispatched into newsrooms, as feared.

“This study would have thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country, somewhere it just doesn’t belong,” he said in a statement. “The Commission has now recognized that no study by the federal government, now or in the future, should involve asking questions to media owners, news directors, or reporters about their practices. This is an important victory for the First Amendment.”

Tim Cavanaugh at NRO wonders if the study was ever a priority for the FCC, and whether it might not be a distraction from a different type of agency interference with the market. No one in Columbia, South Carolina, the target of the pilot study, was ever contacted about it; in fact, the study was developed under the former head of the FCC, not current head Tom Wheeler. Could be it was more trouble to Wheeler than it’s worth. Especially if Cavanaugh’s right that the FCC’s more interested in developing race-based media ownership rules than a new Fairness Doctrine for viewpoints expressed on the air. Why antagonize the opposition party needlessly over a low priority when doing so is bound to get their backs up over a higher one? Especially when the midterms are coming up and they have every reason to use this as a rallying cry.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind the FCC grilling NBC on its editorial judgment in airing this. Good lord.


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This study was approved by former student of Professor Obama.

meci on February 21, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Don’t break out the party hats just yet. The left never gives up on anything. They’ll wait until no one is paying attention, repackage this, and have another go at it.

Kataklysmic on February 21, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Oh, darn! I guess FEMA’s concentration camps are on hold, too?

John the Libertarian on February 21, 2014 at 5:26 PM

And we would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those racist republicans

Brock Robamney on February 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Blaming Rush Limbaugh et,al….3…2…1

workingclass artist on February 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM

The Fascist Obama Reich is just taking a step back for now.

VorDaj on February 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Trial balloon fail…what’s next?

d1carter on February 21, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Ugh, Michelle grosses me out.

jawkneemusic on February 21, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Spike it?

You’re kidding, right?

Do you think this administration is chastened by conservative outrage?

I expect they’ll let this little controversy blow over, and then they’ll double-down and a much worse version of it will re-emerge.

Purple Fury on February 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Aaaand There goes the Tonight Show…

workingclass artist on February 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Trial balloon fail…what’s next?

d1carter on February 21, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Worse

workingclass artist on February 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Endgame: FCC abandons editorial-bias study

Bull. They will go underground. The goal here was to put a Soviet-style censor in each and every newsroom. This is a chilling story not one that should be dismissed lightly.

Happy Nomad on February 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

SURE they are abandoning it.

As I said, there is NO POSSIBILITY of them giving up on this. It’s as necessary for the Regime to gain TOTAL CONTROL of the country as Obamacare was (which is why Obamacare will NEVER be repealed until we have a Congress and President that is not RINO.

In order for a socialist dictator to not get run out of office on a rail due to the DESTRUCTIVENESS of their policies they have to control the news. There can be no leaks, no loose ends. Talk Radio and Fox News may not have the ratings and influence the New York Times and the broadcast outlets do (YET) but they still are sources of news that is “inconvenient” to the Regime.

Do I think that would work out the way they think it would? No, of course it won’t but Obama (and more importantly, Soros) thinks it will.

Also keep in mind that part of this is a PERSONAL VENDETTA by the Thin Skinned Won as well. He tried to kick Fox News out of the White House Press “Corpse” practically the day he was crowned. Equally as well known is his personal hatred of Rush Limbaugh. He wants BOTH off the air.

Like I said, they won’t let this go. They can’t. I suspect they will go another route, and do this via the Census. Every business in America is used to getting these intrusive surveys all the time, that nose into EVERY DETAIL of your company, all marked with the threatening notice RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW (which is a lie, the Census only has the authority by law to REQUIRE a headcount for enumeration).

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:34 PM

I don’t think this was ever about ‘Fairness Doctrine 2.0′… it was always about recreating the FCC as the Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’.

Athos on February 21, 2014 at 5:34 PM

I don’t think this was ever about ‘Fairness Doctrine 2.0′… it was always about recreating the FCC as the Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’.

Athos on February 21, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Which would be “Fairness” Doctrine 100.0

IE: they don’t need a fairness doctrine when there is a Regime Thug standing there (just off camera) with a GUN pointed at you.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:35 PM

And we would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those racist republicans

Brock Robamney on February 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM

The Scooby-Do Regime…

Old Man Obama: “I’d have (uhh, umm, uhhh) gotten away with it if it weren’t for you MEDDLING TEABAGGERS!”

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Bull. They will go underground. The goal here was to put a Soviet-style censor in each and every newsroom. This is a chilling story not one that should be dismissed lightly.

Happy Nomad on February 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

The silence of the entire media on this except Talk Radio and Fox was DEAFENING too. What that tells you is scary:

If Obama started GASSING people he didn’t like THOSE OUTLETS WOULD BE THE ONLY ONES THAT WOULD REPORT IT!!!

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Don’t break out the party hats just yet. The left never gives up on anything. They’ll wait until no one is paying attention, repackage this, and have another go at it.

Kataklysmic on February 21, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Yup, and it will be touted as a “reasonable” alternative. They just want to get that camel’s nose in the tent.

rbj on February 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Don’t break out the party hats just yet. The left never gives up on anything. They’ll wait until no one is paying attention, repackage this, and have another go at it.

Kataklysmic on February 21, 2014 at 5:25 PM

You beat me to it, ‘Kliz.

Unlike the Right in general and the hapless, clueless GOP Elite, the left knows that controlling the language and the culture are 90% of the ballgame.

These people grasp onto an idea like a rabid wolverine sinking it’s teeth into fetid roadkill.

True believers – relentless and well funded.

Or, if you are from down Texas way, think of this as Santa Ana’s first charge at the Alamo’s gate.

More charges coming and Boner & Co don’t strike me as being cut from the same cloth as Travis and Crockett…

Bruno Strozek on February 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Message sent.

Murphy9 on February 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Endgame: FCC abandons editorial-bias study

Translation: We got ahead of ourselves thinking we had ‘fundamentally transformed’ the nation into a larger version of Venezuela… so we’ll slink off into the night.

See you later…

DinaRehn on February 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I don’t think this was ever about ‘Fairness Doctrine 2.0′… it was always about recreating the FCC as the Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’.

Athos on February 21, 2014 at 5:34 PM

And don’t think these high-level FCC officals running for cover like cockroaches exposed to light were in the dark about the greater plan.

Happy Nomad on February 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Yup, and it will be touted as a “reasonable” alternative. They just want to get that camel’s nose in the tent.

rbj on February 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Hmm, just thought of another way they might do this (besides my earlier theory they’d use the Census)

What does Obama love, and what has he tried about a half dozen times?

A SNITCH WEBSITE!

Like “Attack Watch!” except for reporting “untrue” news reports about The Regime?

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

How about investigating the LYNCH MOB MEDIA in general?

At the moment the mob over at CNN is after Ted Nugent trying to get him to kiss the ring, and recant his free speech. Yesterday morning the Lynchers over at the CNN cabal were going after Ted Cruz for not “disassociating” himself from Nugent. The haughty Chris Cuomo and the infogal were all righteously indignant that Cruz needed to show “leadership”.

They are despicable.

PappyD61 on February 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Tim Cavanaugh at NRO wonders if the study was ever a priority for the FCC, and whether it might not be a distraction from a different type of agency interference with the market.

Squirrel?

Alien on February 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM

nd don’t think these high-level FCC officals running for cover like cockroaches exposed to light were in the dark about the greater plan.

Happy Nomad on February 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I wouldn’t want to be the FCC Commissioner who spilled the beans on this either. Ajit Pai better hire a food taster, check under his car for bombs, and lawyer up for the FULL IRS Colonoscopy headed his way.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:45 PM

so fallon is bringing snl in 5 days week now?

cmsinaz on February 21, 2014 at 5:47 PM

They are despicable.

PappyD61 on February 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM

As I said, and it is so important it SHOULD BE REPEATED, is that if there is one thing we learned, is that only talk radio and Fox News can be TRUSTED to report misdeeds by the Regime. The rest of the LSM was DEAFENINGLY SILENT. They have NO PROBLEM with having Regime Thugs in the newsroom.

In other words, if Obama started rounding people up and GASSING them, the same media that was utterly silent on this would also not report THAT…

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:48 PM

The silence of the entire media on this except Talk Radio and Fox was DEAFENING too. What that tells you is scary:

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Rush explained that (to a point) today. The attempt to install government censorship of the news was done under cover of two journalism schools (UCLA and UW- Madison). The whole point was to silence talk radio and Fox.

I repeat. We should not dismiss this story. This is the kind of stuff going on behind the scenes as Obama seeks to destroy this nation. And that isn’t a hyperbolic assessment what the the filthy rat-eared coward is doing as he and his officials shuch and jive when they get caught.

Happy Nomad on February 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Bullshit.
This is like a thief getting caught and saying “I’ll just put that stuff back and be on my way.”

Who initiated this project? This has Cass Sunstiens stink all over it. Don’t let it just go away. How did it get as far as it did? Who was involved and what was their motivation?

Mimzey on February 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Like “Attack Watch!” except for reporting “untrue” news reports about The Regime?

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Did somebody say Attackwatch?

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Channeling Hugo Chavez is harder here than in Venezuela.

That lil’ ol’ First Amendment thingy keeps getting in the way.

Steve Z on February 21, 2014 at 5:52 PM

I repeat. We should not dismiss this story. This is the kind of stuff going on behind the scenes as Obama seeks to destroy this nation. And that isn’t a hyperbolic assessment what the the filthy rat-eared coward is doing as he and his officials shuch and jive when they get caught.

Happy Nomad on February 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Everyone also needs to STOP ASSUMING that he is just going to leave, shall we say, “unassisted” on 1/20/17?

How many people in history have amassed THIS KIND OF PERSONAL POWER and just voluntarily set it aside?

(answer: 1. George Washington. I’ve read enough history to know George Washington, and you, Barack Obama, are no George Washington).

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Did somebody say Attackwatch?

Lanceman on February 21, 2014 at 5:50 PM


VIGILANCIA DE ATAQUE!

FYI, atttackwatch.com is still up…

http://l.barackobama.com/truth-team/attack-watch/ is where it redirects…

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Did anybody else notice that this study was apparently pushed by a former commissioner who just happens to be the daughter of Congressman Jim Clyburn, the one democrat congressman from, you guessed it, South Carolina? His district is carefully gerrymandered to keep him in office. He’s a notorious race-baiter who sees everything through the prism of assumed white racism.

35tww on February 21, 2014 at 5:59 PM

There’s always next time …

Vero Beach Florida on February 21, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Did anybody else notice that this study was apparently pushed by a former commissioner who just happens to be the daughter of Congressman Jim Clyburn, the one democrat congressman from, you guessed it, South Carolina? His district is carefully gerrymandered to keep him in office. He’s a notorious race-baiter who sees everything through the prism of assumed white racism.

35tww on February 21, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Yes. And so we know exactly what the “monitors” were going to be “monitoring for”:

Any RAAAAACIST!!!!! criticism of Pharaoh Obama. Which, of course, would be ANY criticism of Teh Won.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 6:04 PM

More charges coming and Boner & Co don’t strike me as being cut from the same cloth as Travis and Crockett…

Bruno Strozek on February 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

No, but we are.

Laura Castellano on February 21, 2014 at 6:06 PM

The GOP leadership was all over this thing…

d1carter on February 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM

The GOP leadership was all over this thing…

d1carter on February 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM

They were. They were HAPPY with it. The GOPe wants to silence Rush as much as they want the TEA Party eradicated.

The Republican Party isn’t really any better than the Democrats at this point.

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM

To be completely fair, both the left and the right have attempted to control the media in various ways. Abuse of power is non-partisan.

That is why it is important to put principles before party or ideology. The dangers of a free press are nothing compared to a press that is enslaved by the government.

Personally, I think the country would be much better off if the media treated ALL politicians and government officials as dishonest scumbags who could not trusted.

myiq2xu on February 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM

o be completely fair, both the left and the right have attempted to control the media in various ways. Abuse of power is non-partisan.

myiq2xu on February 21, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Trent Lott tried to revive the “fairness doctrine” after being criticized by Rush for being a RINO if you will recall…

ConstantineXI on February 21, 2014 at 6:12 PM

His district is carefully gerrymandered to keep him in office.

There are a number of Democratic “safe” seats around the country that are occupied by black Democrats. This was done after the Civil Rights movement to guarantee black representation. Clyburn could get caught in bed with a dead hooker and two gay porn stars and still cruise to reelection.

myiq2xu on February 21, 2014 at 6:16 PM

James Clyburns daughter?

You better believe this isn’t over, any more than the push to grab guns after F&F is.

Shift tack, go underground.

They are coming folks. They aren’t going to stop until we ____ them.

wolly4321 on February 21, 2014 at 6:24 PM

DMM- Dept. of Media Matters.
Secretary- george soros.
Under Secretary podesta.

wolly4321 on February 21, 2014 at 6:28 PM

No American, including the slavish Main Stream Media, should be surprised that Obama wants to take away our Freedom of the Press…

It’s just his nature.

kingsjester on February 21, 2014 at 6:28 PM

That one FCC Commissioner pretty much blew the lid off this particular operation – but this won’t change the left’s desire to nationalize and control the media. They will change the name, dress it up differently, and try again. For a long time they’ve wanted some way to get rid of conservative talk radio.

TarheelBen on February 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM

“We decided against it,” they lied.

StubbleSpark on February 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Obama got away with sic’ing the IRS on his political opponents. Why wouldn’t they think they could do this?

bluesdoc70 on February 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Recall when GWB tried to ‘regulate’ PBS, NPR (the gov’t money part) and the circus which ensued.

It was wrong then and is wrong now.

However, the leftist media only spoke up then, the rats.

Schadenfreude on February 21, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Media’s take on Obama regulatory scandals:

IRS: Manufactured scandal
FCC: This is a big @%^&ing deal!

blammm on February 21, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Obama got away with sic’ing the IRS on his political opponents. Why wouldn’t they think they could do this?

bluesdoc70 on February 21, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Of course. As Rush has been pointing out, the liberal papers and networks will welcome this. They have been pining for the return of the Fairness Doctrine for years, this is what the FCC wants.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2014 at 8:11 PM

The FCC never even voted on this project.

But no, we can’t trust the Obama Regime around any of the Amendments.

Yet even on something like this, so many on our side cannot resist taking unfounded pot-shots at our elected leadership. Their insistence on a circular firing squad is the Democrats’ best hope of keeping the Senate in 2014 and electing Hillary in 2016.

Adjoran on February 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Or, if you are from down Texas way, think of this as Santa Ana’s first charge at the Alamo’s gate.

More charges coming and Boner & Co don’t strike me as being cut from the same cloth as Travis and Crockett…

Bruno Strozek on February 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Bowie, Travis and Crockett LOST the battle; Sam Houston won the war on the strength of the Texian outrage at Santa Ana’s massacre of the Alamo defenders.

I would prefer to beat the Left back before they get in the gate.

AesopFan on February 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM

…so!…it will be implemented by some other department…without any knowledge!

KOOLAID2 on February 21, 2014 at 9:04 PM

I would prefer to beat the Left back before they get in the gate.

AesopFan on February 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Good luck with that…

Mahdi on February 21, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Sure they have just like the NSA-Stasi have stopped violating the 4th Amendment.

Maybe in Brian Williams’ or Mt. Crowley’s tiny presstitute minds.

Otherwise… No.

viking01 on February 21, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Yes, the stink of the Democratics’ favorite Nazi stooge George Soros here too: Universities in FCC Newsroom Probe Have Close Ties to Soros, Got $1.8M in Funding

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2014 at 11:09 PM

If this were run as an ‘unbiased study’ with no political tampering, and the use of clearly-defined, publicly disclosed, objective measures, then it would have produced a result not conducive to the political aims of the President, so that would be reason enough to cancel it.

After the IRS scandal, conservatives simply aren’t going to trust a federal agency to be non-ideological about a project like this. Spiking it was the only acceptable compromise.

Considering the source and how the FCC is being run these days, there is little cause for doubt that the results were per-determined before the study began.

The result would have been: ‘Fox-News is dangerously radical and probably wants to create a 4th Reich in the USA’, and everybody else is ‘middle of the road’, except MSNBC being ‘slightly left-leaning’.

Nobody should think this is the last we will see of this. It will no doubt be tried again in another guise, probably under a claim of intent to protect the 1st Amendment.

s1im on February 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

They already control the message, but obviously the little that percolates up from the alternative media makes them uncomfortable and they want to put a cork on that, too.

However, after having been on this site for many years, I don’t see what they’re worried about. Even Conservatives buy a lot of the BS that the LSM and the government puts out anyway.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 22, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Oh, I see they figured out a way to make Michelle (mybelle) more feminine…Put her in a scene with two men in drag. Still not enough alcohol in this world, uh uh.

Battlecruiser-operational on February 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM