Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

February 26, 2014

In the House of Wood: Bad idea, FCC

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” --Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1945

I was reminded of this quote last week, amid reports of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moving forward with its plan to bring the government into America's newsrooms. Over the years, I have watched my brethren in the media impishly report on attacks on America's Constitution and Bill of Rights, (oftentimes, leading the cheer as gun rights and Christianity were attacked) all the while knowing that sooner or later, big brother would try to interfere with free press.

Most major broadcast networks have little to no credibility with me because of their overt partisanship and their decision to hand the presidency over to Barack Obama. I've ranted enough about that over the years, so I won't repeat myself.

Though they made the choice to hang with the cool kids instead of serving as any kind of a watchdog, the FCC's plan seems to take away the choice of how and what broadcasters choose to report. The FCC claims that participation in its program is voluntary, but don't you think newsrooms will feel obligated or coerced into cooperating with the agency with the power to strip away their licenses?

The FCC has since chosen to postpone implementation of its program. I'm sure it's not going away, however.

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