On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission continued backing away from the notion that it needed to poke around newsrooms and ask if “critical information needs” were being met. Score a point for the conservative media, since the liberal media stayed quiet.
“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,” said an agency statement. MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on TheBlaze TV’s “Wilkow” show Thursday to denounce the idea, and suggest it wouldn’t be completed. (Video below)
Andrew Wilkow suggested the FCC could use this to investigate and suppress the conservative media. Tim replied “I suspect to some extent what they’d really like to do is make sure that the local news station in Milwaukee, the local news station in Oklahoma City, and the local news station in Portland knows that we define ‘critical information needs’ as something like ‘Have you registered for Obamacare yet? Here’s the website!’ You know? I mean, those are critical information needs, that people need to sign up for their government programs!”
He added: “If they’re not going to start with government-funded broadcasting – PBS, NPR – their remarkable lack of a ‘fairness doctrine’ of any kind – then you certainly shouldn’t say anything to the private broadcasters.”
Graham agreed with his fellow guest Eliana Johnson of National Review when she suggested to Wilkow this idea wasn't going to get off the ground. Under Obama, any content analysis the FCC was supposed to do to enforce broadcast decency standards has been largely abandoned.