When the radio was invented, and began to be used, the government did not treat the spectrum of radiation as a resource that could be “homesteaded” by the establishment of a broadcasting station, and then privately owned, just like settlers sometimes came to own formerly wild land by farming it. Instead of following natural rights principles for private property, the Federal government simply declared itself the owner of the spectrum. This, in principle, could have removed radio and TV stations from the jurisdiction of the First Amendment, but no one has ever nullified the right to a free press in that way.
Byron York at the Washington Examiner gives us some details on how this went down:
The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation’s newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public’s “critical information needs.” Those “needs” will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government’s standards could face an uncertain future. It’s hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment.
The initiative, known around the agency as “the CIN Study” (pronounced “sin”), is a bit of a mystery even to insiders. “This has never been put to an FCC vote, it was just announced,” says Ajit Pai, one of the FCC’s five commissioners (and one of its two Republicans). “I’ve never had any input into the process,” adds Pai, who brought the story to the public’s attention in a Wall Street Journal column last week.
Two things I want to emphasize here.
First, even though the FCC should not exist in a free society, it was not tyrannical or dictatorial enough for the President. He or his minions bypassed FCC authorities and procedures to execute this rape of the media.
Second, notice what is covered. The FCC is going to “determine whether journalists are producing articles… internet content… that meets the public’s ‘critical information needs.’” OK, taking ownership of the airwaves has given the government some wiggle room (which Presidents have used to censor enemies time and again), but how can anyone claim that a Federal agency has the authority to dictate content of publications in articles and on the internet?
They can’t. It is completely criminal and illegal and it is an act of war against the United States of America.
No, I am not using overblown rhetoric. This is hostile takeover of the United States by a rogue gang.
York also points out who is the main culprit at the FCC:
Advocates promote the project with Obama-esque rhetoric. “This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens,” said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012. Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, was appointed to the FCC by President Obama and served as acting chair for part of last year. The FCC, Clyburn said, “must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation – be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other.” (The FCC decided to test the program with a trial run in Ms. Clyburn’s home state, South Carolina.)
We’re watching a coup overthrow our government before our eyes.