Journalists Won't Put Up with Regime Monitors in Newsrooms? Don't Be So Sure...
February 20, 2014
RUSH: I want to start today with this story that the Regime is going to put monitors in American news organization newsrooms. I had a fascinating discussion with two or three people here asking what they thought of it, and without fail, without exception, everybody I asked about this said without the slightest hesitation or doubt that the media will rise up in righteous indignation and opposition and will not put up with this. The media, the New York Times, NBC News, CBS, Washington Post, you name it, they will not tolerate it. They will draw a red line like Obama drew in Syria and is drawing again in Ukraine. They will not allow Regime monitors in there.
Now, here's the story, and there is a report out there now that the FCC has backed off on this. I haven't got much detail on that. It's actually an FCC directory. I've got some audio sound bites. I'm not gonna play them because it would take me away from the point I want to make. But there are people that are asking other experts when they've done segments on this, "Does Obama know about this? Who's doing this?" These are conservative media people, "Does Obama know about it?" Do you think the FCC is doing this on their own? All of this extreme outrageous stuff, like when known communists end up being hired in the Regime. "Does Obama know? How'd they sneak that guy by?"
What do you mean, does Obama know? These people are doing things that they know he wants done. He puts like-minded fellow travelers in there. The idea that all of these extremists are having to sneak things by Obama to get 'em done? This is my point. We're five years into the Regime and there are still learned people on our side who cannot believe that Obama personally would either do something like this or tolerate something like this. Another thing, will journalism schools across the fruited plain stand up in righteous opposition to this?
Here are the details if this is the first you are hearing of this. "The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is poised to place government monitors in newsrooms across the country in an absurdly --" I'm reading from RedState.com, Matthew Clark. It's the best summary of the details. The Regime "is poised to place government monitors in newsrooms across the country in an absurdly draconian attempt to intimidate and control the media. Before you dismiss this assertion as utterly preposterous ... this bombshell of an accusation comes from an actual FCC Commissioner."
So the first thought that somebody has, "Oh, come on, they wouldn't do this. Who are you kidding? What conspiracy kook has put this forward?" And Mr. Clark, "No, no, no, no. This comes from an FCC commissioner himself." The commissioner is Ajit Pai, and this commissioner "reveals a brand new Obama Administration program that he fears could be used in 'pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.'" And the commissioner spoke to the Wall Street Journal and said this.
"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.'"
That's from the commissioner, the FCC, explaining why the Regime wants monitors in radio and TV newsrooms. To make sure that they're not biased or to catalog the bias, to make sure that they are serving the minority populations and to determine how they decide what and what not to report. Now, sit tight. Hang on. "The FCC is now expanding the bounds of regulatory powers to include newspapers, which it has absolutely no authority over."
When the First Amendment was written there was no radio and TV, obviously. So it was newspapers, pamphlets, it was the printed word. There's literally no federal regulation of newspapers. And the only reason there is in broadcasting is because of this notion that the airwaves are public and the government issues licenses to broadcasters granting them permission to use those airwaves. But still, in the news division of those broadcast outlets, the First Amendment applies. But it doesn't apply to cable because cable's not over the air. The FCC has no authority over what's on cable, even though they try to assert it, but it's not over the air. So there is no public interest there.
Same thing with newspapers. Newspapers are totally off-limits, and yet the commissioner the FCC says they are "now expanding the bounds of regulatory powers to include newspapers, which it has absolutely no authority over, in its new government monitoring program. The FCC has apparently already selected eight categories of 'critical information' that 'it believes local newscasters should cover.'
"That's right, the [Regime] has developed a formula of what it believes the free press should cover, and it is going to send government monitors into newsrooms across America to stand over the shoulders of the press as they make editorial decisions. ... Every major repressive regime of the modern era has begun with an attempt to control and intimidate the press."
Not really. That's second, a very close second. But you want to know the truth? Every major repressive Regime of the modern era has begun with universal health care. That's the first thing Hitler did. That's partly how you get the media on your side. Is it championing issues all of them support. Then you go get total control over them. But health care is the first thing, because that is direct control, total control over everybody in your country.
So it's health care they go after first, repressive regimes. It's not the media. And just as it is elsewhere around the world, it's health care here, and now they're going for the media. Now, imagine a government monitor telling Fox News it needed to cover stories the same way MSNBC or Al Jazeera does. Now, before... (interruption) Now, wait a second. (interruption) Just hang on. I know what you're doing out there. Believe me, I have empathy.
I know exactly how you're reacting, what you're thinking, and what you're shouting at the radio. I'll get to all that in just a second. But some of you think that there's no way. "The media's gonna rise up in indignation, righteous opposition. They're not gonna put up with this." I want to give you an alternative way of looking at this -- and if you think that something like this isn't possible, I want to explain and illustrate for you and give you an example of where it is happening.
Not in the media, however.
Well, not technically in the media, but I can give you a flat-out current, right-now example of the Department of Justice putting a monitor inside a company and demanding that this guy have access to every executive, to talk to them any time he wants and to make judgments and report back to a judge on what he sees going on in this company every day. It's happening at Apple, Inc. I know some of you think this, "Rush, this is never gonna happen." I know what the reaction is.
Of course, this will not be complete 'til I tell you what I think. Now, Snerdley's in there saying, "There's no way. There's literally no way the press gonna put up with this." Before you think that, before you automatically reflexively think that the press isn't gonna put up with this, I want to give you an alternative way of looking at this, and I want to ask you a question. Is there anything that the Regime has done or is doing, to anybody, that has the media upset?
And there is. One small, little thing.
The Regime is restricting access. The media's upset that they don't have access. It's just minor, tiny, irrelevant stuff. But that's it. They're not upset at anything the Regime's doing. They're not upset at what they were doing Tea Party, IRS, nothing. They don't find one thing the Regime is doing worthy of reporting on. They certainly do not suspect the Regime. They are not at all concerned with the power the Regime is amassing, not as they would be if this were a Republican Regime.
RUSH: Now, folks, this FCC story where they want to put monitors in American newsrooms is not actually new. This story has been kicking around the Internet since it was first proposed almost a year ago. It was proposed in May of 2003. But it wasn't until one of the commissions in the FCC, Ajit Pai, wrote the op-ed for the Wall Street Journal 10 days ago, and it was only yesterday that that op-ed was noticed, even though it was 10 days ago.
Because a commissioner has actually now written an op-ed warning of what the government wants to do, everybody is highly attuned to it. Now, at first the ostensible purpose of the study, putting monitors in newsrooms, was theoretically to help the FCC "figure out how to lower entry barriers for minorities in broadcasting." That's what they said. They want to put monitors in there, find out what stories are being chosen and why they're being chosen, and what stories aren't being chosen.
Somehow, this was going to lead to the acquisition of more data helping the government figure out how to get more minorities owning broadcast outlets. However, the question and the whole proposition showed that it was much more intrusive than that. That was just a cover. Actually, the avowed purpose was, "Well, yeah, we want to investigate minority ownership and see what we can do about it." That's a way to get everybody to lay down. Who's gonna oppose that?
"Oh, is that all you want to do? Oh, okay! So the Regime wants to see to it they do everything they can to get more minorities...? Oh, fine. No problem." That's how it's designed. It's designed to just shut everybody up and deflect everybody's attention. Now, after the op-ed that Mr. Pai wrote in the Wall Street Journal, Adweek (of all places) posted an article claiming that the FCC has suspended it. The story now is from Adweek, of all places. (interruption)
Well, no, I got nothing against Adweek, but, I mean, of all the news outlets? There wasn't one that covered it? Here's my point: Not one major media newsroom, news division stood up and said a thing about this. This op-ed's been out there for 10 days and nobody said anything. Anyway, Adweek says that it has been suspended, they've stopped it, they're not gonna go forward. But that's the only place saying so.
I haven't seen any confirmation of it, just Adweek. But I would say it's like everything else that this Regime does. If they've actually suspended this study -- and the study, again, is the placing of government monitors in newsrooms to observe what's going on. If it actually has been suspended, it's just temporary. They're going to do this. They've tipped their hand. They want to do this. They are going to do it.
It's clear the Regime thought they could get away with doing this this time. Hugo Chavez used to do things like this all the time. Now, here's the question. Let's just go hypothetically here. Let's say that Adweek did not discover the study has been suspended. Let's say it's gonna go forward. At some point, they're gonna try it. Will major American media organizations stand up and righteously, indignantly oppose this?
I can make the case that I don't think they would. Most people think instinctively, reflexively, the media not gonna put up with it something like that. "No way! You're gonna have a government monitor in my newsroom? You're gonna be quote/unquote 'monitoring' the stories I choose to cover and the stories I don't want to cover, and you are gonna be cataloging what you think is my bias? No way, pal!" But I can see where, given the current circumstances that exist today, they wouldn't oppose it.
In fact, I could make the case to you that they would welcome it. I explained this to Snerdley today. He could not believe me. He did not believe that I was being serious. "You're joking," he said. No. I can make the case where journalism schools would not oppose it but instead will support it -- and I'll bet I could make the case to you, given current circumstances. I think the media might look at it as an opportunity to get even closer to Obama. I think some might look at it as a way of impressing Obama.
Remember, Obama's the king.
They all serve the guy.
They're all on the same team.
These aren't really journalists; they're just Democrats assigned there.
RUSH: I'm gonna go a step further, and I'm gonna tell you that I think -- well, let me pull back a little bit. I wouldn't be surprised if journalism professors at University of Missouri journalism school, Columbia school of journalism, hot to trot Kennedy School, Harvard, wherever you find a journalism school, I wouldn't be surprised if it was professors who gave the government this idea. Folks, if you don't think that that's entirely possible, you are not paying attention to what's going on.
There is no journalism anymore. There is an agenda that is put forward each day, the soap opera, whatever you want to call it. The purpose of the media in New York and Washington is to advance the Democrat Party agenda. In the pop culture media, in the sports media, in the so-called news media, there isn't any news. All I'm telling you is that I can see -- and I'm not gonna go out on a limb and predict it, but we'll just see -- I'm just gonna tell you that I, for one, would not be surprised if there is no anger or real outrage. You might have some innocent guy stand up and express mock outrage at this, but I won't be surprised if there isn't any substantive push-back to this. It's the outcome that matters. Journalism flew the coop a long time ago. There isn't any of that going on here.
Now, there are people who think they're journalists, and hearing me say this think, "Limbaugh's off his rocker again," not understanding the context in which I'm offering these comments. That's why I don't worry you. You're all here every day, you understand, you're able to put my comments in context and you know exactly what I mean. There isn't any journalism going on. There isn't anybody standing on a corner telling us what happened that we didn't see. Everything is flavored in terms of how does it affect Obama, how does it affect the elections, how is it gonna affect the Democrats? Everything in the media is oriented toward advancing the agenda of the Democrat Party, the American left, Barack Obama, or whatever.
I'm just telling you that I'm not gonna be surprised at all -- now, remember, Adweek says they've suspended this. They're not gonna go forward with it since it's been discovered. They're not gonna move forward with it now. They're gonna delay it. It was all a ruse based on trying to figure out some things about how to enhance minority ownership of media properties. That's what they said this was about and that's how they were able to get it in under the radar. Then the commissioner wrote the op-ed 10 days ago in the Wall Street Journal. It's finally surfaced and people have seen it, and there is some reaction on the right.
There isn't any reaction to this where you would think there would be. It is conservatives standing up to defend the media. They're not standing up in righteous outrage or indignation over what would happen to them.
We're gonna start in Philadelphia with Richard. Welcome, sir. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. Good afternoon, Rush. I just want to preface this by quoting Edmund Burke, who said, "For evil to triumph, good men must do nothing." Therefore, this is fully gonna be supported by the clowns at MSNBC. Because if you put a government Ministry of Truth monitor in their newsroom, you're not gonna be able to tell the difference between them and the guys who work at MSNBC. So what do they care? It's just gonna become another compadre in their newsroom, as opposed to Fox or more conservative-minded media. When they have a monitor in there, it's gonna stand out like a sore thumb, and you're gonna have their boot on their neck. These are the good people who are gonna do nothing and let freedom die.
RUSH: Okay. So you would say that Fox would object but MSNBC wouldn't?
CALLER: Well, I think Fox would object more than MSNBC would. Everything is gonna be relative. I mean, they're also establishment-type people, but the more conservative people that have some differences with this Regime are gonna potentially fight it, while the MSNBC and NBC and ABC crew, what do they care whether there's a monitor? They're all the same people.
originalRUSH: Let me ask you a question, very simply: Has Congress stood up in righteous indignation over Obama usurping their power?
CALLER: Of course not.
RUSH: They haven't. Is anybody? Have doctors, hospitals, anybody stood up and expressed anger and outrage over Obama, who knows nothing about taking over the entire health care industry?
CALLER: Well, I am a physician. I'm living through it. I'm at the end of my career, and I'm thankful that I am.
RUSH: Right. Some people are not standing up in righteous opposition.
RUSH: They're trying to figure ways out of it.
CALLER: Well, I mean, the people who are standing up come to be cowed by the vitriol that comes back at them.
RUSH: Right. Exactly right.
CALLER: So, therefore, there are no good people to stand up against this evil.
CALLER: Therefore, evil will triumph. That's what I think.
RUSH: I think there are plenty of good people. I think there's just abject fear.
RUSH: I think there's total fear of standing up to anything this Regime is doing. You know, why would the media stand up and oppose Obama trying to take over their operation when nobody else is? Congress isn't. Nobody else is standing up in righteous opposition to it. Anyway, we'll explore this further, folks, 'cause I can paint you a picture that you might conclude, yeah, I've got a point.