FCC Commissioner: Journalists Worried About Government Coercion
‘News police’ plan making reporters nervous
Paul Joseph Watson
February 21, 2014
Journalists and news industry leaders are worried about being subjected to government coercion according to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who blew the whistle on a White House plan to place spies in the newsroom.
Appearing on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Pai, whose Wall Street Journal piece first drew attention to an FCC proposal that would dispatch researchers working on behalf of the federal agency “to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run,” said that reporters he talked to were nervous.
“A lot of folks that I’ve heard from from the industry are telling me that they are worried about the inadvertent coercion that might happen if the FCC says ‘look we’re just asking questions’,” said Pai.
“If you’re holding a broadcast license that the FCC issues, you’re not going to feel like it’s entirely voluntary if you have to answer this battery of questions that are in the 70-some page study,” explained the Commissioner.
“There’s really no need for the FCC to inject itself into the editorial judgments of all these people,” added Pai, confirming that the program would be taxpayer funded because the FCC is hiring contractors to conduct the study.