Obama Administration Embeds "Government Researchers" To Monitor Media Organizations

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Last week, I highlighted the fact that the latest Press Freedom Index showcased a 13 point plunge in America’s press freedom to an embarrassing #46 position in the global ranking. If the authoritarians in the Obama Administration have their way, this country is set to fall much further in next year’s index.

Incredibly, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to roll out something called the Critical Information Needs study, which will embed government “researchers” into media organizations around the nation to make sure they are doing their job properly.

No this isn’t “conspiracy theory.” It is so real, and represents such a threat to the First Amendment, that a current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, warning Americans of this scheme. He writes:

News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.


But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.


Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. 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.”

I have no idea what country I am living in at this point.

How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.


Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.


Should all stations follow MSNBC’s example and cut away from a discussion with a former congresswoman about the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records to offer live coverage of Justin Bieber‘s bond hearing? As a consumer of news, I have an opinion. But my opinion shouldn’t matter more than anyone else’s merely because I happen to work at the FCC.

I am simply speechless.

Read the full Op-Ed here.

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Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:02 | 4460304 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Another conspiracy theory becomes conspiracy fact.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:03 | 4460311 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

The American media reaction will probably be to spread even wider.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:05 | 4460319 ACP
ACP's picture

Mike Krieger, if you think you're speechless now, you will be speech-free soon.

Not one peep from the MSM.


Get ready...

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:07 | 4460324 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

The good news is they have PLENTY of ammo to protect these embedded bureaucrats....


DHS to Purchase 704,390,250 rounds of Ammunition over next 4 Years or 2500 Rounds Per Officer!
Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:12 | 4460344 Pumpkin
Pumpkin's picture

Yeah, we know their evil, power hungry shit bags.  But most that work for them are beyond incompetent, so when does all this ammo get stolen and sold for pennies on the dollar?

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:17 | 4460357 HyBrasilian
HyBrasilian's picture

Don't worry ~ be happy!

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:18 | 4460361 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

grab a hot pocket and look below.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:20 | 4460371 HyBrasilian
HyBrasilian's picture

be happy [& CHEERful]...

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:31 | 4460423 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Welcome to Obama's executive run around and installation of "The Fairness Doctrine"


Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:05 | 4460585 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

wow, just wow

perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

i assume this wont be aiming at pleasing underserved libertarians and constitutionalists

kidding aside, this is the end folks

truly the end

time to grow a beard , get wierd, and disappear on up into the mountains

i'll be waiting for y'all

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:15 | 4460621 stant
stant's picture

already there brother

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:20 | 4460643 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

The government embedded me to tell you to get free bitcoins from http://freebitco.in/?r=25727

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:37 | 4460698 old naughty
old naughty's picture

Czechmate !

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama..."

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:41 | 4460708 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

That quote is awesome.  Thanks.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 01:33 | 4460933 The Vineyard
The Vineyard's picture

I want Obama to fix my teeth.  I ain't too proud to beg.  Bitches.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 06:16 | 4461175 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Soooo........what are all those bullets for again?


We are number 46.....USA USA USA!!!!


Fri, 02/21/2014 - 10:18 | 4461547 Robsabi
Robsabi's picture

Czech out (see what I did there?) what Snopes.com has to say about this. Rather unlikely that such an editorial was ever published in a Czech newspaper, and even if it actually was (again, no evidence it ever happened), there's certainly no evidnce it came from the former Czech premier, Vaclav Klaus.


The real danger to America are people who are so willfully blinded by their biases (yes, I'm pointing at you) that they acceot uncritically and perpetuate anything they see on the internet that that they want to be true, thus merely reinforcing their biases instead of making any strides towards becoming a truly informed citizen.


Fri, 02/21/2014 - 10:54 | 4461739 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture


Sat, 02/22/2014 - 19:31 | 4466438 August
August's picture

>>>already there brother


beard - check

weird - check

mountains - check

Ready to rumble - maybe (well, I am pushing 70)

For the right high-value target, I guess, the sky's the limit,

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 00:42 | 4460835 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

This was it. Mrs Meat has been slowly coming around but this story is like a shotgun blast to the face and now she gets it.

Grow a beard. Get weird. Indeed.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 02:09 | 4460991 Tsukato
Tsukato's picture

All I can say is, it's about time! Maybe they'll be able to get a handle on all this anti-Semite scream fest we've all been having to tolerate. The amount of bullshit I've had to endure, even here, is intolerable. I'm starting to think that maybe it's a good idea to require websites like this, to be licensed, and the owners attend a 2 wk sensitivity course. Speaking of which, I'm setting up a joint venture with ITT Tech, to do just that. Don't worry about the tuition though cuz you will be able to apply for student loans and grants:) just doin my part friends :)

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 06:30 | 4461186 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



I'm starting to think that maybe it's a good idea to require websites like this, to be licensed


Heil Hitler bitchez!!!


Good news....you get to go on a train ride.


Pretty sure I've seen this movie before.


Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:50 | 4461337 Tsukato
Tsukato's picture

Anti-Semite!!!! You could use some sensitivity training yourself! No money? No worries! Uncle Sam can spot you what you need, plus a little extra to cover the rent :)

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 09:58 | 4461465 Isotope
Isotope's picture

Obvious troll is obvious.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 10:28 | 4461607 superflex
superflex's picture

Fuck this troll.  

We have much better here.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 02:02 | 4460979 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

I will bring the beer....if I don't drink it all, along the way.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:32 | 4460428 john39
john39's picture

Operation Mockingbird with CIA control and infiltration of the media started with the cold war, if not before.   so why public now?

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:43 | 4460456 i-dog
i-dog's picture

It's neither a conspiracy nor underhanded if they tell you about it first in an op-ed. Alex Jones performs the same service for them daily.

Will anyone do anything about it? No. Just more bitching and moaning that somebody else isn't doing "something", then going back to the cheetohs and the game (which is actually implied consent).

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:44 | 4460494 Dead Man Walking
Dead Man Walking's picture


Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:54 | 4460537 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Hopefully ZH will at least notify us when their governent overseer takes up his post next to their servers.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:03 | 4460576 BlueCollaredOne
BlueCollaredOne's picture

Whois.com tells me that ZH servers are located in Bulgaria. Should be safe for awhile

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:08 | 4460600 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

That's what InTrade thought, too.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 06:13 | 4461178 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture





We can get a strike force just about anywhere within 30 minutes.....except for Benghazi.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 03:37 | 4461077 Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

nowhere is safe.

the front line is everywhere.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 06:32 | 4461191 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture





If you're reading this....you are the resistance.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:54 | 4461340 Tsukato
Tsukato's picture

Resistance?!?! Whaaaaaaat? I'm resisting nothing! Happy days are here again, my friend. You're just one of those "glass half full" types :(

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 01:10 | 4460893 Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

A Jones does some good work, but his best work is as a gatekeeper for the usual suspects.

When I saw the clip of him claiming that "Arabs own Hollywood" I half expected him to immediately disappear in a puff of logic. 

Apparently he retracted it later then went back to encouraging his listeners to chase ghosts...  i.e saying that "the illuminati" control Hollywood.

Good grief.



Fri, 02/21/2014 - 02:28 | 4461019 Tsukato
Tsukato's picture

Alex jones is a real American hero. You will never hear him try to frame the Jews for goy mismanagement and corruption. Yeah, he's one of the good ones. His wife's a Jew too! She's keeping his thinking straight unlike many of the troglodytes here on ZH.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 03:38 | 4461078 Johnny Cocknballs
Fri, 02/21/2014 - 06:34 | 4461193 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture




He's good.....but MDB is better.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 13:08 | 4462249 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Stop feeding the trolls, folks.  They'll go away when we don't respond to them.

Plus, note how they come out in droves when articles of this nature run here on ZH.

Most likely paid government agents focused on disrupting constructive conversation/discussion and debate.

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:43 | 4461328 Tsukato
Tsukato's picture

What sort of schtick you runnin friend?

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:39 | 4460464 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Yeah, old hat.


According to Alex Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion Of The Free Press By The CIA), in the 1950s, "some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts". Wisner was able to constrain newspapers from reporting about certain events, including the CIA plots to overthrow the governments of Iran (see: Operation Ajax) and Guatemala (see: Operation PBSUCCESS).

The fact that they're doing it publically now demonstrates to what esteem .gov holds the people. 

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:55 | 4460541 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

You left out Operation Gladio. Rolling Stones's article in the early 70's by Carl Bernstein titled "The CIA & The Media" explains it all.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 23:08 | 4460599 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

Thank you,

James. The truth will PREVAIL!

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 10:07 | 4461501 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

To compare this latest false outrage by the oligarchs concerning research efforts that would show they fail to serve the public interest as their free broadcast licenses require, with actual government propaganda efforts, is to compare unicorns with horses.

It was only a few years ago an actual government propaganda operation got the American public on board with an invasion of Iraq based upon what are now proven lies about nonexistent WMD.

And one of the loudest cheerleaders for that war was the oligarchs' semiofficial press, the WSJ editorial page.

So what we have here is some false outrage by the oligarchs who run our country over a government program that would show these oligarchs don't meet the mandatory requirements of their broadcasting licenses. If I were an oligarch, I'd also try to get the rubes all riled up over this, because if the public found out that they actually owned the airways the oligarchs use to feed them shit it might end up costing them billions.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:34 | 4460443 knukles
knukles's picture


Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:21 | 4460375 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture


Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:23 | 4460382 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I think I speak for everyone here when I say "HOLY SHIT".

I don't know how to interpret this other than it being prelude to an internal coup of the Constitution by our own governemtn.  Hope you like Obama as President because he may be in there for life.  This is so brazen, they don't even care if people see through their lies and deceptions any more.  I think they finally did it.  They finally killed the Constitution.


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