FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman Warns of Forthcoming Government Media Censorship

When I first read this story I wasn’t sure whether to highlight it or not. While the claims made by Federal Elections Committee (FEC) Chairman Lee E. Goodman are extraordinarily frightening, sometimes people with strong partisan leanings can exaggerate threats and so I like to be careful. I’m not certain if this is the case with Mr. Goodman, but since it is his word against other folks at the FEC and I don’t work there, it’s hard to know what the true state of affairs is.

Nevertheless, the fact that Ajit Pai, a commissioner at the FCC, recently warned in a Wall Street Journal editorial of government plans to “monitor” media organizations, makes me concerned enough to post on it. I highlighted the Ajit Pai editorial back in February in my post: The Obama Administration Plans to Embed “Government Researchers” to Monitor Media Organizations.

As far as the Goodman comments, The Washington Examiner reports that:

Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media’s exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight.

“I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers,” warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.

“The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” he added.

Noting the success of sites like the Drudge Report, Goodman said that protecting conservative media, especially those on the internet, “matters to me because I see the future going to the democratization of media largely through the internet. They can compete with the big boys now, and I have seen storm clouds that the second you start to regulate them, there is at least the possibility or indeed proclivity for selective enforcement, so we need to keep the media free and the internet free.”

“The picking and choosing has started to occur,” said Goodman. “There are some in this building that think we can actually regulate” media, added Goodman, a Republican whose chairmanship lasts through December. And if that occurs, he said, “then I am concerned about disparate treatment of conservative media.”

The main issue I have with Mr. Goodman’s comments is that he frames them in a very partisan manner. Sure, I don’t doubt that the current state of affairs might have the FEC concerned about the threat posed by conservative media, but in ten years who knows, it could be the reverse. The key here is that media, in particular the internet, must be kept free and open. The internet is what allows an individual like me, armed with only a computer and an internet connection, to reach thousands of people per day on a shoestring budget. This is a revolution in humankind and must be preserved at all costs.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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11 Comments

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  1. Well said, Mike, but remember the true test:

    People try to censor what they can’t answer, fear or consider true.

    People who truly think their opponents are full of crap don’t mind watching them mouth off, so everyone can discover how full of crap they really are.

    If people know that dynamic, then they can recognize the proper context for judging calls to ‘regulate’ media.

  2. Interesting article. I tend to agree that this is a good sign.

    “Regulate media” sounds a like “regulate bitcoin” or “regulate Napster”.

    The worse the regular media is, the more people will leave it.

  3. Regulate ‘media’ in this case is exposing propaganda disguised as editorials and news entertainment. Lets not fool ourselves into thinking that drudge, fox, etc are legitimate ‘news’ orgs. Fox so called news should not be allowed to call themselves news. They are opinion morphed into propaganda that does not act as the 4th branch of gov’t.

    • Your abstract evaluations, with no specifics, so everyone is just supposed to accept your opinion…is a good example of propagandist BS.

      “F”

      (BTW, The Fed, The IRS and the regulatory apparatus are the 4th, 5th, and 6th branches. The media lapdogs are, at best, a sucker in the ‘social unit as plant-part’ metaphor.)

    • artisan chandeliers

      All of a sudden a righty is interested in facts? Typical righty blog tactic.

      Heres a fact, thanks to grannie!

      “Actually, the proposed study is nothing new. It is, in fact, required, periodically, by federal law, as part of the FCC’s job, to assess whether mega corporations, like NewsCorp (owner of Fox Noise) are making it tough for smaller news outfits to get into the broadcast game on an equal footing with the 6 major giants. By squawking loudly about “big gubmint intrusion” on free speech, and Faux’s Kauthammer is waving a false flag, while ignoring the fact that the FCC is simply fulfilling its job requirements, as mandated by law. BWAAAAAH! My heart is torn from my body, and tears of sympathy for Fox are rolling down my grief-stricken face!”

      And your source….the washington examiner??? Please…. Why should i take u seriously? Your SOURCE is propaganda!

      Some sources with real journalistic acumen…

      Google news:

      PROPOSED FCC STUDY OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS SPARKS OUTCRY

      Have a good day

    • You didn’t produce any specifics, but rather more abstract evaluations. IOW, now only did you miss the *relevant* point, you appear to have learning difficulties, because you blew your 2nd chance to say something valid.

      Your assumption that I have a dog in this fight, and trying to pick that fight, instead of addressing what I said, ALSO means you are presenting propaganda, and because you tried to complain about it, you are revealed as shadow projecting; pretending that someone else is responsible for the mistake YOU made.

      Likewise, complaining about sources instead of addressing the question ALSO indicates someone who can’t answer the question in the way they like because the facts are against them. The relevant question is whether some claim is true, not who said what, a point made first by Bishop Berkley hundreds of years ago – was your oversight an *honest* mistake, or you seeking an escape hatch because you know my critique of your BS is true?

      Finally, in your zeal to assume something stupid about me in order to dismiss the criticism you can’t refute, you failed to notice that I didn’t cite any sources; I identified you as a propaganda tool because you are using propagandist *tactics,* and more such bullshit will only strengthen that conclusion.

      Repeating those tactics when you’ve been called out on their fallacious nature indicates that you are lying, or stupid, or both.

      Did I omit a third possibility?

      Protip: if you have to lie about what happened in order to maintain the belief that you’re right…it means you aren’t.

      Good luck responding in a rational way *next* time!

    • artisan chandeliers

      yikes! my you are sensitive.

      Please Google news:

      PROPOSED FCC STUDY OF NEWS ORGANIZATIONS SPARKS OUTCRY

      all the answers you need are there…

    • No, not sensitive – observant.

      If you don’t think you can address the *honest* disagreement…nobody would be surprised.

      You be sure to write back when you conjure up a *valid* response, OK?

    • Let me throw you a bone, son:

      “propaganda disguised as editorials”

      Why don’t explain what *you* consider the difference?

      *I* think the difference is the use of bullshit to sell a judgement with no foundation…which is all that you have been doing.

      “Read this” instead of explaining the reasons for your judgement…is called “obscurantism” and ALSO qualifies as a propaganda tactic. The content is not how such things are judged, but rather the rhetorical devices engaged.

      *You* are using bullshit…because you consider your position so strong?

      No, that is what people do who have *lost* the argument.

      So, try again?

      What is the difference between ‘propaganda’ and ‘editorial’ or ‘news entertainment.’

      And…go!

  4. artisan chandeliers

    are you not gonna google NEWS as i suggested? i’m sorry its not alex jones, but it just might open your eyes.

    as for being observant, are you really refusing to observe the news i am citing as my source?

    • I’m observing your behavior, and what it means about how weak you consider your position to be. Running away like a chicken from my point proves you can’t refute it, therefore I win.

      What you get to do is accept that if you can’t answer the question, your failure answers another question:

      Is artisan chandeliers bullshitting? ABSOLUTELY!

      I said you should write back when you have a *valid* response. Changing the subject because you know you’re wrong, aka is not a valid response.

      Hint: try addressing the *honest* disagreement THIS time! YOU were the one using propaganda tactics. If you have a problem with such tactics, nobody can stop you from stopping.

      I see the lying portions of your responses are becoming a larger proportion of the words you present, which means we can expect you to flame out, degrade into inanities or run like the coward you are in 4-5 messages.

      Carry on!

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