FTC to “Reinvent” Journalism

With many stories to potentially cover it actually wasn’t partcularly difficult to choose one to write about today. Everyone already is aware of the Middle East tensions rising once more (as if they ever lessened in the first place). We’re all aware of the complete and utter failure of the Obama Administration to deal with the disasterous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the completely repugnant and arrogant behavior of BP in response to the disatser they created. Perhaps people are less aware (or simply don’t care) about the United Nations on going anti-semistism and anti-democracy agendas as well.

But there is one story I found distubingly ignored by the MSM. Perhaps because they, at least their print journalism brothers, would benefit at the expense of the American people. I speak, of course, of the FTC’s rough draft on how to reinvent journalism. Make no mistkae about it, the intent of the FTC is clear in this matter: supporting the old guard journalism in the face of the technological age of the internet. Even if it turns them officially into propagandists.

Many of the items in the “draft” are quite clearly anti-internet, big bailouts for the dinosaurs of the MSM and print media unwilling to give up the ability to control, influence, and manipulate the news and quite frankly an attempt to usurp the First Amendment. There are some pretty scary ideas in there that should make any freedom loving American shudder, among them antitrust exemptions to allow local MSM types to control the local media and a 5% tax on electronic items that would be used to fund these failed businesses.

Perhaps more troubling is the obvious anti-internet tone and anti-free disemination of information and news attitude in the “draft” that somehow the internet (namely linkers, and aggregators) is to blame for their troubles. Additionally there is this pervasive oppressive feel to the whole thing that the government should determine not only what information you get but who should be allowed to present it to you.  To read it, you would almost think not a one involved in its creation had even heard of, let alone the used the internet, for any reasonable amount of time.

The whole thing reads like a hamfisted and poorly executed attempt to finish off free press in the United States and to turn it into simple propagandist machines ala Pravda while at the same time trying to curtail (and eventually) eliminate opposing views from the internet (e.g. bloggers, independent news sources, etc) claiming some nefarious need for “fairness”. Perhaps I’m being overly concerned or paranoid but the ultimate goal, it seems, is government control and/or influence of the news, the facts, and the information the American people receive while stiffling and supressing dissenting information or perceptions of the same.

Fairness at the expense of freedom is unacceptable and quite frankly impossible to achieve. Government intrusion into the free market via unneeded regulations (while continuing to fail in enforcing existing regulations), taxes, and bailouts was unacceptable with GM and the Financial insititutaions. So too is it unacceptable for the free press.

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