RUSH: You still don’t believe me about this newsrooms monitor business? Let me give you two words: Fairness Doctrine. Have you ever heard of the Fairness Doctrine? Before I leave here today, I am going to convince you that this would end up being totally supported by America’s journalists. If it is aimed at getting rid of talk radio, you think they’ll support it? Remember, the monitors are gonna be in TV and radio newsrooms, radio stations.
You know that the Regime, you know the Democrats have wanted to reenact the Fairness Doctrine ever since Reagan got rid of it in 1987, and you know that they have purposely misconstrued what it even is. They have purposely tried to convince people the Fairness Doctrine is “equal time,” and it isn’t. But you know they would love to revive it. They’ve tried to. It’s been shot down two or three times. The FCC finally gave it up. Now we’re back to monitors in the newsroom.
To do what?
Well, if you look at what’s said, it looks strangely identical to what local stations used to have to go through to get their licenses to broadcast renewed every three to five years. They had to go out and ascertain “the community.” I had to do this. You probably don’t know this. (I’m speaking of Mr. Snerdley.) You may not know how this used to happen but as recently as 1980, the station management had to conduct meetings once every three years with the local librarian or whoever else, and get their thoughts on what the radio station should be doing to serve the community.
Now, it wasn’t important what was said or whether or not the station acted on any of it. What was important was that the station had to do the interviews with the local community leaders, and there did have to be a certain percentage of the broadcast week devoted to those issues identified by the community as important. That’s why you never listened to the radio on Sunday morning and late Saturday night, ’cause that’s when all that programming was dumped on people, ’cause it’s nothing anybody wants to hear.
TV stations had to do it, too.
Now, that has been vastly relaxed.
Broadcast license renewals are almost rubber-stamp affairs now. The things that are problems now are like these wardrobe malfunctions. They actually tried to go after CBS when that wardrobe malfunction happened in the Super Bowl. They went after that on a local level, the affiliate level — and networks are not licensed. Local stations are. The EIB Network does not have a broadcast license, but each of our stations does. NBC News does not have a license, but their stations do.
The ones they own and the ones that carry NBC News, to one degree or another, their affiliates — every local station — has to be licensed. Okay, so be we’re gonna have monitors. All of a sudden the FCC, the regulatory agency that is empowered to regulate over-the-air public broadcasters, want to put some monitors in the newsrooms. Why? Well, they say to find out what they can do to encourage minority ownership. That, of course, is great. Who can oppose that?
So you gotta let the monitor in. Who can oppose that? “Wait a minute! You stand up and you oppose the monitor coming into your newsroom because you oppose greater minority participation and ownership? You racist pig!” So nobody will opposed the monitor coming in. You say, “What’s the monitor really to do?” Well, we have learned here in the Forbes magazine piece… I’ve got the questions, by the way, right here.
There’s an outline of the FCC’s questionnaire that the monitors would ask of local station management. Here are some questions for station owners and managers or human resources executives: “What is the news philosophy of your station? Who is your target audience? How do you define critical information that the community needs? How do you ensure that community gets this critical information?”
Now, you put a monitor inside a local TV or radio station or a network newsroom asking these questions, and this is almost identical to what used to be called public ascertainment in local stations: Interview the local community librarian, sewage director, you name it. You just have to go through the motions of ascertaining what leaders in the community thought was important ’cause they’re public airwaves. “How does community input influence news-coverage decisions?
“What are the demographics of the news management staff? What are the demographics of the on-air staff? What are the demographics of the news-production staff?” These are the questions that the Regime’s monitor is going to be coming and asking of station owners and managers. Here are the questions for corporate general managers, news directors, and editors: “What is the news philosophy of your station? Who else in your market provides news? Who are your main competitors?
“How much does your station air every day? Is the news produced in house, or is it provided by an outside source, as in a syndicated radio show? Do you employ news people? How many reporters and editors do you employee? Do you have any reporters or editors assigned to topic beats? If so, how many, and what are the beats?” This is none of the government’s business. There’s a First Amendment clause devoted to freedom of the press. They’ve got no business asking this.
But this is exactly what local stations used to have to answer every three to five years. Now they want to put monitors in there. I am telling you that you’re not going to hear any objection from the journalists. (interruption) No, they won’t. No. (interruption) No. No. (interruption) You’re missing the point entirely. (interruption) F. Chuck Todd will not stand up in opposition to this. David Gregory will not stand up in opposition to this.
Brian Williams will not stand up. Take your pick, they will not stand up to it. This is the Obama administration. If the Republicans would do this, then they would stand up, oppose it, destroy the administration, call up the Constitution. That’s my point: Since it’s Obama doing it, these people are groupies. These people are only interested in Obama succeeding. These people want access to Obama. They want to play golf with Obama.
They want to be on the inside. They want to be in the inner circle. They want to be in the clique. If you’re gonna have a monitor from the Regime in your newsroom who is gonna be reporting back to the Regime, and you are a current journalist in the current administration, you’re gonna do your best to even suck up to the monitor so the news gets back to the Regime about what a great team player you are.
I just pointed out yesterday that I was watching CNN, minding my own business, and I see CNN up there, and I saw what used to be a reporter. Her name was Jill Dougherty, and she’s at the Kennedy School of Government. She was a domestic news reporter for CNN years ago, Moscow bureau chief. She was a reporter of CNN. Now she’s at the Kennedy School. They’re not journalists. They’re all Democrats. They’re all leftists.
They’re assigned to go work for congressman; then they’re assigned to work for a think tank. They’re assigned to work over in a network, work for a journalist, whatever.
There is no news. There is no news gathering. The news every day is simply the advancement of the Democrat agenda. I’m talking about national network — open the New York Times. You tell me that’s the news of the day? Or that’s what’s important to the left every day? And then whatever’s on CBS or NBC’s evening news, is that the news of the day? Is that what really happened today that we don’t know about, or is that what matters today in advancing the Democrats’ agenda? And that’s what the news is. They’re not gonna stand up and oppose this.
The more I look at these questions — here are the questions for on-air staff, reporters, anchors. “How much news does your station air every day? Who decides which stories are covered? How much influence do you have in deciding which stories to cover? Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers — your viewers, listeners, readers — that was rejected by management? If so, can you give an example of a story you thought was important that was rejected? What was the reason given for the rejection of your story? And why do you disagree?” Half of the questions deal with reporters ticked off at management for not being allowed to cover the stories they thought were good.
Now, the Adweek story, as I mentioned, “FCC Backs Off Study of Newsroom Editorial Practices,” this story by Katy Bachman, and she’s credible. I know her. She’s reported accurately on this program before. It’s from February 12th. She said, “The Federal Communications Commission is quietly changing course on a controversial study after parts of the methodology were roundly criticized by GOP lawmakers,” and an FCC commissioner. Snerdley, the only journalist that’s spoken up about this is Howie Kurtz. It’s been out there since February 10th or 12th and not one of them has even spoken up and opposed it.
If this is seen as a way of implementing the Fairness Doctrine on radio, do you think that the journalists will stand up and oppose it? Or will they be cheering it on? You know darn well they’ll be cheering it on. And that’s what I smell here. This is Fairness Doctrine. This is a roundabout way — they’re not gonna call it that. This is minority ownership enhancement opportunities, but it is the federal government policing, monitoring, and intimidating the media.
RUSH: Fox News Channel has a piece on this efforts by the Regime to send monitors into newsrooms. Now, remember, folks, it always serves us well to remember certain truths about leftists, liberals, socialists, Democrats, communists, and that is: They never, ever give up on a idea. They might delay it if there is a lot of attention focused or popular attention. They might try to convince people they’ve given it up.
They might make it appear as though they’ve lost interest. But they never do, really. So why we are in this monitor business is, we’ve got an actual FCC commissioner who writes a piece in the Wall Street Journal saying that the Regime wants to put monitors in radio and television newsrooms and even newspapers, and the purpose is to determine how the news is made, what’s covered, what isn’t covered.
Now, the announced purpose was to do a study on why there are so few minorities that own broadcast outlets, and that’s the foot in the door. But that’s not what it’s all about. It is about controlling the news. It is about finding out how to do that in a way that isn’t opposed. So where we are now, we got the Wall Street Journal op-ed by an FCC commissioner, and we have one story from Adweek claiming that they’ve stopped it and that they’ve set it aside, that they have given up on the idea for now.
I don’t believe that.
I don’t believe they just said, “You know what? That’s not right. We’re not gonna do that. That was a silly idea, and we’re gonna punt. We’re not gonna do that.” I don’t think that’s the case. Katy Bachman at Adweek: “The Federal Communications Commission is quietly changing course on a controversial study,” blah, blah, blah. “The Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs, which aimed to help the commission figure out how to lower entry barriers for minorities in broadcasting, may now be on hold.
“At the very least, the controversial sections of the study will be revisited under new [FCC] chairman Tom Wheeler and incorporated into a new draft.” So they are going to redo it because it’s been uncovered. But let me tell you how silly this is. The purpose of the Study of Critical Information Needs was to help the FCC “figure out how to lower entry barriers for minorities in broadcasting…” Can we be honest about something?
What the hell does any of this have to do with that? What is the biggest barrier for minorities entering ownership of broadcast stations? Money, right? So how does any of this relate to that? The biggest barrier to anybody owning anything is money! If you don’t have the money, you’re never gonna be able to buy it. Then if you do have the money, what if somebody won’t sell it to you?
And if you really want it and they won’t sell it to you, then who do you go to to make them sell it to you? But what is all the rest of this gobbledygook got to do about how you cover the news, what is news, what’s covered? What does that got to do with minority ownership? It’s got nothing to do with it? This is laughable. “The Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs, which aimed to help the commission figure out how to lower entry barriers for minorities in broadcasting…”?
What the…? Entry barriers?
What the hell is an “entry barrier”? So there’s institutional racism in the media now? Is there institutional racism in the story selection and somehow that’s affecting minorities, or is it institutional racism that’s preventing people from selling to minorities? Or is it overcharging minorities, or is it minorities just don’t have the money? Which is it? This is absurd. Whatever it is, none of these questions and none of the information being ascertained has anything to do with minority ownership, or minority anything.
Now at Fox News, Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, has written about it. He said, “If radio and television stations resist coughing up confidential employee data (including demographic information) to aid the FCC monitors, the study also (on pages 10 and 11) provides helpful ‘strategies’ for obtaining information — even when employers and their Human Resources departments refuse to cooperate.”
The headline of this piece: “Is Obama Trying to Kill a Free Press?” Is he, or has he been? Anyway, I’ve spent enough time on this. The only point that I want to make is that if you are expecting massive outrage from current journalists, you are not going to see it, and that’s what Snerdley still can’t believe. I’ll take it a step further. Who are the monitors gonna be? Have you ever thought about that? Who is the government gonna put in there to monitors all of this?
How about Media Matters?
They already are the monitors, folks.
What do you think they’re doing? Media Matters sits out there, and they “monitor” every bit of so-called opposition media to the Democrat Party. They report it, they shape it, they take it out of context, and that’s how the Drive-By Media learns what happens on this show and others. Media Matters is already the monitors. I would contend to you this is already happening. They just haven’t officially installed the monitors actually in the newsrooms.
But that would just be a minor formality, because this is actually already happening.